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Be Nice

JeffreyJeffrey Veteran Veteran

https://heritage.umich.edu/stories/the-prisoners-dilemma/#chapter_5

^ talks about the famous "prisoners dilemma" and investigates it with computer designed simulations that happened in late 70s game theory.

And ends with:

Avoid unnecessary conflict by cooperating as long as your opponent does;
If your opponent betrays you without provocation, respond in kind — once;
Then forgive the betrayal and cooperate again;
Be clear and predictable. That is, always follow steps 1, 2 and 3, so your opponent comes to know how you act and can plan on that basis.

personlobster

Comments

  • personperson Don't believe everything you think the void Veteran
    edited September 29

    I heard about that programming contest to come up with the optimum "good" strategy. Its kind of surprising how well it applies to real life. "Be nice. Be ready to forgive. But don’t be a pushover."

    I heard about it here, you might find it interesting. Two versions of the same show.

    https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/radiolab/episodes/103951-the-good-show

    Jeffrey
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    Respond in kind, once... I wonder about that. My previous landlady declined to return my security deposit, for no reason and illegally, which was the last time i was called upon to “respond in kind”, and I could have taken her to court, but I couldn’t find it in my conscience to do so.

    It’s one of those things, what to do in practice when confronted with a situation like that. Do you contribute to the suffering in the world, to get back that money, or do you make a sacrifice for the greater good?

  • personperson Don't believe everything you think the void Veteran

    I was kind of wondering about when this might apply. In the programming contest differing strategies went against each other repeatedly rather than just once or twice. So there would be feedback and response. Many of our interactions in the real world aren't with people who we would have repeated interactions with so it probably wouldn't have the same outcome. It seems like family, friends, coworkers, these type of people would be best.

    The organizational psychologist and author Adam Grant divides the world up into 25% takers, 25% givers and 50% matchers (reciprocater). The most successful people and the least successful people are both in the giver group. The difference between the two is that the successful people are able to avoid and resist the takers, their kindness isn't being taken advantage of.

    lobster
  • personperson Don't believe everything you think the void Veteran

    @Kerome said:
    Respond in kind, once... I wonder about that. My previous landlady declined to return my security deposit, for no reason and illegally, which was the last time i was called upon to “respond in kind”, and I could have taken her to court, but I couldn’t find it in my conscience to do so.

    It’s one of those things, what to do in practice when confronted with a situation like that. Do you contribute to the suffering in the world, to get back that money, or do you make a sacrifice for the greater good?

    I think intention can play an important role in situations like this. You can still respond in kind from a place of compassion and the greater good. Your intention wouldn't have to be out of anger to get your money but could be out of a sense of standing up for what is right or your own sense of self worth or maybe an idea that it isn't good for your landlady herself to feel she can always just take advantage of people.

    You are a being worthy of dignity and respect just as much as any other. I like to make the distinction that we should try to love others AS ourselves, rather than INSTEAD of ourselves.

    adamcrossleylobster
  • personperson Don't believe everything you think the void Veteran
    edited September 29

    I'm listening to that podcast again and they're on the prisoner's dilemma and made the point that if we only interact with someone once in that scenario then it makes the most sense from a strategically selfish point of view to defect or cheat or be mean. So in our large, complex and often anonymous society many people seem to have found that they can get away with being a taker because they don't have to interact with their "takees" again. Having a public image such as a business allows them to develop a reputation which is a sort of repeated public interaction, but that can often be gamed to some degree or another.

    It seems to me that in our ancestor's smaller scale, tribal societies the cheats and freeloaders wouldn't be able to get away with their behavior without being noticed. Today in our large and anonymous societies we have trouble enforcing our instinctive interpersonal system of reciprocity and kindness. Ideally we'd do our best to write laws and regulations but on one hand they are often one size fits all and impose high costs and restrictions on the sizes that don't fit them and on the other hand people with influence are able to manipulate the laws to be more favorable to themselves than others.

    Anyway, it still seems like good advice on a practical, personal level.

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    @person said:

    @Kerome said:
    Respond in kind, once... I wonder about that. My previous landlady declined to return my security deposit, for no reason and illegally, which was the last time i was called upon to “respond in kind”, and I could have taken her to court, but I couldn’t find it in my conscience to do so.

    It’s one of those things, what to do in practice when confronted with a situation like that. Do you contribute to the suffering in the world, to get back that money, or do you make a sacrifice for the greater good?

    I think intention can play an important role in situations like this. You can still respond in kind from a place of compassion and the greater good. Your intention wouldn't have to be out of anger to get your money but could be out of a sense of standing up for what is right or your own sense of self worth or maybe an idea that it isn't good for your landlady herself to feel she can always just take advantage of people.

