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Re: The Prisoner's Dilemma

Brian (philidor11@snet.net) wrote:

<I think it worth noting that the participants in this game must 

 - remember the prior situation and outcome 
 - identify prior activities as strategies and
 - determine success/failure, with the strategy identified as the cause in
order to decide that the prior activity should be repeated. 
  This is a rational, choice-directed model.
  Any animal using this approach is responding to ideas, no?>

  Yes. I failed to note that the authors work in a system where they
beleive the choices are genetically driven, and this I think is a failure
of the model, for if choice was involved, inheritance of cooperation can
only work in a teaching environment among independant intellects. The
other creature must have the ability to resist the obligation of a gene.
If it is genetic, we have no choice, and a mental state of left or right
is irrelevant: it will always go the predetermined, genetic path, and the
model intrinsically fails without mutation favoring another direction (not
discussed). This I see as a conflict to their premise as a chocie-based
system when applied to such social-order animals as insects, etc. However,
the authors describe other forms of implicated sources for cooperation,
which I would not go into too much detail, but the system provided for
bats, eusocial insects, hawks and doves (they call this the Chicken Game
or the Hawk--Dove Game) would be genetic, as insect drones immediately
begin their task upon emergence and drying from the cell in which they
developed. That it is the Prisoner's Dilemma is innately coupled with
humans, and the idea that choice has a genetic influence is in my mind
walking on very thin ice. Pickering wrote about using the Prisonner's
Dilemma along with other mathematical models, but it must be a given that
in any system where choice is involved, a mathematical model like game
theory is not compatible in that it involves a set number of intrinsic
data that are constrained by themselves, but choice has no constraint.

  To describe this, I will draw upon an allegory:

  You are walking down a path, and you come across a bear. What you have
before you is a decision, but this is not simple: you may either
  1) run away
  2) stand your ground, hope the bear moves away
  3) attempt to go around the bear
  4) attack the bear with the stick or
  5) throw the stick and hope to distract the bear

  Given these variables, and perhaps there are more, each condition allows
a new set of variables to form, involving a quantum universe where the
possibilities are infinite. Mathematical models constrain choice to given
data, and though this is science, their results to creatures must be given
as limited in scope and to interpretation.


Jaime A. Headden

  Little steps are often the hardest to take.  We are too used to making leaps 
in the face of adversity, that a simple skip is so hard to do.  We should all 
learn to walk soft, walk small, see the world around us rather than zoom by it.

"Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969)

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