The Public Good (fwd)

Somehow I thought that this posting might be of interest to some on
CSG-L. I hope it is.

Eileen PRince

eprince@lynx.dac.northeastern.edu

Forwarded message:

···

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Date: 20 Apr 1993 14:43:44 -0400 (EDT)
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Re: Aimee's contrast between SD and altruism

In this month's issue of "Discover" is a curious little article about
a topic dubbed "the mathematics of forgiveness." Briefly, in the process of
negotiating life with others (i.e., struggle for survival) a pair of Austrian
chemists have discovered that a strategy called "generous tit-for-tat" maxi-
mizes utilities for individuals. That is, a degree of altruism (a public
good, possibly) benefits the individual. Of course, this is simulated
research in the postmodern, chaotic mode, and one may want to avoid the
slough of sociobiology and not say yes, but: It's refreshing to think that
retracting one's claws now and then has benefits that are prior even to that
lowest (or highest, depending on your seat) form of altruism, enlightened
self-interest.

CRAIG HOWLEY, ERIC/CRESS, P.O. BOX 1348, CHARLESTON, WV 25325
1-800/624-9120