Re: virus: The Prisoner's Dilemma

David McFadzean (
Wed, 17 Feb 1999 23:02:04 -0700

-----Original Message-----
From: Deron Stewart <>
To: '' <> Date: Wednesday, February 17, 1999 1:35 PM Subject: virus: The Prisoner's Dilemma

>In the case of the P.D. one of the implicitly held beliefs is "acting
>rationally is always best". This has been seriously called into question by
>game theory (I won't attempt to justify that statement right now so it's an
>"out" for anyone who wants to take it). Logic remains intact. Reason is

I take a very different lesson from the P.D. I think it shows that the rationality of a given action changes with the context of the situation. Something that seems rational in a limited view may be irrational when seen from a different (wider/higher/larger) perspective, which is why vision is a Virian virtue.

This is what John Ralston Saul was writing about in "Voltaire's Bastards" (and disingenuously goes on to attack reason in general, arguing instead for common sense as if that was different in kind). The 2 books below are on my reading list, and I'm hoping they have a great deal to say on the matter.

The Evolution of Cooperation by Robert Axelrod <>

The Origins of Virtue by Matt Ridley