(In Real Life Too) ... a Sketch of an Argument
Great piece. Makes sense to me. Consistent with the probabilistic nature of the flourishing of life in this universe
I want to believe that good guys will usually win as much as I believe or hope that I am a good guy. However, given that we are all here in this instantiation of our multiverse simulation, I would have to say we got here through evolution and natural selection first. Those forces and constraints still operate, but there are now other technological, societal, certainly very transformative pressures that may be stongly influencing outcomes, of which sometimes we may or may not ultimately understand the consequences of such, even when we trust and cooperate with each other. AI->AGI most likely is one of these situations. I personally am a strong proponent of transhumanism and human AI augmentation and integration as a way to carry on our technological evolution into the next species, ensuring the survial and growth of the best aspects of our humanity working and becoming one with AI.
Notice that you're implicitly assuming competition and group selection. I think that's fine; I want you to come over consciously to the side of group selection.
Oh well, wouldn't that be nice Ben! How I want to believe the arguments in your romanticized plea here.... However in our particular neck of the ... "multiverse" Dawkins has shown clearly that selfishness of the individual prevails over group altruism.
"We can now see that the organism and the group of organisms are true rivals for the vehicle role in the story, but neither of them is even a candidate for the replicator role. The controversy between ‘individual selection’ and ‘group selection’ is a real controversy between alternative vehicles...As it happens the outcome, in my view, is a decisive victory for the individual organism. The group is too wishy-washy an entity."
—Richard Dawkins, The Selfish Gene, pp. 254-255
Prior to the 1960s, it was common for altruism to be explained in terms of group selection, where the benefits to the organism or even population were supposed to account for the popularity of the genes responsible for the tendency towards that behaviour. Modern versions of "multilevel selection" claim to have overcome the original objections, namely, that at that time no known form of group selection led to an evolutionarily stable strategy. The claim still is made by some that it would take only a single individual with a tendency towards more selfish behaviour to undermine a population otherwise filled only with the gene for altruism towards non-kin. (See the Wikipedia page of The Selfish Gene for further easily digestible insights...)
Insightful, beautifully and logically structured reflection and vision, thank you for sharing.
I personally believe and envision building communities where at the genesis, the aware and conscious individuality is encouraged, preserved and supported within a collective harmonious, balanced and synergic process & symbiosis.
Such communities shall develop as strong & tight ones, easily prone to be sustainable because more genuinely self-sufficient but not necessarily of islander nature thanks to an open & benevolent mindset, able to endure and eventually thrive.
Such communities shall represent, create and achieve and be valued for much more that the simple addition of all the individualities that are their direct components.
Such communities are by nature & final necessity decentralized and shall be the pillars of our multiverse as we technologically progress and evolve riding the waves of Web 3.0, Blockchain, AI and AGI ...
Love it. So many things come to mind here. The simplest was summarized in an old 1980s Science Magazine article that basically asked “Do nice guys finish last or do nice guys last longer?”. Using a basic game with 2 players and enough food for exactly 2 if they share.
I also am reminded of stories about the Minoan civilization, that seemed to prosper just fine for over 2,000 years being "relatively" good guys but eventually declined into horrible state of affairs, that included cannibalism (behavior mostly associated with bad guys). This to me describes the differences in game play during times of abundance versus scarcity. I use the Mountain People & the Valley People in my class. If there is only enough water for one group, they will compete in very unfriendly ways. However, if there is enough for all, then they are more likely to collaborate; I hear the Mountain People have the best jelly and the Valley People have the best peanut butter.
We are quickly moving from a world of scarcity to one of abundance. I am all on board that this will make it easier for everyone to be relatively good guys.
I think this boils down to arguing why symbiosis is a normative optimization. My own thought is it revolves around leveraging systemic complexity against environmental complexity. The cooperative "good guys" would of course be more likely to share their insights, tools and processes; thus would be more likely to build complexity in the systems... and fortunately it would be normative complexity. Those less apt to share are likely to have more compartmental systems; and this is observed IRL. The normative complexity would of course be a natural risk management measure. For that, you could use a simple evolutionary model; but I think you're thinking of something a little more involved.
Humans naturally profile each other; with not only a personal profile, but also a more general behavioral profile to lump individuals into. That's where theory of mind results in grouping others into the uss and thems. It seems like this organizational model you're describing works in a similar way. The trick may be to cleverly count instances of cooperation like we humans do; in our game theoretical behaviors. Rather than it being a representative democratic model alone, it could also be a participatory democratic model as well; where participation and sharing is also counted. The trick would then be hardening the system. Unfortunately the not so good guys are always very smart at playing the system. We have of course made a lot of progress in 10,000 years of civilization though... through normative symbiosis.
Fascinating argument (and let it be said that for an initial sketch a bit of hand waiving is somewhat necessary), and to a very large extent I tend to agree, especially when treating multiversal systems. The size issue here is paramount.
I also would like to point that though this sketch deals with (super/hyper) systems behavior, it must also give way somehow to the forces of individuation.
I believe there is a threshold of balance between the prosocial and pro-uniqueness tendencies that allow the motion towards open mindedness to prevail in the long run.
Prosocial are more robust by all means but on the long run, on the short run (and in more confined environments) the odds are far from equilibrium.
Important thoughts, thanks.
Two points: 1) What era are you containing your analysis? Before globalization or after?
Regardless, I'd say the determining factor was 2) Always economic.
Before globalization, bad guys, who were leaders, could whip up and drive their military forces into surrounding areas to control and collect resources. These days, bad guys (Putin, Jong Un, Iran) who try to seed their evil into surrounding countries immediately feel the economic repercussions.
Capitalism, as awful as it is, is all about the current and future economic growth of the capitalists. And they, in turn, depend on their "good" guy reputation.