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Old 01-07-2004, 10:18 AM   #26
JasonB
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Quote:
Chris Birke wrote:
Reciprocity (and game theory) is effective only when the agents have a future of interactions with each other...In this way, superpopulation has begun to destroy the golden rule. We no longer live in small towns, for the most part. We deal with many strangers on a daily basis who we will never see again. Even if they live in the same city, with such massive cities, it's impossible not to have strangers...
Neat observation Chris, but I believe that the Golden Rule was created for exactly this situation.

The belief that one can get away with bad behavior due to anonymity is a morally immature one. It is true that individually within a large population, a person can display negative behavior toward strangers, repeatedly, without repercussion that is a direct result of their actions. However, most people have the moral maturity to understand that we are each individually responsible for the quality of the lives that surround us in a functioning society. It is mutually beneficial for each of us to act in a responsible way when interacting with strangers.

Acting in a morally responsible manner towards others fosters an environment where we all have the best possible chance for success. Increasing the opportunity for success of the strangers around you, in turn, increases our own chances for success. A morally responsible society creates the correct conditions for the law of "increasing returns".

So how do you initiate others in society to understand these ideas? How do you teach children the basic rules that will allow us all to benefit from society? With the Ten Commandments, the Code of Hamurabi, the Bill of Rights, the Magna Carta and the Golden Rule.

Applying "game theory" works within the conditions that there is anonymity and also that the outcome of the interaction is not going to be applied, repeatedly, within the context of a larger society.

As you said,
Quote:
There is a serious flaw,in applying game theory to daily interactions, [due to]the level of complexity in the system...Social things are much more complex than game theory.
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Old 01-07-2004, 05:05 PM   #27
Chris Birke
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Game theory take place only when actions are repeated en masse within a non anonymous society. I think it may be required that everyone have a better understanding of game theory such that it may be discussed.

http://www-personal.umich.edu/~axe/r...h/Evolving.pdf - Axelrod, author of The Evolution Of Cooperation

Without that, though, I can reply that the origional revelation of game theory (prisoners delimma) is that things such as Hamurabi's code and the 10 commandments are not required, they are emergent. In a closed society everyone (selfish thoughtless bastards included) will spontaneously be cooperative, because it creates the best returns. If you are not cooperative, you are punished by the tit for tat rule. If you are cooperative, you are rewarded by the tit for tat rule. That the morality of society is an emergent (and not pre planned) property is a key of extrapolating game theory to society.

I was pointing out that game theory then goes on to predict that when certain conditions are not met, this morality will cease to be created.

You say that in the long run it is more valuable not to betray, and while I agree to every extend that holds true within a small and closed society, I believe it is up for debate with regard to larger systems. The bible was not written with the internet in mind. Society has changed so much since withe the exponential growth in population and technology that these "laws" must be re-evaluated to see if they are not in fact simply trends. I would suspect morality to only be partially understood at this point in time.

That said, I will again disclaim that game theory is not "the only answer" and one needn't post reminding me of this fact. However, I do believe if it is to be discussed, it need be embraced and understood fully first.

Last edited by Chris Birke : 01-07-2004 at 05:14 PM.
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Old 01-07-2004, 09:34 PM   #28
JasonB
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That is the most eloquent series of personal put downs that I have ever been subjected to. Very well spoken. In reviewing my own comments, I don't know where I was going when I claimed that game theory does not function in an iterative fashion. I should probably stop trying to write about these things during quick breaks at work.

I assure you that I am familiar with game theory. I will also say that the paper referenced discusses game theory in the limited context of the non-anonymous society that you are describing. Game theory in all its application is in no way limited to this environment.

I prefer to think of game theory in terms of discreet decision-making units that are influenced by other discreet decision making units in addition to outside stimulus. Game theory itself puts no restrictions on the environment or the number or the nature of the other decision-making units. I think that it's possible that when the number of other discreet units becomes large enough their responses can, to some degree, be evaluated "en masse" in which case they become more like environmental variables. Of course, I arrived at that based on my own understanding of game theory rather than reading it in a paper so perhaps this small idea has no merit.

