virus: Re: virus: Have a Coke and a Smile!

Re: virus: Have a Coke and a Smile!
Thu, 4 Mar 1999 16:21:43 EST

In a message dated 3/4/99 3:36:15 AM Central Standard Time, writes:

<< David McFadzean wrote:

>By claiming to be rational you are
>telling the world that you are willing to change your mind. Think about
>it, anyone can *change your mind*. Isn't that scary? Just by following
>these reasonably simple rules, you can affect my belief system, my
>actions, the way I look at the world. Think of the games you can play
>when you play by those rules.

What assurance does one have that their opponent will stick to those rules, though? Especially if they have yet to demonstrate the ability to change their mind on anything thus far?>>

  1. Why "opponent"? Do you think this is a zero-sum game?
  2. You can check the other person's thinking, even if you don't think that they will change their mind.
  3. Your "opponent" (assuming they are irrational and playing zero sum), may indeed cause your mind to change, but may not be able to predict HOW your mind is changed (especially if they are being irrational).
  4. For these reasons it is not necessary for anybody to demonstrate a change of mind for you to benefit from the game. In fact it is not necessary that everybody else even be completely rational, though the more rational they are the more there is to gain through engagement.
  5. Finally, changing your mind on any given issue is not necessarily evidence of rationality, and some changes of mind can even be characterized as irrational. Not changing your mind on anything ever is probably evidence of at least some irrationality, but is not necessarily evidence of complete irrationality.

>>Is this another Prisoner's Dilemma, David? If so, what's the best strategy?

And would showing that you can change your mind--in other words, being visibly inconsisent in your own views over time--be a useful tactic to get more players to join the game?<<

It might. Though it isn't the only tactic. I personally just try to make sense and listen - I find that changing or not changing my mind takes care of itself if I do that. If I see somebody changing their mind too radically or too many times, I begin to suspect that they may not be really thinking too hard about things. Evolutionary systems, while dynamic, tend to not be chaotic on the whole.