|There is something striking about the study I linked to above that I want to share, but first let me provide a quote from the study:|
Here we present an exact calculation that allows us to study the evolutionary dynamics of WSLS and TFT under mutation, selection and random drift in finite populations and in the presence of noise. We consider a population of N individuals. Each individual derives a payoff by interacting with (a representative ensemble of) all other individuals. The fitness of an individual is given by a constant, representing the baseline fitness, plus the payoff from the game. ... Okay, so you can see that they were modeling evolutionary, agent-based exchange. You can also see that, when they included agents that always cooperate (ALLC), agents that always defect (ALLD), and agents that treat you as you treat them (TFT; "an eye for an eye" retaliatory justice), the outcome was a population still littered with screw-your-neighbor hucksters. Also, when they included agents that always cooperate (ALLC), agents that always defect (ALLD), and agents that flip sides when you either punish them for their "vice" (their defection) or fail to reward them for their "virtue" (their cooperation) [WSLS], then you get such contingent cooperation (WSLSs will always cooperate if you reward them for it) but only IF the benefits of cooperation are over 3 times the costs.
In summary, we have studied stochastic game dynamics in populations of finite size under the influence of both mutation and selection. We consider the infinitely repeated PD with noise. Players make mistakes when implementing their strategies. In a population consisting of the three strategies, ALLC, ALLD and TFT, we find that the equilibrium distribution of our evolutionary process is entirely centered on ALLD. In contrast, a population consisting of ALLC, ALLD and WSLS settles predominantly on WSLS provided the benefit-to-cost ratio exceeds three, b/c > 3. Otherwise the system chooses ALLD. Finally, we have studied a population consisting of four strategies, ALLC, ALLD, TFT and WSLS. If b/c > 2 then WSLS is selected, otherwise ALLD is selected. Note that TFT lowers the selection threshold for WSLS, but is never chosen itself. Tit-for-tat is the catalyst for the emergence of cooperation, but win-stay, lose-shift is its target.
Here's the striking thing. If you take those same 3 groups of intermingled sub-populations, and you "inoculate" them with some 'justice-junkies' (TFT-ers who always reward virtue and always punish vice), then -- without ever becoming dominant in the society -- cooperation increases (because the threshold for cooperation is lowered by a full third). Applied to real life, what this means is that even if Libertarian candidates never win, but they still continue to run in elections, then they will improve the outcome for "society." All it takes is a seat at the table, not at the head of the table, but simply a seat at the table. All it takes is showing up. Think about it: a real-life instance where a "participation trophy" is warranted! However, if political figures prevent Libertarian candidates from running (or if Bi-Partisan Commissions prevent them from taking part in presidential debates), then the evil continues unabated. Ask yourself what they are afraid of, when they refuse to let someone who loves freedom and justice speak.
I have shown earlier about how only a fourth of society needs to be interested in justice -- in order to have a predominately-just society. This study confirms that point. TFT agents never predominated (they may never have even made up as little as one-third of the population!), but they totally affected the outcome.
(Edited by Ed Thompson on 11/13, 7:28pm)