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A Beautiful Mind

Game Theory Applied to Morality

Posted on 2019.06.07 at 08:43


dentin at 2019-06-08 18:16 (UTC) (Link)
A number of years ago, I realized that game theory provided the answer to one of the major questions I had about myself: why, given that I am extremely self centered and only do things for myself and my own personal gain, do I appear to do "nice" things from the outside?

TL/DR - because the society we live in is a positive sum game if we cooperate, and because I have a long time horizon. If I integrate over a long enough time period, even the smallest of positive sums become virtually guaranteed. Similarly, defecting becomes virtually guaranteed to leave me in a worse place than if I were to cooperate.

What's the difference between me and a heroin addict on the street? The length of the time integration. If you can only see to your next fix, you might as well flip a coin. If you can see to the next hundred years, the "correct answer" becomes more obvious.
ehowton at 2019-06-12 19:29 (UTC) (Link)
Brilliantly put. You've distilled it down quite nicely since our last conversation on this subject. I trust you are doing well :)
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