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Author Topic: Cooperation or Competition?  (Read 12096 times)

Offline pantodragon

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Cooperation or Competition?
« on: 14/01/2013 15:02:26 »
There is a fallacy in science that cooperation and competition exist as merely strategies for survival and animals and people can adopt whatever strategy seems best at the time.  Actually, cooperation and competition go much deeper – and it is nothing to do with survival.  In fact, if it was a matter of survival then nobody would be competitive!  (I realise that needs explanation, but not here.)

Mere survival is no reason to live, does not provide sufficient motivation to get animal or person out of bed in the morning; you need to have a reason to want to survive.  Animals and people must WANT to live, and they will only want to live if life has something to offer by way of fun/pleasure/interest and so on.  So the most important thing is that life should be good.

First off, and most simple, life is good if you are surrounded by friends and bad if you are surrounded by enemies.  This is, I think, self-evident – I mean, for starters, you just sleep better when you are surrounded by friends!  If you are cooperative, then EVERYONE is your friend -- EVEN YOUR ‘ENEMIES’.  In other words, a cooperative person simply does not, and CANNOT have enemies.

This cooperative frame of mind always seeks to accommodate, sees the alien-ness of others as an opportunity for self-enrichment; i.e. it is not that ‘cooperative’ means ‘tolerant’, or ‘self-sacrificing’.  It is much more positive, and actively so.  Others, as I said, are an opportunity for enrichment, so the more alien they are, the better; and an ‘enemy’ (the use of the term actually denoting the state of mind of the other i.e. an enemy is someone who sees the cooperative person as their enemy.) is just an opportunity to ‘make’ a friend – for this you have to see the mind as a growing and developing thing so, e.g. an opportunity to make a friend means an opportunity to develop new abilities and thus expand the mind and expand the range of possibilities open to oneself.

Where a competitive mind sees a CHALLENGE, something or someone that is a threat and must be outdone or defeated, a cooperative mind sees an OPPORTUNITY for growth and development and enrichment.

Thus cooperation and competition are fundamental mindsets, not just strategies.  Also, they have a profound effect on the ‘state’ of mind, a feedback which in the case of competition is negative and damaging, but in the case of cooperation is positive and facilitates healthy growth AND ENJOYMENT OF LIFE – but that is beyond the scope of this post – except just to add that there is competitiveness about, in the human species, and that is why it is in decline, and the fact that human beings adopt behaviours that are damaging to themselves is plain to see all around: drug abuse being, perhaps, the most obvious.
« Last Edit: 28/01/2013 16:27:21 by pantodragon »


 

Offline schneebfloob

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Re: Cooperation and Competition
« Reply #1 on: 14/01/2013 20:22:37 »
Mere survival is no reason to live, does not provide sufficient motivation to get animal or person out of bed in the morning; you need to have a reason to want to survive.  Animals and people must WANT to live, and they will only want to live if life has something to offer by way of fun/pleasure/interest and so on.  So the most important thing is that life should be good.

As far as I'm aware humans are the only organisms capable of actively wanting to end their life. What you say may hold some grain of truth in that respect. However, for other organisms that is absolutely not the case. The vast majority of organisms on this planet are not 'self-aware'; they don't know what they 'want' or 'like'. Yet many of these same organisms are able to compete and co-operate. Ants, for example, are extraordinary in their ability to co-operate with each other. They don't do it because they like each other though, they do it because that is how they've adapted to survive.

Living beings are hardwired to survive and pass on their genes to the next generation. Survival is difficult and different organisms have different methods of attaining it. Some have evolved to compete, others to co-operate. Humans have developed from organisms that have required the ability to both co-operate and compete with other organisms. So whilst we now have the ability to decide whether or not we enjoy life, and have the ability to affect our own survival, our traits of co-operation and competition have their roots within the quest for survival.
« Last Edit: 14/01/2013 20:31:02 by schneebfloob »
 

Offline RD

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Re: Cooperation and Competition
« Reply #2 on: 17/01/2013 04:38:22 »
... traits of co-operation and competition have their roots within the quest for survival.

