Re: Incentives LO1409

Tobin Quereau (
Sun, 28 May 1995 12:19:25 -0500 (CDT)

Replying to LO1377 --

On Thu, 25 May 1995, Michael McMaster wrote:

> Who said cooperation provides a "safe harbour". I find cooperation
> to be at least as demanding as competition. (Actually I find
> competition easier.)
> My point is confirmed by your response. I can see all the things you
> point out in your response. However do not have to label most of
> them competition and find that the idea of competition being within a
> larger domain of cooperation more effective and a better match for
> living systems.
> The most destructive element in nature is head-to-head competition.
> sibling rivalry is the worst. Species preying on themselves won't
> survive. We can distinguish scarcity and limited resources without
> then translating the condition to one of competition.
> If the world is tending towards increasing complexity, as I think it
> is, then we are limited in the possibilities of being a part of that
> increasing complexity if we start from a competitive framework.

I agree. What we call "competition" in Nature can also be seen (and is by
many "primitive" [our term] cultures) as an elaborate form of
collaboration. It is when we "civilized humans" get ahold of it that
things get out of hand.... See Daniel Quinn's intriguing book, _Ishmael_
for one perspective of this idea and countless studies of native cultures
for others.

> I once met a guy who was suspicious of everybody. He was completely
> justified in his experience and he saw the world through the eyes of
> suspicion. There was not talking him out of it becuase he wondered
> what I'd take from him if I succeeded. But I maintain it was just
> his own world view. There wasn't a need "out there" for suspicion.

To which I cannot resist adding my prediction of his reply...

"Yeah, but just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't
out there to get you!"

And so it goes...

Tobin Quereau