RE : RE : Capitalism and XML
Thanks, that was an interesting reading. It's a bit sad, though, that the critic uses the same exaggeration techniques that the ones used in the APD book. I don't think anything sensible can ultimately come from such a discussion. Plus, I hope we agree on the fact that proving someone is wrong on a particular point does not mean you're right on all other points. Anyway, I do acknowledge that I made an aggregation between people practicing the art of sociobiology and evolutionary psychology, and people using some of the result of those disciplines in a way that is plainly wrong. Sociobiology and evolutionary psychology are interesting arts. They try to find explanation of social behaviours and, ultimately, of the reason why conscience appeared during the biological evolution process. That's a truly interesting question, a real issue, and something we would all be glad to know, I think. It's an interesting part in the search for an answer to the question "what is the purpose of all this ?" (I mean, an answer other than just "42"). Now that we are conscious people, we all would like what we are supposed to do with our conscience, and knowing why we were given one can be an interesting lead. That's where sociobiology and evolutionary psychology are interesting : examining the past and the reasons of the appearance of social behaviours and conscience. However, what I totally disagree with is the use of the result from those disciplins as guidelines for current and future behaviours. It is the tendency of many people to use weak evolutionary psychology results to justify their behaviour. "Look, they say, it seems that acting selfishly *can* lead us to altruism on a *global* scale, so why bother at all ? Just act selfishly and feel confident that everything is going to be better in the future". The first problem I have, is the experiments themselves used to obtain such results. This is a scientifical concern. How can we take the experiments as a proof ? I think we are accepting results a bit lightly, here. The mere fact that the subjects in many experiments are psychology students (sometime paying for it) simply makes me wonder of their validity. Anyway, let's suppose the experiments are validated. Now, I have problems with the model the experiments are supposed to validate or invalidate. The experiment described in the Economist article, like many others, use a pre-defined set of beliefs and assumptions. For example, they use monetary metrics. No wonder experiments made with models that follow monetary metrics validate behaviours we observe in a capitalist world. Take the experiment described in the Economist. Did the experimentator "measured" how people that were punished resented they punisher ? Did they measure anything other than money exchange, for example global satisfaction, group cohesion, and so on ? It doesn't seem so. Why ? Because it cannot be measured easily and "scientifically". I say the sheer design of this experiment forced the result to be what was observed. It quite obvious that the rules of the game were built to show that "selfish behavious can lead to altruism". It's a nice experiment, but it has nothing to do with real life. Its result is just used to make you think that after all, you only have to care about yourself and the world will become better sooner or later. I hope that from the current state of the world, and the increasing inequalities between the rich people and the poor people, you understand that this is not a responsible way of thinking. I don't understand what is the point in supporting selfish behaviour in the hope that it leads to altruism, where we could be thinking instead about how to directly support altruism in our society. Regards, Nicolas Lehuen P.S. sorry for "squatting" this mailing list with this discussion. It is in times like this that I wish we could easily and dynamically create a temporary dedicated mailing list. -----Message d'origine----- De : Jim Ancona [mailto:scarhill@y...] Envoyé : jeudi 28 mars 2002 15:09 À : Nicolas Lehuen Cc : xml-dev@l... Objet : Re: RE : Capitalism and XML --- Nicolas Lehuen <nicolas.lehuen@u...> wrote: > Sociobiology is blinded by its motto that any human behaviour is > explained by evolution and genetics. This motto is highly dubious. Of course it's so dubious that only opponents of sociobiology believe it. See http://human-nature.com/nibbs/02/apd.html, for an analysis of this and other accusations against sociobiology/evolutionary psychology. This is an interesting discussion, but I question its relevance to xml-dev. Would someone like to suggest a more appropriate forum? Jim ===== Jim Ancona jim@a... jancona@x... __________________________________________________ Do You Yahoo!? Yahoo! Movies - coverage of the 74th Academy Awards® http://movies.yahoo.com/
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