the survival of copies of particular genes ...
Quote
geneticist J.B.S. Haldane famously joked, "Would I lay down my life to save my brother? No, but I would to save two brothers or eight cousins"
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gene-centered_view_of_evolution#Individual_altruism_and_genetic_egoism
« Last Edit: 17/01/2013 04:40:11 by RD »
 

Offline pantodragon

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Cooperation and competition elaborated: part 1
« Reply #3 on: 17/01/2013 14:22:21 »



I have just been reading about the caste system in India.  It is represented (unspoken) as a very restrictive and oppressive hierarchy, with the ‘untouchables’ at the bottom, but I have an inkling that this is a misrepresentation.  Somehow it does not fit with what I understand of the Indian character and spirit.

I find this sort of thing time and again: when I read of anther country, culture or person, written by, say, a Briton, then what I find is that they are describing THEMSELVES.  That is, when people look at the world around them, what they see is a reflection of themselves.  One might say that when one person looks at another, what they see is a reflection of themselves in the other person’s eyes.

This is an interesting phenomenon, in that one can then go and re-read all the history books and books about other cultures etc and instead of assuming that one is learning about that other culture, know that one is learning about the culture and person that produced the book.

In that light, what does it say about the UK when one reads about Nazi Germany?  About Stalinist Russia?  And, of course, about the Indian Caste system.  Scientists, of course, are supposed to be ‘out of the equation’; objective observers, but it seems to me that their views on ‘the fight for survival’, selfishness and altruism etc in the natural world reflects human society, not the natural world.

 I think that Indians are very laid back, as it were, but not just tolerant, more than that, they accept and absorb ideas and the like that are brought to India by foreigners.  One wonders, then, if the caste system is just a way of organising society, perhaps of preserving individuality and of PREVENTING the kind of competitiveness that is laid before OUR feet: the carrots of wealth and position that have people trampling over one another to scramble up the social ladder.  The British class system taunts and tantalises and causes the rat-race.  Those at the top dangle the bait before those at the bottom and then sit back and watch the show, and the show is not a long way away from the gladiator fights of ancient Rome – death is being dealt out, that’s for sure.  How many people make it to the top, and how many have their dreams and ambitions crushed; and if a persons dreams and ambitions are crushed, then the life is crushed out of them, too.

It seems to me that the Indian caste system is much more benign.  It surely works against competition.

For some people (Hindus? Buddhists? Zen Buddhists? Native Americans?) the main thing is to accept one’s lot in life.  There is good reason for this.

If one sees oneself as having a place in the world, a place in society, and a purpose in life, then, rather than driving to ‘better oneself’, it is more important to reflect and try to divine what that purpose might be.  This attitude is very levelling, because a beggar is just as much a part of society as a king, and has just as much of a purpose in life.  It is an attitude that, with reference to the natural world, says that a dung beetle is every bit as important and vital as a lion because it performs a function which is vital to the health of the environment, and which, in addition, improves the fertility of the environment.

This attitude, then, says that a beggar is every bit as necessary to the health of society as any other person; that, whether you can appreciate it or not, a beggar is performing some vital function – presumably spiritual and psychological. 

One obvious benefit of this attitude is that it allows everyone to retain their pride and self-respect.  Some people might then say to me, ‘well how would YOU like to be a beggar?’  But that would just be like asking a crow how it would like to be a mouse; the SPIRIT of the crow is suitably housed in a crow’s body, and would be unable to thrive if made to dwell in the body of a mouse.  The converse is, of course, also true. 

Another benefit of this attitude is that when, for example, a person gives ‘charity’ to a beggar, they do not do it for the sake of the beggar, they DO IT FOR THEMSELVES.  This gives a whole different meaning to the word charity: it is not someone being ‘benign’, not someone ‘helping’ someone else and so putting them in the position of inferior, or dependent of whatever; it does not send the signal that the giver thinks the beggar is a ‘loser’, even if through no ‘fault’ of his own, does not send the signal that the beggar is only a beggar because he is not a success – all attitudes which disrespect beggars.