    You are a being worthy of dignity and respect just as much as any other. I like to make the distinction that we should try to love others AS ourselves, rather than INSTEAD of ourselves.

    I found it really difficult to cope with. I was the wronged party, it was a fair amount of money (2000 euro’s), and not too much trouble to engage a debt collection service to do the hard work of chasing payment. Still I couldn’t do it. It was like “would you want to be chased for money by these people?” Do you think you are raising the overall happiness of the world?

    It was a confrontation between a number of tendencies in my brain, on the one hand scrooginess and care with money, and on the other hand compassion, generosity, not wanting to let money always get the upper hand in a conversation, and (importantly) laziness.

  • personperson Don't believe everything you think the void Veteran

    @Kerome said:

    @person said:

    @Kerome said:
    Respond in kind, once... I wonder about that. My previous landlady declined to return my security deposit, for no reason and illegally, which was the last time i was called upon to “respond in kind”, and I could have taken her to court, but I couldn’t find it in my conscience to do so.

    It’s one of those things, what to do in practice when confronted with a situation like that. Do you contribute to the suffering in the world, to get back that money, or do you make a sacrifice for the greater good?

    I think intention can play an important role in situations like this. You can still respond in kind from a place of compassion and the greater good. Your intention wouldn't have to be out of anger to get your money but could be out of a sense of standing up for what is right or your own sense of self worth or maybe an idea that it isn't good for your landlady herself to feel she can always just take advantage of people.

    You are a being worthy of dignity and respect just as much as any other. I like to make the distinction that we should try to love others AS ourselves, rather than INSTEAD of ourselves.

    I found it really difficult to cope with. I was the wronged party, it was a fair amount of money (2000 euro’s), and not too much trouble to engage a debt collection service to do the hard work of chasing payment. Still I couldn’t do it. It was like “would you want to be chased for money by these people?” Do you think you are raising the overall happiness of the world?

    It was a confrontation between a number of tendencies in my brain, on the one hand scrooginess and care with money, and on the other hand compassion, generosity, not wanting to let money always get the upper hand in a conversation, and (importantly) laziness.

    There's merit in being able to let things go, I may have just done the same because I wouldn't want to deal with the stress of it and that would be the end of it.

    I think maybe it is more important to take a stand in relationships that are ongoing. If you still had to deal with your landlady letting it go would just give her permission to do it more. That wouldn't be good for you or her.

    The programming contest had each of the strategies engage with each other 200 times, so it really is only tested on repeated interactions.

  • personperson Don't believe everything you think the void Veteran

    @Kerome said:

    @person said:

    @Kerome said:
    Respond in kind, once... I wonder about that. My previous landlady declined to return my security deposit, for no reason and illegally, which was the last time i was called upon to “respond in kind”, and I could have taken her to court, but I couldn’t find it in my conscience to do so.

    It’s one of those things, what to do in practice when confronted with a situation like that. Do you contribute to the suffering in the world, to get back that money, or do you make a sacrifice for the greater good?

    I think intention can play an important role in situations like this. You can still respond in kind from a place of compassion and the greater good. Your intention wouldn't have to be out of anger to get your money but could be out of a sense of standing up for what is right or your own sense of self worth or maybe an idea that it isn't good for your landlady herself to feel she can always just take advantage of people.

    You are a being worthy of dignity and respect just as much as any other. I like to make the distinction that we should try to love others AS ourselves, rather than INSTEAD of ourselves.

    I found it really difficult to cope with. I was the wronged party, it was a fair amount of money (2000 euro’s), and not too much trouble to engage a debt collection service to do the hard work of chasing payment. Still I couldn’t do it. It was like “would you want to be chased for money by these people?” Do you think you are raising the overall happiness of the world?

    It was a confrontation between a number of tendencies in my brain, on the one hand scrooginess and care with money, and on the other hand compassion, generosity, not wanting to let money always get the upper hand in a conversation, and (importantly) laziness.

    In my work I sometimes make mistakes or things don't always go right. I used to be glad when people wouldn't notice or say anything, it isn't pleasant if they criticize me or my work. What I've come to realize and appreciate over the years is that when people do get on me about correcting my mistakes or doing better, is that it makes me better at what I do. I take more care to do things right than I do when people just let it go, I learn more, I'm more conscientious.

    Most people wouldn't want to be chased by debt collectors. Is it kinder though to let them continue with bad behavior, harming themselves and others, or is it kinder to put up some resistance so they start to think twice about what they are doing?

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