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[ba-unrev-talk] Evolution, cooperation, and P2P

What I just found at slashDot goes like this:
": "Some Swiss economists ran an investment game... they found that if the 
majority could punish freeloaders, cooperation flourished. I think this has 
implications for cooperative peer-to-peer systems and, to a lesser extent, 
for open source development. I'm so inspired I plan to go out an punish 
someone right now, as a matter of fact." I had just read this article the 
other day (go memepool), so this Nature piece seems oddly apropos."    (01)

Following the links, one gets the following two hits, which, I think, offer 
some useful insights.    (02)

http://www.thegamesjournal.com/articles/Aggression.shtml Aggression in 
multi-player games
"Imagine that you're playing a game of Settlers and you are the first 
player. You roll a seven, where do you place the robber?
A couple of months ago several members of the Spielfrieks discussion group 
argued that it was insanity to not use every opportunity to use the robber 
to handicap opponents and steal their resources even at the start of the game.
At the early stages of the game I disagree. Here's why:"    (03)

"Cooperation can flourish if the public-spirited majority can punish 
freeloaders, say Swiss economists. People will pay to punish - suggesting 
that their notions of fairness outweigh selfish considerations. The work 
may help explain why people cooperate in society.
In an investment game with shared profits, players punish those who do not 
contribute to the group's good, despite the personal cost. The emotional 
satisfaction of dispensing justice seems to spur them on: "People say, 'I 
like to punish'," says Ernst Fehr of the University of Zurich.
The fear of being fined keeps potential defectors in line, and the power to 
punish gives willing cooperators a sense of security. These dynamics may 
explain why early humans banded together into cooperative groups for 
hunting or warfare. "    (04)

I would like to suggest comparing these outcomes to the discussion in the 
book _Global Brain: The Evolution of Mass Mind from the Big Bang to the 
21st Century_ by Howard Bloom, a book that I am perhaps a third of the way 
through now.  Bloom argues that, in evolution, *individual selection*, as 
advocated by neo Darwinists today, is wrong, and that *group selection* is 
more strongly evidenced in the record.    (05)

And why, you might ask, do I mention this here? Simply because the entire 
OHS/DKR thesis is predicated on evolutionary thinking; evolution of both 
the capabilities of collections of humans, and of the software 
infrastructure to support those enhanced capabilities.  The more points of 
view we can access while thinking through OHS/DKR projects, the higher, I 
think, our chances of measurable success (whatever that means).    (06)

Jack    (07)