Re: Individual Freedoms

Eugene Leitl (
Tue, 27 Aug 1996 14:56:55 +0200 (MET DST)

As a kid I wanted the maxime of my actions to be maximum happines
integrated over population integrated over time. Full stop. (modest, huh?)

Alas, these halcyon days of unreflected altruism are over. For one there
is no mechanism to measure happiness, especially to predict it a priori
to choose one branch from a multitude of alternatives.

Additionally, most human properties are distributed in an (assymetric)
bell-shaped curve and not an infinitesimally thin spike. A compromise
trying to satisfy everybody, in the end will fail to meet the expectations
of everyone. A sufficiently long sequence of strong filters blocks out
all alternatives.

In the end, I wound up pursuing a weighted altruism, where personal (&
those of kin) happiness comes first, everybody else's later. But then we
live in world where almost nobody has ever heard about game theory and
iterated prisonner's dilemma...

How does one shape a behaviour in a world where the majority seems to
pursue a suboptimal strategy?