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Maps Mania: 5...4...3...2...1 Ignition - Launch SpaceX in 3D
Gamification, sort of off (just without the actual game element..)
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3 days ago by psychemedia
Prisoner's dilemma - Wikipedia
caveat to result below:
An extension of the IPD is an evolutionary stochastic IPD, in which the relative abundance of particular strategies is allowed to change, with more successful strategies relatively increasing. This process may be accomplished by having less successful players imitate the more successful strategies, or by eliminating less successful players from the game, while multiplying the more successful ones. It has been shown that unfair ZD strategies are not evolutionarily stable. The key intuition is that an evolutionarily stable strategy must not only be able to invade another population (which extortionary ZD strategies can do) but must also perform well against other players of the same type (which extortionary ZD players do poorly, because they reduce each other's surplus).[14]

Theory and simulations confirm that beyond a critical population size, ZD extortion loses out in evolutionary competition against more cooperative strategies, and as a result, the average payoff in the population increases when the population is bigger. In addition, there are some cases in which extortioners may even catalyze cooperation by helping to break out of a face-off between uniform defectors and win–stay, lose–switch agents.[8]

Iterated Prisoner's Dilemma is an Ultimatum Game:
The history of IPD shows that bounded cognition prevented the dominant strategies from being discovered for over over 60 years, despite significant attention from game theorists, computer scientists, economists, evolutionary biologists, etc. Press and Dyson have shown that IPD is effectively an ultimatum game, which is very different from the Tit for Tat stories told by generations of people who worked on IPD (Axelrod, Dawkins, etc., etc.).


For evolutionary biologists: Dyson clearly thinks this result has implications for multilevel (group vs individual selection):
... Cooperation loses and defection wins. The ZD strategies confirm this conclusion and make it sharper. ... The system evolved to give cooperative tribes an advantage over non-cooperative tribes, using punishment to give cooperation an evolutionary advantage within the tribe. This double selection of tribes and individuals goes way beyond the Prisoners' Dilemma model.

implications for fractionalized Europe vis-a-vis unified China?

and more broadly does this just imply we're doomed in the long run RE: cooperation, morality, the "good society", so on...? war and group-selection is the only way to get a non-crab bucket civilization?

Iterated Prisoner’s Dilemma contains strategies that dominate any evolutionary opponent:

analogy for ultimatum game: the state gives the demos a bargain take-it-or-leave-it, and...if the demos refuses...violence?
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5 days ago by nhaliday
Altruism in a volatile world | Nature
The evolution of altruism—costly self-sacrifice in the service of others—has puzzled biologists1 since The Origin of Species. For half a century, attempts to understand altruism have developed around the concept that altruists may help relatives to have extra offspring in order to spread shared genes2. This theory—known as inclusive fitness—is founded on a simple inequality termed Hamilton’s rule2. However, explanations of altruism have typically not considered the stochasticity of natural environments, which will not necessarily favour genotypes that produce the greatest average reproductive success3,4. Moreover, empirical data across many taxa reveal associations between altruism and environmental stochasticity5,6,7,8, a pattern not predicted by standard interpretations of Hamilton’s rule. Here we derive Hamilton’s rule with explicit stochasticity, leading to new predictions about the evolution of altruism. We show that altruists can increase the long-term success of their genotype by reducing the temporal variability in the number of offspring produced by their relatives. Consequently, costly altruism can evolve even if it has a net negative effect on the average reproductive success of related recipients. The selective pressure on volatility-suppressing altruism is proportional to the coefficient of variation in population fitness, and is therefore diminished by its own success. Our results formalize the hitherto elusive link between bet-hedging and altruism4,9,10,11, and reveal missing fitness effects in the evolution of animal societies.
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9 days ago by nhaliday
Building a charter database 4: agent attributes and relationships | The Making of Charlemagne's Europe
Posted: Dec. 8, 2014, 9:43 a.m. by Many charters include explicit information about agents (individuals, groups and institutions) that is of interest to record. via Pocket
classification  dev  models  people  prosopography 
10 days ago by kintopp
In mainstream social and economic theory, a human being is understood as a mechanistic automaton driven by individual self-interest and governed by impersonal laws of nature and rules of behaviorism. Human automata are subject to conditioning on the basis of individual self-interest, which is a function of the individual’s pleasure and happiness, freedom from want, pain, and sadness, and standards of biological fitness including survival and reproduction, all of which inhabit a standardized economy with a monetary metric. Man is thus simplistically viewed as an economic agent subject to monetary control, through centralization of which the entire future of mankind can in principle be mechanistically determined by the calculated pushing of buttons. Obviously, this dualistic view of man represents a complete negation of human dignity and sovereignty, reducing the human race to cattle. It is also incompatible with any kind of religion other than that referred to by Marx as an “opiate of the masses”.


Dualism has precipitated a dualistic and therefore dissociative crisis of human identity which, by impeding the spiritual level of human self-identification, amounts to a crisis of spirituality. This crisis has metastasized into the socio-political and economic realms, where philosophical dualism has been cynically and sometimes catastrophically exploited. Even as people are assured that their interests are of primary importance by government, corporate, and institutional leaders, they are more often viewed and treated as common and therefore disposable stimulus-response machines, of no greater value than other readily available forms of matter.

