Re: Capitalism and XML
Matthew Gertner wrote: >There's an interesting article in the Economist this week >(http://www.economist.com/science/displayStory.cfm?story_id=1045223 -- like >a good reactionary I read reactionary rags) that points out that purely >selfish behavior based on this principle can lead to altruistic behavior on >the macro level. Good news for everyone, I say. > Excellent article. Anyone interested in a sociobiological explanation for altruism that goes beyond kin-selection to explain the specific circumstances where group selection *does* lead to altruism could take a look at "Unto Others" by Elliott Sobers and David Sloan Wilson, particularly the first half. The criteria are surprisingly simple - you need group selection, obviously, to reward the altruism, but you also need regular reshuffling of the groups to reduce the opportunity for selfish units to squeeze altruistic units out of the group. They illustrated this by an example where farms were able to increase egg-laying capacity by selecting groups of chickens which chared cages, rather than just the individual best layers. Turned out that selecting only individuals was selecting those that laid the greatest stress on their colleagues - err... I mean cage-mates - so didn't scale up as desired... Francis.
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