Hey Sylux, Fenn's ideas are just silly, I have a better idea based on an interesting thing I've been considering recently. As follows:
Consider a social interaction where you and another party want opposite things or you're competing with someone else for a finite resource. There are three 'common-sense' outcomes to this, and each corresponds to an option in the Prisoner's Dilemma.
(a) You take the resource and fuck the other guy. (+2 to you, 0 to him)
(b) You share the resource with the other guy. (+1 to you, +1 to him)
(c) He takes the resource and says 'fuck you'. (0 to you, +2 to him)
Obviously (b) is best for both of you, but (a) is better for you as an individual. They're in order of preference for YOU, so yes, (a) is best - go ahead and hurt others as much as you like, Sylux.
However, there's another option which is even better than (a).
(d) Co-operation; both get what you want (+2, +2)
In theory for YOU it's equally beneficial as (a). However outside of pure game theory it's better than (a) in a number of ways. One, if an action benefits the other actor as well as you, it's more likely to be legal and thus cause fewer long-term problems. Two, you gain social benefit from (d) that you don't obtain from (a), which gives you an intangible but useful resource in solving future problems. Three, if you're not a psychopath you gain the intangible benefit of happiness from helping the other party.
This also defies the prisoner's dilemma and justifies free-market capitalism, option (d), over authoritarianism, options (a) and (c), or ideal communism, option (b).
Or, in your specific case (causing pain), find a masochist and team up with them. BDSM clubs are a likely place but there are others too.
Last edited by Delphinus; 06-05-2011 at 05:53 PM.
Originally Posted by Fenn
Social interactions can be modelled like that, though. You both get what you want - (d). One wins out - (a) or (c). You compromise - (b).
EDIT: "our environment" is a bit woolly.
Originally Posted by Fenn
It's pointless to try to put point values on things, as even money has a varying degree of importance to people.
Post counts have large universal value. O_o
o_o No they don't. I don't even know what a post is worth...
I'd argue that the only things on this planet with objective value are those with fixed values likes money. And, even then, their degree of importance varies, so how much it MATTERS to people is different. Of course, this doesn't affect their //actual// value, but it makes it so you can't define every scenario in which money is involved with its worth. So, in other words: money only defines itself, not the circumstances under which it's gained, exchanged or lost.
If I gained 5 dollars from a good deal at the market, then I would say +$5.00. Objectively speaking, +n amount of dollars is always desirable because that is just +n amount of objective worth. Its like gaining trading chips. I can always exchange that 5 dollars for something of equal worth. But to say every situation where you gain $5.00 is = to a certain number of points doesn't make sense because of the multitudes of other factors that play into it. One person may not need the $5.00; another person might need it desperately. Though the objective benefit of saving 5 dollars persists, the situation itself does not yield overall objective benefit. It could be a 1 for the prior and, say, a 5 for the latter.
Last edited by CypressDahlia; 06-10-2011 at 02:35 PM.
^ Problem; money doesn't have an objective or fixed worth. It's only worth what people say it's worth, like any other resource. Which is part of the basis of neoclassical economics and the entire reason forex trading is possible.
Saying $5 is worth $5 is a tautology and tells us nothing about what that actually means. $5 could be worth a loaf of bread to one person or two loafs of bread to another person; the economy of a free market is based on adjusting the prices of goods to suit what the average person believes those goods are worth. Money has value in society. Gaining money is equivalent to gaining social value.
If you don't care about social value, then surely rejecting the notion of an 'objective' gain through wealth is the logical conclusion. Money is only the socially-acceptable expression of worth, and thus we have laws against fraud (taking worth through trickery), mugging (taking worth through force), and burglary (taking worth through stealth). These are seen as unacceptable ways of acquiring worth, represented by money, while work and skill, as expressed through the modern wage labour system, are seen as acceptable ways to accrue wealth. Money has gone beyond its original purpose - to serve as an abstract resource and facilitate trading - and is now yet another way for the herd* to enforce its morality on the individual.
* I mean herd in the Nietzschean sense; while normally referring to the proletariat or the plebeians, the term can equally apply to the classes Marxism calls the bourgeoisie and the petit-bourgeoisie; the essential meaning is "the majority; those who follow social pressures in preference to their own will". A similarity can be found between these and the principle of 'poor faith' in Sartre's existentialism: for an example of herd morality in action, I recommend you read Sartre's Nausea and consider the similarities to the lives of people you know, and probably yourself.
Related: Do you believe force (through conquest, robbery, etc.) is an acceptable way to acquire possessions? If so, why; if not, why not?
Last edited by Delphinus; 06-11-2011 at 05:38 AM.
Originally Posted by Fenn
(I feel like popping in out of nowhere.)
Force? Well, it depends on the situation at hand for me. I believe that if the force is for a greater cause, then yes, in my mind it is acceptable. Vice versa is also true. However, I believe that society, as a whole, will always say no. This is ridiculous. If we think force is unacceptable, why do we create wars? War is an excellent example of human hypocrisy: when we can't reach a mutual agreement, we create wars - we oppose someone - and this collides with us saying force is wrong, which makes us hypocrites. People need to get their crap together - this is insane. In these days, you can't trust almost anything you hear. This drags us down as a whole. However, I think I should jump on to the topic of our resources. I'm not afraid of us wasting our resources as much as I am of us wasting fresh water. I mean think about it - only 1% of the entire water on Earth can be drunk. This is crazy. Every single force in the world needs to give aid in helping this become less of a problem. I mean, one day we will run out of fresh water. Sure, we can "cleanse" water, but that takes too long, and it's not too efficient if we want to supply a planet with water. I still need to research this a bit more, but I sincerely see this as a good reason as to why we should just shut up about the differences in countries and join forces to help solve this problem.
I'm here. Your life just got 0.000000000001% better.
Force? Yes. I do not care for humans I do not know well, so why act as though I do to acquire things from them? That being said, I hate competition. I believe it is cool for me to take things by force, but I become angry when other strangers do it.