When an Indian gives money or goods to a beggar it is a transaction that works to the benefit of both, and so no-one owes gratitude to anyone, or is in any way indebted to anyone.  The giver gives for THE GOOD OF HIMSELF.

I am making a lot of this point, because it is necessary to understand this attitude if one is going to understand about COOPERATIVE behaviour.  Science makes a big distinction between selfishness and altruism, but the distinction is spurious.  It is a distinction make by those who are competitive, see the world from that perspective and therefore fail to understand the nature of cooperation. 

One might say the cooperative behaviour is BEYOND selfishness and altruism, beyond good and evil. 

In the example given above, of charity given with the Indian ethic, giver and recipient are acting with utter self-interest, to the benefit of both: this is the essential nature of cooperation.  It is ALWAYS WIN – WIN.   And note the characteristic that ‘altruism’ and ‘selfishness’ are coincident.  (Competitiveness, on the other hand, once you understand it correctly, is ALWAYS LOSE – LOSE: it is down to what you have to sacrifice of yourself in order to compete.)

Another example of cooperative ‘giving’ is exhibited in Arab cultures.  In the film ‘Kingdom of Heaven’, the hero, a European, is given a present of a horse by his Arab friend.  Typically, in order to ensure that there is no sense of indebtedness on the part of the recipient, and no implication of inferiority or superiority on the part of either, the Arab pretends that he thinks the horse is a poor animal and says that he actually wants to get rid of it – he is actually implying that the recipient would be doing the giver a favour by taking the present off his hands.
 

Offline pantodragon

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Cooperation and competition elaborated: part 2
« Reply #4 on: 17/01/2013 14:23:30 »



As I said, contrary to popular belief, competitiveness is a lose-lose affair, and that is because of the damage to the self caused by being competitive.  Ironically, competitive edge, in common with many other things, such as happiness, is something that, the more you seek it directly, the more is slips from your grasp.

A competitive person’s mind focuses exclusively on things that might give him a competitive edge.  So everything is assessed, consciously or subconsciously, for its competitive value, and whatever is perceived to have no competitive value is of no interest – in effect, life becomes and arms-race, and the only things that are capable of arousing interest are arms and armaments.

For the cooperative person the world is a rich place full of things whose value he does not know, but which he knows all have some value, and that it will be to his own enrichment to develop the ability to see the value in everything, each on its own terms – and that might include arms and armaments just because they are there.

Thus a competitive person inhabits a single-minded, narrow and closed world with little or no opportunity for growth and development.

The cooperative person, on the other hand, every time he accomplishes that change in perspective, learns to see the value in something or someone new, enlarges and develops his mind.  Thus he lives in an ever expanding world and his mind is continuously growing and developing new abilities.

An illustration of what I mean might be this:

A is a cooperative person, B is a competitive person.

 A and B see olives, a food that is new to both.  B examines it, finds the stone, and extracts it to use as ammunition for his sling.

A examines it, tastes it, finds the taste odd and not to his liking, but thinks, “I would like to develop a taste for this.”  A year later, having occasionally eaten olives during that time, A tries an olive again and this time it tastes delicious and new and A cannot get enough of them.  A would also look at the stones, and might, say, think he could paint them and use them to make art/craft works.

A and B see a peach, again new to them both.  Again B ends up with a weapon, while A has developed a new taste, expanded the range of foods he eats, and has found a use for the stone.

A and B have conversations, separately, with C. 

B feels everything that C says and does that ‘scores’.  Anything that is not felt does not ‘score’ and is not heard because it is of no interest.

A sees a person talking, someone who has likes and dislikes, a perspective on life, a background and so on, that are different from his own.  He sees, essentially, a mind that is different from his own and which therefore offers him an opportunity to learn and expand and grow.  To do this he will ‘disappear’, will become a nonentity and will totally give himself over to interest in, and observation of, the other – but this is not a passive process.  It is active.  The more mature and able A is the more he will get from the conversation, by observation, by leading (from behind) the conversation onto the subject of the other person, or onto a subject dear to the other person.