So, if game theory in the iterative sense relies on an evolutionary method, doesn't this evolutionary process require a vehicle for transferring learned strategies from one generation to another? In this case, examples like the Golden Rule are not emergent but are a necessary element of the biological, evolutionary application of game theory.

It has been a long time since I have studied these ideas in an academic environment so a lot of the polish has been lost from my arguments. On the other hand, life has taught me a few things that give me a broader understanding than I had when I first read papers. Here's one; as human populations grow they do not remain in giant faceless mega-groups. Human populations tend to humanize themselves by dividing into smaller groups within the larger population. These smaller groups can also be classified as discreet decision-making units for the purpose of study through game theory. Wheels inside of wheels.

In the end, we're just hoping for that Nash Equilibrium. (Except that, being fascinated by complexity theory, I dislike equilibriums.) However, in the final analysis I am guilty of gross error in my statements from the beginning. I never guessed that my thoughts would be review by someone as knowledgeable as yourself. I now bow out and concede that you have the superior understanding of this topic.
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Old 01-07-2004, 11:03 PM   #29
Chris Birke
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Hehe, sorry. I'm afraid I got defensive when you used my first name. I hope it doesn't ruin an interesting discussion, and I will work on being more polite!

You're absolutely right about game theory not being limited. I wasn't being clear and said game theory where I should have said Prisoners Delimma game theory.

With regard to the solution being evolutionary, I think the purpose of the discussion in that article was to point out that the tit for tat solution is very close to what "evolves" when genitic algorthms are used. It's implying that tit for tat is rougly the solution of social evolution, not that social evolution itself is predicated on tit for tat (if that makes any sense...). Does that mean the tit for tat (and the golden rule) are an unwritten part of social rule evolution (did the chicken come before the egg?), I don't know. But I think it must be just as valid to say that it is.

Last question, (and I guess the crux of my prior post), granted that these smaller groups exist - are they isolated enough in their interactions with eachother to maintain the conditions for the tit for tat rule to maintain equilibrium. Or, is society now at the point with information technology and travel that the number of strangers has ruined the playing field?

I will be quick to point out, that if the latter is the case, the golden rule needen't be abandoned as a basis (or even as an emergent property), it just must come from somewhere other than a simplistic Prisoners Delimma analysis of the situation.

To extrapolate, I would suspect that each individual is part of many games, some in which he has total agency, some in which he is only a statistical bias. For example, perhaps prisoners delimma games are taking place between cultures, between sub cultures, between in groups and out groups.

They are remembered through laws, through tradition, and through the collective memories of individuals.

If that is the case (and I think obiviously it is) than the moral manifestation of the simplistic tit for tat rule would have much further reaching implications. Thus, the golden rule cannot easily be brushed away.

I hope to some extent this is along the lines of what you were thinking? Please clarify.

Whatcha think of the discussion?
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Old 01-08-2004, 02:36 AM   #30
Ian Upstone
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Being my own simplistic prisoner, I extrapolate a lack of comprehension.
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Old 01-08-2004, 07:21 AM   #31
ian
 
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There is no aikido principle of 'calmness' and aikido is not about deferring to others. Most of these posts seem to take a very dichotomous view of relationships with 'good' and 'bad' people and behaviours. If you understand your own nature you can respond appropriately at the time; no-one else has the ability to judge what that will be.

Don't try and classify your lives into behavioural patterns, it's like trying to learn set techniques. The whole thing about blending really is to do what is appropriate at the time. Life can't be broken down into simple scenarios - change and adaptation is essential to correct response.

