Game Theory vs Self-Organization
The outcomes of Game Theoretical behavior have been demonstrated to produce effects that fall short of what is generally desired. Many would argue that this suggests that humans are naturally greedy. This however isn’t what Behavioral Science has shown.
We like to think that our life is constructed on a long line of choices; however the evidence concerning it appears to be iffy at best. For instance, consider Dr. Mate’s statement about the power addiction that could be associated with being a board member of a large corporation. The maximization of profit can be considered as a consequence of responsibility to ones stockholders. This however doesn’t mean that the choice to be in that situation isn’t relevant. Taking it even a step farther, the choice to employ a non-corporate model isn’t as likely to produce success; as the corporate model is capable of producing a more favorable price point. Corporations have been winning against small businesses for decades now; because of this. This however doesn’t suggest that the choice to run a business under these conditions is irrelevant. It also cast a shadow of doubt on the notion that it’s actually a choice; since there are so many social and economic pressures to contend with.
It’s common to try to simplify arguments to second order logic in the explanations of them. The rigor that goes into constructing the argument however goes into higher orders. For instance, considering the implications of second order logic produces third order logic an so on. This becomes a more complex task; that is easy to complicate. The social pressures that tend to complicate this process are often political and financial; and are also often based in more impulsive responses. This is where higher orders of logic — or to be more precise, lack there of — can become more of a manipulative influence; as opposed to a more cooperative one. This is not only found in business models but it is also taught in the educational system. This is of course a large problem. The Randian implications here are centered around individualism; which is being shown to be fundamentally fallacious.
What is found in normative behaviors that are associated with selection pressures is cooperation. This is probably the engine of self-organization. Being cooperative with a critical mass of subsystems appears to be what produces fit systems. Part of being self-interested is the subsystem being interested in the health of the system that supports it. Extinction and existential risk are naturally part of the equation.
The lack of third or even fourth order logic concerning the implications of our models could have severe consequences. Financial influence on political policies is obscuring the environmental awareness that is required for an individual to make informed decisions. This isn’t necessarily a danger of centralized decision making; however the initial conditions are promoting this outcome. It’s in essence, maximizing Entropy while promoting the absence of Normalization. This could be considered dangerous as it is an algorithm for extinction or existential risk. For this reason, it appears that the model is fundamentally flawed. Self-interest, by the very laws of nature cannot be both individualistic and an example of fitness in the same instance. Interest must scale to the supporting systems in order to minimize risk. This would be a much more viable model for an economic system.
The operative concept may be that predispositions to behaviors should be accounted for. This doesn’t necessarily mean that they should be manipulated; however it is easy to argue that that is clearly the case now. Rather, employing negative utility concerning that which hinders natural self-organization might bring about the most desired effect. Humans have already been endowed with the ability to be cooperative by millions upon millions of years of selection pressure. I would contend that artifacts of complication may be our most concerning issue. Working toward locating and removing these aspects of the social model, rather than trying fruitlessly to control the environment and having great expectations on human behavior might be the more rational approach.
Rather than trying to figure out how to coordinate, realizing that we are predisposed to coordinating behaviors under very naturalized circumstances might bring about an approach that would in turn produce the desired effects. Much of our attention has become distracted with artifacts that are far from coherent. Our immediate environment is generally of our own construction; and this has seemed to sever our connection to nature to varying degrees. I would contend that this is the root of the more concerning social issues. One can observe the cooperative behavior of animals and humans in more natural settings. This of course doesn’t discount the distribution of pathological behaviors found in all settings; however, it does show a positive sum spectrum with complexity. For instance infanticide, which is common in the animal kingdom is much more acceptable to male lions than male great apes. Great apes have behaviors that can prevent such occurrences; like the promiscuity of females that confuses the males ability to determine which offspring are his. Larger brained species like ourselves have the cognitive ability of weighing the value of emotional bonds against the value of an infant’s life. It may not be practical to try to extinguish all pathological behaviors; as we may not be able to have a concise understanding of all of them.
What has been interesting to me lately is systems for decentralized organization. What’s most interesting to me however, is the doubt that they are indeed decentralized; or that anything really is. The perspective that centralized models are only centralized if they are the product of an artifice seems to be a little truncated when one tries to scale them into perpetuity or infinitude. This at least for my limited understanding, keeps running into a grand centralizing structure; ie the laws of nature. I’m concerned that our awareness of our general lack of control has created a complex that has us neurotically striving for it. The dissonance between our localized perception of being in the driver seat vs the evidence that study has produced is bound to have some psychological effect. This could be the root of the issues that we have faced in building models since the dawn of civilization. This is even present in the dichotomy of free will and consequences in religion.
The disconnection from nature that civilization has produced is probably poisoning the well of our collective perception. That being the case, the most appropriate approach to allowing human nature to flourish with it’s natural predispositions may be as simple as the negative utility of removing the obstacles. It’s my contention that the obstacle is finance and it’s coercive aspects. The evidence throughout recorded history seems to point to it as a common denominator… and I’m not alone.