This process requires a high degree of self-discipline, and leads to ever increasing levels of awareness and sensitivity, and ever more subtle and able means of communicating with an ever widening range of ‘others’.  Since there is nothing that does not interest him, A is very alert and notices and remembers (not necessarily consciously) everything, where everything = everything he is aware of, and that is an every widening circle.

A must also be very responsive to others, and, becoming ever more able with practice, in time, A becomes lightening fast in his responses, and to ever subtler signals.

-- this is why large flocks of birds, or shoals of fishes, can perform such amazing feats of synchronised flying or swimming, where the whole flock or shoal seems to move as one, turning and wheeling, breaking into smaller groups and then re-uniting, all flawlessly executed.  They can do this because they have the levels of awareness and speed of responses to subtle signals that comes from being cooperative.

Soldiers training on the parade ground never get anywhere near the performance levels of a flock of starlings, and that is because they are competitive.  They may be operating as a team, but they are fundamentally competitive.  A competitive person becomes ever duller, and slower and less aware of other people as well as his surroundings, and is no match for a cooperative person – not in anything.

 This is why I say that, ironically, to chase competitive ‘excellence’ directly leads one to lose it completely, while to be cooperative leads to becoming a match for anyone. 
Competition is lose-lose.
Cooperation is win-win.

Finally, the obvious question is: if competitiveness is such a loser, then how come people have universally opted for it?  Stupidity?  No, addiction.  It is basically about POWER, not about winning as such (which is why being a ‘victim’ can be an adopted strategy: ‘victims’ can manipulate people, even if at the cost of putting up with injury.).
 

Offline pantodragon

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Re: Cooperation and Competition
« Reply #5 on: 17/01/2013 14:37:30 »
schneebfloob:  you're talking about machines, I'm talking about animals and human beings.

Human beings have dreams and ambitions.  These have nothing to do with survival, but everything to do with heart and spirit and the like and may even seem contrary to what is technically the best survival strategy.
« Last Edit: 17/01/2013 15:09:04 by pantodragon »
 

Offline RD

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Re: Cooperation and Competition
« Reply #6 on: 18/01/2013 04:14:10 »
...  you're talking about machines, I'm talking about animals and human beings.

A cogent hypothesis is that humans,  other animals, and all life-forms are "survival machines" for genes ...

Quote
... each organism's body serving the purpose of a 'survival machine' for its genes.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Selfish_Gene

What someone believes is free-will may actually be genetically coded behaviour [:0] ,
the behaviour the gene codes for somehow increases the number of copies of that gene,
(perhaps indirectly through reciprocal altruism towards others who share the same gene,
 or directly e.g. via promiscuity).

« Last Edit: 18/01/2013 04:29:08 by RD »
 

Offline pantodragon

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Re: Cooperation and Competition
« Reply #7 on: 21/01/2013 15:31:52 »
RD:

If you were to use the abilities you have been endowed with, abilities that enable you to deal with the world, to be able to distinguish reality from illusion, lies from truth, fact from fiction etc, etc, then quite simply you would know that you are not a "survival machine" run by your genes.  In fact, the notion that your genes are sitting in the driving seat is so absurd as to be laughable.  (The fact that these ideas originated with Richard Dawkins is also evidence of their falsity.) 
 

Offline RD

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Re: Cooperation and Competition
« Reply #8 on: 22/01/2013 00:33:52 »
... the notion that your genes are sitting in the driving seat is so absurd as to be laughable.

You’re not offering any evidence as to why the selfish-gene hypothesis is “laughable”.

The form and functions of a human-being is defined and controlled by genes, including the form and functions of it’s brain.  Why should the behaviour of a person, originating in their nervous system, a nervous system created by genes, not also be “driven” by genes ?.

For example : the  behaviour of preferring to use one hand is in part genetic : genes “drive” a person to use a particular hand.