Ian

---understanding aikido is understanding the training method---
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Old 01-08-2004, 07:24 AM   #32
ian
 
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P.S. game theory is all very well for animals, but we are in the lucky position of realising that we will (all) die and therefore nothing matters ultimately. Thus we don't have to think in terms of gain and loss (except from a narrow psycholigcal viewpoint),

Ian

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Old 01-08-2004, 08:41 AM   #33
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So, Mr. Dodkins, you're saying that life is basically a zero-sum game played against ourselves?

I see through your argument though. While on the surface you seem to be validating the application of game theory to social interaction, in fact, you are making a clever argument for the Theory of Moves.

Although comparison of the two theories is common, I don't think that it's adequate to supplant one with the other in this case. Game theory focuses on decisions where the desired result is pre-determined while the theory of moves allows us to manipulate and determine the results of each iterative step as a means of influencing the decisions of the other units. By making "end result" a moving target in an open ended iterative process, the theory of moves makes a much better tool for evaluating decisions in real world situations but it becomes needlessly complex when taking into account larger populations in determining patterns in behavior. Unfortunately for your argument, I believe that pattern analysis of large population interaction is more useful for extrapolating individual common elements of the decision making process when the ultimate goal is the optimal result for both parties. One of these common reoccurring elements being, arguably, the Golden Rule.

You may, however, be suggesting that we have veered off onto a tangent and that the original question is better served by analysis using the ToM. Point well taken.

Mr. Birke, I would love to clarify my point but I will need a moment since Mr. Dodkin's argument has sent my mind spinning off the road. (Seriously, Mr. Dodkins, your point is well received.)
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Old 01-08-2004, 10:35 AM   #34
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In relation to the evolutionary process of identifying solutions to social interaction:

One thing that we should have learned about applying the evolutionary process is that it is an efficient means of arriving at fundamental solutions. As an example, it would be fair to say that if we encountered alien life in an environment similar to our own, there will be a high probability of encountering alien life that walks on two legs. Why? Because bi-pedal locomotion is a fundamental solution to the goal of movement within our environment.

So what "evolves" when genetic algorithms are applied to social models are the most basic, fundamental relationships of interaction. These concepts of "tit for tat" and the inevitable inverse rule, "due unto others", form the natural building blocks of complex behavior. When these simple rules combine with other simple rules what "emerges" as observable behavior is anything but simple.

Once basic "rules" are recognized as having a high probability of resulting in consistent desirable outcomes, these rules can be isolated and disseminated as being desirable. The Golden Rule is not meant to form the basis of your life philosophy, rather, it is identified as a natural rule of interaction that can be internalized and combined with other concepts so that it can be one element of the behavior that we display towards others. The Golden Rule is repeatedly reinforced in an attempt to give it a heavier weighting than other less desirable concepts. Laws, traditions and collective memories are the means of doing this.

As for the changing nature of society due to travel and the growing population; I do not believe that the growth of communication and the internet is resulting in greater isolation. I believe that what happens is that an individual's social group now has the opportunity to grow without respect to distance and culture. As this happens, individuals are less restricted in the variation and number of social groups that to which they may claim membership. Individuals now increasingly engage in complex social interaction with others that they will never physically meet, however, this does not equate to anonymity. The truly anonymous interactions occur when individuals travel through environments where they have not formed any social bonds. Such as, if I walked down a sidewalk in New York City. The important consideration is that the amount of time that I spend in these environments does not significantly increase as the population increases. It might be fair to say that ancient Incas, traveling through their city to the local temple, found themselves in a similar social environment to the one I find myself in as I walk down the streets of New York. What is significant is the fact that the recent changes in communication and technology may actually serve to decrease the amount of time that I spend in these environments.

As humans, we have extended our social exposure from clans to villages to cities and then continents but never at any step did we change the "types" of interactions to which we are exposed. As technology expands the reach of communication, it is ironic to think that we may be returning to the villages, though the individuals within those villages may be separated by vast distances.

