[extropy-chat] Re: [SOCIO] Cooperation and diversity

Jef Allbright jef at jefallbright.net
Tue Apr 26 16:36:12 UTC 2005

Jef:  Rather, we can expect *increased* diversity, but within an 
increasingly aware cultural framework that recognizes and promotes the 
enhanced value of cooperative interaction among diverse agents.

Dirk:  I think that the opposite is likely. That with increasing 
diversity there will come a massive, and polarised, competition between 
new Human species. Racism writ larger than ever. Those who don't 'look 
after their own' preferentially will lose out to those who do.


Dirk:  'Self' in the current bigger picture is the success of 
propagating ones genes into the future.  With immortals that big picture 
shrinks down to more immediate self.

Jef:  I'm arguing *for* evolutionary theory, and saying that 
synergy--what we call "cooperation" when it's between agents--is 
fundamental to survival and growth of any evolving system.

Dirk:  Of course it is, but 99% of all the species that have existed are 
extinct.  Co-operation occurs within species and competition between 
species in the same ecological niche.  I susepct that one of the 
defining aspects of PostHumans is that their 'niche' will encompass just 
about everything.


Ah, I think I now understand the basis of your assertion of "massive, 
and polarized, competition between new Human species. Racism writ larger 
than ever."  Given an immediate Self effectively all-encompassing due to 
near immortality, and vastly expanded environment for this selfish Self 
to grow into, then I can see why you would predict this kind of all or 
nothing competition.

However, I would argue that as the Players evolve, so does the Game, and 
that when we reach this level of growth and capability, the game will be 
qualitatively different.  I hesitate to make any predictions, from my 
limited point of view, of what such a qualitatively different game would 
be like, but I can offer one likely example:

Physical size and spread will continue to be a competitive advantage in 
terms of "holding the high ground", being able to flank and surround an 
enemy, and being able to store and utilize massive resources.  However, 
a system spread even as far around as the Earth would have inherent 
problems of communication latency between its subsystems.  For this 
reason, the hypothetical PostHuman Self can not be shrunk down as you 
suggest because to do so would limit its ability to compete.  Thus, it 
seems the hypothetical PostHuman must necessarily be in the form of a 
"culture" of semi-autonomous, and thus highly cooperative, subsystems.

In summary, the most successful (read effectively competitive) systems 
of the future can be expected to possess more diversity (degrees of 
freedom), AND be more highly cooperative, than those of today.

- Jef

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