The selfish-gene hypothesis does explain cooperative, rather than competitive, behaviour in animals.
« Last Edit: 22/01/2013 00:53:19 by RD »
 

Offline Ophiolite

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Re: Cooperation and Competition
« Reply #9 on: 22/01/2013 13:23:39 »
There is a fallacy in science that cooperation and competition exist as merely strategies for survival and animals and people can adopt whatever strategy seems best at the time.
Can you cite any research papers, monographs, or textbooks that dismissively consider cooperation and competition as mere strategies? From my reading they are highlighted, almost celebrated as central processes for survival. I know of no biologist who would relegate them to the sidelines as mere strategies. Do you? If you do please provide approriate citations.
 

Offline pantodragon

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Re: Cooperation and Competition
« Reply #10 on: 24/01/2013 14:42:44 »

You’re not offering any evidence as to why the selfish-gene hypothesis is “laughable”.


Each to his own.  I experience and sense the world for myself, and my senses, intuition and understanding tell me as clearly as clearly can be that human beings are rather more than the selfish gene hypothesis would allow them to be.  I can't help seeing a vision of little genes sitting in the driving seat somewhere in the back of my head controlling every thought, every feeling, every action and that just makes me want to laugh.  OK, that is a caricature, but the thing about successful caricatures is that they home in on the significant and thus reveal the truth. 

That science would ridicule me as thinking myself "the only sane person in a mad world" does not deter me one whit.  That is just science being the competitive bully that it is.
 

Offline pantodragon

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Re: Cooperation and Competition
« Reply #11 on: 24/01/2013 14:46:25 »
cooperation and competition as mere strategies?

This is unproductive quibbling and lawyerish nonsense.  Try and escape the confines of the philosophy/science books and understand what I mean.  I do not write in the formalism of science for a reason, and that reason, or rather one of the reasons, is that the formalism is the product of laddish minds and serves their purposes: gamesmanship, teasing, shooting down etc.
 

Offline RD

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Re: Cooperation and Competition
« Reply #12 on: 24/01/2013 17:58:37 »
... I experience and sense the world for myself, and my senses, intuition and understanding tell me ...

If your senses are as good as objective measurement then you can see the centre of both of these crosses are the same grey colour ...


http://www.lottolab.org/illusiondemos/Demo%2024.html

We lesser mortals have to look through a small (~5mm) hole in a bit of card which masks the rest of the image,
(if you try this give your eyes, or rather your brain, ten seconds to adjust its colour balance).

Are your senses reliable ? , are they telling you the truth ?

As for "intuition" that has the strong whiff of supernatural bullshit about it.


... I can't help seeing a vision of little genes sitting in the driving seat somewhere in the back of my head controlling every thought, every feeling, every action and that just makes me want to laugh.  OK, that is a caricature, but the thing about successful caricatures is that they home in on the significant and thus reveal the truth.

Genes are not homunculi in your head: genes have no intelligence, however they constructed the contents of your skull which is essentially who you are. The neurology genes created tells you when to sleep , when to eat , regulates your heartbeat and breathing. Genetically defined neurology is the hardware, that the software, that is you, runs on. That you have gathered some "understanding" from your experiences in your environment is only courtesy of neuroplasticity for which you have your genes to thank.
« Last Edit: 24/01/2013 19:24:02 by RD »
 

Offline Ophiolite

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Re: Cooperation and Competition
« Reply #13 on: 25/01/2013 15:58:11 »
cooperation and competition as mere strategies?

This is unproductive quibbling and lawyerish nonsense.  Try and escape the confines of the philosophy/science books and understand what I mean.  I do not write in the formalism of science for a reason, and that reason, or rather one of the reasons, is that the formalism is the product of laddish minds and serves their purposes: gamesmanship, teasing, shooting down etc.
OK. I'll try again. Here is your statement.

There is a fallacy in science that cooperation and competition exist as merely strategies for survival.

Here is your statement with the merely removed.

There is a fallacy in science that cooperation and competition exist as strategies for survival.

Do you contend that these two sentences carry close to identical meanings? I cannot.