Did I go off on a tanget? The point is that we apply our "game theory" in discreet social interactions, so the breadth and type of our social interactions is not a factor.
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Old 01-09-2004, 01:45 AM   #35
ian
 
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Hi Jason - I presume you are an ecologist! Not sure if many other readers will follow this thread, or whether we are deviating. I didn't mean to invalidate the use of game theory. However no doubt you will understand yourself several key points about an individuals response to their environment:

i. evolution has no 'aim' (i.e. it is not progressive) it is just adaptation to a continually changing environment (see The Red Queen, Matt Ridley)

ii. individuals are not perfectly adapted to their environment. The fact that we exist is only due to the fact that our biological parents were reproductively succesful - it does not mean we will be.

I think Richard Dawkins has done evolution a great disservice by discussing evolution in terms of 'success' without correct context. It is equivalent to saying oxygen is 'succesful' when you burn carbon because it binds to the carbon atoms. For evolution to occur there must be reproductive selection, therefore those who do not reproduce are just as valuable in evolution as those who do. (vis. yin/yang aspect) Thus fulfilling our own nature is more important than this narrow concept of 'success'. (though obviously our own nature may include a strong desire to be 'succesful')

Hope this provides a more scientific clarification of my point.

P.S. not sure what the theory of moves is, so I'm not qualified to comment.

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Old 01-09-2004, 10:34 AM   #36
JasonB
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Re: Aikido=Stand Down?

Quote:
Andy Orwig (actoman) wrote:
I have a recent inkling that I am way too nice to many people. Either they are intimidated by me, and I don't think they are, or I am too nice and outgoing for their arrogance to affect me.

I cant put my finger on it, but I feel that 'treat others how you would like to be treated' is out the window. I feel that if you are going to try to step on me, than I have the right if bad enough to try to step back on you. Right or Wrong?

I don't think that being nice and outgoing is such a bad thing. Others might see it as peeonish, but I don't and Aikido fits me to a t because of that nature.

Anything you want to add about assholes in the world and how to deal when you want to explode.?

Sorry, just venting
I hope that I have not been disrespectful to Andy's original question.

It seems that it is common to wonder how Aikido philosophy fits into normal social interaction outside of direct physical conflict. I think that it's interesting that general questions about attitude and action in social situations have been addressed in a scientific manner. This scientific exploration is based on young theories that are still developing.

It's refreshing to think in terms of quantifiable "action / reaction" rather than shrouding the question in more mystical and subjective terms. It is also rare to come across an individual like Mr. Birke online, who will allow me the latitude to talk like a geek and still feel like I'm being understood, if not agreed with.

I have enjoyed the oportunity to offer some ideas. It has not been my intention to seem arrogant or cryptic. I often hesitate before hitting that "submit" button. It is difficult to describe these ideas in a passive voice and I know that the impression that I am making is, often, not a positive one. I just wanted to say that I appreciate

the opportunity to present my thoughts and I hope that I have not offended anyone.
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Old 01-09-2004, 10:47 PM   #37
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Re: Re: Aikido=Stand Down?

Quote:
Jason Breitzman (JasonB) wrote:
I just wanted to say that I appreciate the opportunity to present my thoughts and I hope that I have not offended anyone.
I wasn't offended. I also couldn't figure out what the hell you were talking about most of the time

Bronson

"A pacifist is not really a pacifist if he is unable to make a choice between violence and non-violence. A true pacifist is able to kill or maim in the blink of an eye, but at the moment of impending destruction of the enemy he chooses non-violence."
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Old 01-13-2004, 02:36 AM   #38
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Thanks for all the great replies.

Still one question that plagues me, do we as beginners, in attempting to understand the aikido way (peace and problem solving without conflict), lack critical thinking, because we are somehow 'afraid' of causing conflict between another?