Societies are cybernetic; they are control-and-communication feedback loops in which top-down control tends to increase over time. Absent religious opposition, governments increasingly behave like malevolent egregores, using secrecy, disinformation, indoctrination, coercion, and conditioning to control their citizens. Even religion itself may be used to such ends; for example, ecumenical and interfaith conferences and councils nominally dedicated to a millennial religious reformation or synthesis may be controlled by those preferring to shape human identity rather than comprehend it … to “remodel” man at their administrative or personal convenience. Secular control, facilitated by mutual suppression of divergent ideologies, masquerades as religious unification in the absence of coherent scientific, philosophical, or theological opposition.


On one side is the Human Singularity, a mass realization of the expansive spiritual identity of the human species. Basically, this is the mass spiritual awakening that we have been led to expect by, e.g., certain currents in “New Age” thought. The prototype for this kind of singularity is the Omega Point of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, representing an evolutionary terminus and divine spiritual unification event through which mankind, and reality itself, will achieve “Christ-Consciousness” and be forever transformed. (After its introduction by Teilhard, the concept was developed by various authors, ironically including a few science-oriented, ostensibly tech-minded authors like Frank Tipler and David Deutsch.)

On the other side is the Tech Singularity, seminally formulated by the celebrated mathematician John von Neumann as the approaching juncture at which "technological progress will become incomprehensively rapid and complicated”, prior to which “the ever-accelerating progress of technology ... gives the appearance of approaching some essential singularity [italicized for emphasis] in the history of the race beyond which human affairs, as we know them, could not continue" (Ulam, 1958). In short, von Neumann foresaw an uncontrollable technological quickening, a sudden acceleration of complexity followed by the transformation (or extinction) of humanity.

Most discussions of the Tech Singularity have been naive to the point of disingenuity, boiling down to starry-eyed encomiums to the power of human intelligence to inventively couple with reality on the physical level of being using technological marvels both real and imagined, including implants, prosthetics, genetic engineering, virtual realities, and above all, a merging of human intelligence with AI. The problem with such discussions is that they seem to inhabit a socioeconomic and political vacuum, whereas in fact, the singularity concept is fraught with worrisome complications involving economic and sociopolitical factors apart from which it cannot be properly evaluated.

The Human and Tech Singularities relate to each other by a kind of duality; the former is extended and spacelike, representing the even distribution of spiritual and intellectual resources over the whole of mankind, while the latter is a compact, pointlike concentration of all resources in the hands of just those who can afford full access to the best and most advanced technology. Being opposed to each other with respect to the distribution of the resources of social evolution, they are also opposed with respect to the structure of society; symmetric distribution of the capacity for effective governance corresponds to a social order based on individual freedom and responsibility, while extreme concentration of the means of governance leads to a centralized, hive-like system at the center of which resides an oligarchic concentration of wealth and power, with increasing scarcity elsewhere due to the addictive, self-reinforcing nature of privilege. (Note that this differs from the usual understanding of individualism, which is ordinarily associated with capitalism and juxtaposed with collectivism; in fact, both capitalism and collectivism, as they are monopolistically practiced on the national and global scales, lead to oligarchy and a loss of individuality for the vast majority of people. A Human Singularity is something else entirely, empowering individuals rather than facilitating their disempowerment.)

The existence of two possible singularities presupposes a point of bifurcation or divergence beyond which the evolutionary momentum of mankind must carry it. Presently, all of the momentum belongs to the Tech Singularity; it is preferred by the financial, corporate, and governmental interests which drive the general economy. This momentum is reinforced by the seeming unavailability of alternatives, i.e., the nonexistence of any other track onto which society might be steered in order to escape an oligarchical AI lockdown. It is one thing for humankind to awaken en masse to its impending enslavement through a seemingly inevitable Tech Singularity; it is quite another to have a superior alternative clearly in view.

In order to reach any alternate destination whatsoever, humanity must understand what has been driving it toward the Tech Singularity. At this point, the reason is clear: the virtually automatic concentration of wealth and power, which has been observed to occur under both capitalism and socialism, fractionates humanity into an overclass and an underclass between which all else is crushed out of existence as though by the jaws of a vise. That is, the top and bottom levels of society become the jaws of a vise which, due to the screwing down of the upper jaw against the anvil-like lower jaw, crushes the middle class and all meaningful competition out of existence, thus normalizing the hive through the economic, physical, and psychological standardization of its drones and workers.

For reasons that should by now be evident, let us call this process a “parasitic divergence” – i.e., an organized divergence of humanity into a parasitic overclass and a relatively impoverished underclass serving as its mind-controlled host, mirroring the gruesome effects of certain obligate parasites on the organisms they attack - and acknowledge that it is driven by the self-reinforcing and therefore accelerating acquisition of wealth, power, and technological control by the rich. Left to run away with itself, this process ultimately leads to a "singular" concentration of wealth and power ... a kind of sociopolitical-economic "black hole" that never stops gravitating. As the top jaw of the vise grows smaller, denser, and stronger, the bottom jaw grows larger and weaker; and as human utility becomes increasingly concentrated, every significant increase in the wealth of the overclass translates into a greater amount of misery for the underclass, arbitrarily diminishing the net utility of mankind.
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11 days ago by nhaliday

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