So, let's try a further approach. Here is your complete statement.
Quote
There is a fallacy in science that cooperation and competition exist as merely strategies for survival and animals and people can adopt whatever strategy seems best at the time
1. Science does not contend that cooperation and competition are mere strategies, therefore you are attacking a strawman.
2. Science does not maintain that animals can adopt whatever strategy seems best at the time, so you have set up a second strawman.

Conclusion: you are mistaken in your understanding of the findings of science in this regard.
 

Offline pantodragon

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Re: Cooperation and Competition
« Reply #14 on: 26/01/2013 16:02:21 »
Ophiolite & RD:

As I read your posts and attempted to reply, I became uncharaceristically angry.  This is intuition at work.  It is telling me what you are about.  It is telling me that you are being hostile and aggressive and are trying to shoot me down.  That is, you are not interested in finding out the truth of anything, just in getting your kicks from shooting somebody down.  This is what it is to be human.  This is what human senses and intuition can do, they can detect what is going on behind the facade, they can bring insight, they can distinguish fact from fiction, truth from lies.  Show me a scientific instrument which can even begin to approach this sort of sophistication. 

I might anticipate, indeed I will anticipate, a reply to the effect of "Oh no, we're not", but I stand by my accusation of aggression and hostility and go further: I believe you probably do not even know how hostile and aggressive you really are, but you might find out by taking a walk through a wilderness area.  Animals can detect aggression.  Animals use their senses like I do.  You'd be lucky to come out alive, because they respond to aggression witha defensive aggression; they do not tolerate aggression since they experience it as a threat to themselves and their young.  I, on the other hand, have no trouble with animals - I speak from experience.
« Last Edit: 26/01/2013 16:21:55 by pantodragon »
 

Offline BenV

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Re: Cooperation and Competition
« Reply #15 on: 26/01/2013 16:32:00 »
But, if you have a point at all, you need to tell me what is the  SIGNIFICANT difference between what I say and what science says.

I underline again SIGNIFICANT because it IS the significant point.

Science claims, based on hypothesis and observation, that cooperation and competition are strategies used by different species in different situations.

Examples:
The Portuguese man o' war is a colonial organism - perhaps one of the best examples of cooperation.  Each Man o'war is made up of many individual animals, each performing a specialised task and ensuring survival of the colony.

It is also a significant predator, killing and consuming small marine species through the use of drifing, venomous nematocysts.  It competes with other species for available food, and is capable of killing species that it is incapable of digesting.

It is a supreme example of competitive and cooperative strategies within one species.

Chimpanzees cooperate extremely well within their troupe - with relatives and sometimes unrelated individuals.  They share food, help raise one another's offspring, use complicated strategies to hunt together.  They will also attack and kill Chimps from another troupe, through competition for resources.  Again, cooperation when cooperation works, competition when competition works.

Human beings in all societies tend to cooperate with those around them in order to compete with another group of humans.  This is evidenced in war, in the boardroom, on corporations, tribes, schools and communities.  Of course, they also compete with other species for resources.

I could go on, but I can't think of any example of a species that does not show both cooperative and competitive behaviours.

I'm forced to conclude, without wishing to be insensitive, that observation of the natural world proves this hypothesis...

Quote
Thus cooperation and competition are fundamental mindsets, not just strategies.

...to be incorrect.
 

Offline RD

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Re: Cooperation and Competition
« Reply #16 on: 27/01/2013 04:02:55 »
As I read your posts and attempted to reply, I became uncharaceristically angry.  This is intuition at work.

Emotional responses, like anger, are an example of innate hardwired neurology, (comparable with reflexes*), neurology created by genes.

If you were “uncharacteristically angry”, (or in any other emotional state), it’s due to the genes which you deny influence your behaviour.

[ * what triggers emotions can be learned rather than being innate , e.g. even the same stimulus can provoke completely different  emotional responses in different individuals, e.g.  globophillia / globophobia ]


... I, on the other hand, have no trouble with animals - I speak from experience.

My postman would love to know the Saint Francis of Assisi trick as he has experienced plenty of dog bites, usually via Staffordshire bull terriers : a dog bred to be aggressive, (genes controlling behaviour again).


