Re: virus: Have a Coke and a Smile!

David McFadzean (
Thu, 4 Mar 1999 23:28:04 -0700

-----Original Message-----
From: Tim Rhodes <> Date: Thursday, March 04, 1999 2:28 AM

>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?

There are no assurances. One of the interesting aspects of the game is that it is sometimes difficult to tell what rules (if any) the other player is using. I've been fooled many times, thinking I was having a rational conversation when it was not. But what can you do, reason with them? :-) It's frustrating, but still worth a try because when it does work, when the players reason together, learn and grow, it is brilliant.

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

Always cooperate first. If it turns out the other player is playing a different game, either switch games or move on. I've rarely found it useful to implore them to follow the rationality game rules.

>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?

I don't know. I've changed my mind on some fairly fundamental issues through discussion on this list (e.g. absolute truth). Did that have any noticeable effect?