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Comment by clymbon on Prisoner's Dilemma Tournament Results · 2011-09-12T18:53:20.831Z · score: -3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

What to make of "Prisoner's Dillema" as an analogy for life and society? Some people see it as a close analogy for life, and use it to explain why it's so hard to get individuals to cooperate for mutual benefit, rather than acting in narrow self-interest. But this is missing something extremely important. That is, the ability of the players to change the rules. In fact, prisoners do exactly that. If you "defect" and rat out your partner in crime, you may get a reduced sentence, but you're likely to be marked as a "snitch" and punished by the other prisoners. Society is full of examples like this - groups act to "change the rules" to increase the motivation to cooperate or decrease the motivation to "defect".

Comment by clymbon on The Virtue of Narrowness · 2011-09-12T18:43:36.356Z · score: -3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

This is silly. Generalizations are important. Generalizations that overlook important specific cases are a mistake. Not exactly a "deep" thought here!