Quote
Applied Animal Behaviour Science
Volume 114, Issue 3 , Pages 441-460, 1 December 2008

Breed differences in canine aggression

Deborah L. Duffy ,  Yuying Hsu , James A. Serpell

5. Conclusions
We found large and consistent differences among dog breeds in the prevalence and severity of aggression directed at different targets (familiar and unfamiliar humans and dogs), and the degree to which aggression was associated with fear. ... Differences between lines of distinct breeding stock indicate that the propensity toward aggressive behavior is at least partially rooted in genetics, although substantial within-breed variation suggests that other factors (developmental, environmental) play a major part in determining whether aggressive behavior is expressed in the phenotype.
http://140.122.143.143/yuyinghs/yuyinghsu/papers/DuffyHsuSerpell2008.pdf
« Last Edit: 27/01/2013 04:41:28 by RD »
 

Offline Ophiolite

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Re: Cooperation and Competition
« Reply #17 on: 28/01/2013 11:23:35 »
It is telling me that you are being hostile and aggressive and are trying to shoot me down.
You are partially correct.
I am hostile towards incorrect ideas. You are asserting an incorrect idea.

I am aggressive towards incorrect ideas. You are promoting an incorrect idea.

I am trying to shoot down your incorrect idea.

I urge you to attempt to view ideas objectively. I encourage you to assess ideas without emotion. If you allow emotion to cloud your judgement of ideas you are likely, as seems to be the case here, to find yourself supporting a faulty idea.

I am not discouraging passion and enthusiasm for ideas. These are very human and very necessary parts of science, but they must take a backseat when ideas are examined. Such examination must be robust, penetrating, unequivocal and emotion free.

One of the most frustrating things I find in developing material, whether it be instructor led courses, technical manuals, or engineering reports, is friendly criticism of that material. such criticsim, though well intentioned, seems focused on making me feel good rather than pointing out flaws in the material. This is of no value to me whatsoever. I far prefer someone who goes to the heart of the matter and states clearly "this part here is rubbish"; "this is as clear as pile of elephant dung"; "calling this ambiguous would be too kind". Now I have specific areas that require treatment, rather than some insipid eencouragement.
 

Offline pantodragon

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Re: Cooperation and Competition
« Reply #18 on: 28/01/2013 16:04:52 »


It is also a significant predator, killing and consuming small marine species through the use of drifing, venomous nematocysts.  It competes with other species for available food, and is capable of killing species that it is incapable of digesting.

It is a supreme example of competitive and cooperative strategies within one species.

Chimpanzees .... They will also attack and kill Chimps from another troupe, through competition for resources.  Again, cooperation when cooperation works, competition when competition works.

Human beings in all societies tend to cooperate with those around them in order to compete with another group of humans.  This is evidenced in war, in the boardroom, on corporations, tribes, schools and communities.  Of course, they also compete with other species for resources.



You exhibit a fundamental failure to understand what cooperation is. The instances you cite as competitive, when properly understood, are actually cooperation.  The natural world is fundamentally, entirely and always cooperative.  On the other hand, the example of cooperation among people that you cite is not cooperation at all.  It is an alliance among competitors for their greater good.  There is a very great difference between that and cooperation.   Human beings in our world, as it is i.e. sick, are fundamentally, entirely and always competitive. 
 

Offline pantodragon

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Re: Cooperation and Competition
« Reply #19 on: 28/01/2013 16:10:56 »
RD:

I can only continue to disagree with you.  As to the dog bites: I should have made a distinction between wild and domesticated animals.  Domesticated animals exhibit all sorts of unnatural behaviours, usually reflecting the behaviour and attitudes of the owner.  That they do, is an example of the fundamentally cooperative nature of animals; you don't see people going to live in foreign countries adapting so willingly and successfully to local culture - it is due to the damage they do to themselves that they would not be sensitive enough to adapt, even if they wanted to.
« Last Edit: 28/01/2013 16:14:44 by pantodragon »
 

Offline pantodragon

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Re: Cooperation and Competition
« Reply #20 on: 28/01/2013 16:22:17 »
Ophiolite: such criticsim, though well intentioned, seems focused on making me feel good rather than pointing out flaws in the material.