Sensei Andy Orwig, Ist dan
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Old 01-13-2004, 03:41 AM   #39
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Quote:
peace and problem solving without conflict
Andy, this is where I have a difference of opinion with both you and many others on this site. For me, aikido is resolving issues without escalating the level of conflict, not avoiding it to my own detriment. If conflict is part of the scenario, I don't fan the flames, but I don't avoid it or passively accept it. Also, compromise is not accepting the other's opinion and the route to compromise is often through conflict.

Yes, you can diffuse verbal aggression by refusing to acknowledge it's presence, but verbal equivalents of many aikido priciples are available and should be used (a verbal atemi is surely a valid response?)
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Old 01-13-2004, 05:44 AM   #40
Reuben Lee
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Well, 'keeping the peace with baddies' is a high call. I agree that it's the attitude we should have.

But Andy, can I read your question as 'how am I going to find the strength to do it' ?

Last edited by Reuben Lee : 01-13-2004 at 05:56 AM.
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Old 01-13-2004, 05:51 AM   #41
Reuben Lee
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Quote:
Ian Hurst (happysod) wrote:
Andy, this is where I have a difference of opinion with both you and many others on this site. For me, aikido is resolving issues without escalating the level of conflict, not avoiding it to my own detriment. If conflict is part of the scenario, I don't fan the flames, but I don't avoid it or passively accept it. Also, compromise is not accepting the other's opinion and the route to compromise is often through conflict.

Yes, you can diffuse verbal aggression by refusing to acknowledge it's presence, but verbal equivalents of many aikido priciples are available and should be used (a verbal atemi is surely a valid response?)
\

I have to go with this. Aikido does teach you how to defend yourself without agression, does it not ?
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Old 01-13-2004, 06:01 AM   #42
indomaresa
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examples of verbal atemi:

1. STOP!

2. HALT!

3. THANK YOU!

4. WATCH OUT! BEHIND YOU!

5. Here's 5$, go buy something pretty...

6. I've got a gun pointed at you from inside my pocket!

7. have we met before? I think I recognizes you from somewhere. Did you enroll in any anger-management class lately? because you really seem familiar....

are these correct? I imagine some of them will ignite the agressor instead.

Agression takes time to build up, using verbal atemi to cause mind 'kuzushi' is quite possible. Can bluffs and lies be used as verbal atemi? Is it ok?

I think meeting agression head on is necessary and sometimes unavoidable. The purpose of aikido as we know it however, is to bring a non-harmful end to a conflict.

Before we reached a level where we are comfortable with and can do so with ease, we can only try to attempt such an outcome.

Until then, I'll use my technical vocabulary to end conflicts.

The road is long...
The path is steep...
So hire a guide to show you the shortcuts
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Old 01-13-2004, 06:12 AM   #43
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verbal atemi examples on traffic stops 1. mornin maam/sir (dont say good morning, it will illicit a response such as "its not such a good morning now that you've stopped me!"
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Old 01-13-2004, 06:20 AM   #44
happysod
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Quote:
Until then, I'll use my technical vocabulary to end conflicts
Aha, the famous "bore them into submission" technique (can I have no. 5 please)
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Old 01-13-2004, 06:20 AM   #45
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2. I am officer (your name) from(your dept) this identifies you and who you represent to the violator. 3. the reason that i stopped you today is....,this gives the violator no wiggle room, it pulls out the carpet from under them because they have now been fully advised of why they were stopped(I did observe you run the light at 8th and jones drive..ex.) 4.is there any lawful justification for why you did this sir/maam? now they will tell you their excuses,lies,emergencies etc,etc. but at least you are asking and now can hear their reasons prior to making a decision to search,seize,cite, arrest warn etc,etc.. 5. after above decision is reached the driver is advised, "drive safely sir/maam" , never "have a good day"-especially after a ticket is issued-this is merely fuel for the fire. in closing these steps if used correctly with a respectful tone can and have saved my life on several occasions. later.
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Old 01-13-2004, 08:27 AM   #46
erikmenzel
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Aikido begins and ends with humbleness and courtesy. This does however not mean you should take shit.

Erik Jurrien Menzel
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