Re: Human lives: Do the math (was: Impact on history)

From: J. R. Molloy (
Date: Mon Sep 17 2001 - 11:00:30 MDT

From: "John Clark" <>
> And I don't understand why you keep talking about the Tit for Tat strategy

Why Tit for Tat prevails:
Let two players of the group be A and B. If A and B both co-operate they both
get 3 points. This outcome for both players is called R, the reward for mutual
If A co-operates but B defects then A gets 0 points and B gets 5 points. A's
outcome is called S, the sucker's pay-off.
Finally, if A and B both defect they get 1 point. This outcome for both
players is called P, the punishment for mutual defection.
Obviously, if the game involved just two players (with the aim of one winning
or at least not losing), the safest strategy would be to defect all the time,
since, if your opponent cooperated, you would get 5 points and if not, you
would both get only 1 point. However, in a group of players, where the aim is
to win the most points, the strategy of defection is likely to fall down on a
low point count. Axelrod organised several computer tournaments in which the
participants' computer programs were to play the game of iterated Prisoner's
Dilemma on a round-robin basis, ie, every computer program was to play every
other program and was also to play against a copy of itself. The winner was to
be the program which amassed the greatest number of points summed over all
interactions. The program which won the main tournaments was the simplest and
shortest program of all. It was called Tit for Tat. It always initially
offered co-operation, but would respond to a defection move with its own
defection move.

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Useless hypotheses, etc.:
 consciousness, phlogiston, philosophy, vitalism, mind, free will, qualia,
analog computing, cultural relativism, GAC, Cyc, Eliza, cryonics, individual
uniqueness, ego, human values, scientific relinquishment

We won't move into a better future until we debunk religiosity, the most
regressive force now operating in society.

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