You exhibit the same failure to exhibit the nature of cooperation as others on theis forum and scientists generally.  Feel-good criticism is NOT well intentioned.  It is not a matter of whether it is feel-good or feel-bad.  You cannot detect cooperation and competition as easily as that.  You have to be able to detect the intention.  The same criticism can be either cooperative or competitive.  For example, I had an aunt who used to make much of my artistic skills.  I used to do a number of small art related jobs for her, which I sort of liked to do, but at the same time kind of resented.  It was only many years later that I learned that her flattery, which superficially appeared to be encouragement, was actually designed to get me to do the jobs.  In other words, much apparently positive criticism is, in fact, manipulative.  It can also be designed to tease.  You need your senses, feeling and intuition to detect the difference. 
 

Offline RD

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Re: Cooperation and Competition
« Reply #21 on: 28/01/2013 16:30:54 »
Domesticated animals exhibit all sorts of unnatural behaviours, usually reflecting the behaviour and attitudes of the owner.

True : domestic animals are a product of artificial selection not natural selection, but nevertheless the study I linked to in my previous post which found "large and consistent differences among dog breeds in the prevalence and severity of aggression" shows that dogs aggressive behaviour is in part genetic , so is evidence that genes control animal behaviour. Incidentally top of the aggressive dog breed league is the dachshund, not a dog associated with aggressive owners: a sausage-dog isn't going to be much use as an attack-dog or in dog-fighting ...


http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1032531/Why-sausage-dogs-really-just-legged-fiends.html
 

Offline pantodragon

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Re: Cooperation or Competition?
« Reply #22 on: 28/01/2013 17:36:08 »
RD:  Genes are not homunculi in your head: genes have no intelligence, however they constructed the contents of your skull which is essentially who you are. The neurology genes created tells you when to sleep , when to eat , regulates your heartbeat and breathing. Genetically defined neurology is the hardware, that the software, that is you, runs on. That you have gathered some "understanding" from your experiences in your environment is only courtesy of neuroplasticity for which you have your genes to thank.

I have heard scientists attempting to account for consciousness and today on the radio I heard one say that “life is a process”.  Scientists do this all the time.  These are just words used meaninglessly, but it sounds good, sounds like they know what they’re talking about.  That, too, is what you are doing with your description of the mind.
 

Offline pantodragon

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Re: Cooperation and Competition
« Reply #23 on: 28/01/2013 17:40:22 »


True : domestic animals are a product of artificial selection not natural selection, but nevertheless the study I linked to in my previous post which found "large and consistent differences among dog breeds in the prevalence and severity of aggression" shows that dogs aggressive behaviour is in part genetic , so is evidence that genes control animal behaviour. Incidentally top of the aggressive dog breed league is the dachshund, not a dog associated with aggressive owners: a sausage-dog isn't going to be much use as an attack-dog or in dog-fighting ...


Aggression isn't just punching someone on the nose or biting their ankles.  "Victims" often adopt the status of victimhood as a means of exercising a kind of aggression - the devil wears many disguises.
 

Offline BenV

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Re: Cooperation or Competition?
« Reply #24 on: 28/01/2013 18:14:53 »
You exhibit a fundamental failure to understand what cooperation is. The instances you cite as competitive, when properly understood, are actually cooperation.  The natural world is fundamentally, entirely and always cooperative.  On the other hand, the example of cooperation among people that you cite is not cooperation at all.  It is an alliance among competitors for their greater good.  There is a very great difference between that and cooperation.   Human beings in our world, as it is i.e. sick, are fundamentally, entirely and always competitive. 

I see.  This means you're defining cooperation and competition differently to the way they're used in science.  I understand better now why you would feel science has got it wrong.

I think these words, in a scientific context, essentially mean "working together" and "working against another".  That's a simplification but hopefully it will help to clarify this discussion.
 

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Re: Cooperation or Competition?
« Reply #24 on: 28/01/2013 18:14:53 »

 

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