Two scientists at MSU doubted the ZD theory that eliminated cooperation resulting in a world of selfish people. They set out to prove that cooperation is the key to survival by running hundreds of thousands of games on a computer. It was discovered that ZD strategies cannot be the product of evolution. . While ZD strategies offer advantages when they're used against non-ZD opponents, they don't work well against other ZD opponents, they said.
"In an evolutionary setting, with populations of strategies, you need extra information to distinguish each other," Adami said.
The main key to making the distinction came when it was shown that ZD players reacted differently when confronted with a player who chose to cooperate. So ZD strategies only worked if players knew who their opponents were and adapted their strategies accordingly. A ZD player would play one way against another ZD player and a different way against a cooperative player.
"The only way ZD strategists could survive would be if they could recognize their opponents," Hintze said. "And even if ZD strategists kept winning so that only ZD strategists were left, in the long run they would have to evolve away from being ZD and become more cooperative. So they wouldn't be ZD strategists anymore."
These studies show what many already suspected, and that is cooperation and reconciliation move a civilization and its people forward. Factions engaging continuously in conflict and war will eventually cancel each out and exhaust emotional and physical resources resulting in eventual extinction.
The successful formulation and implementation of domestic and foreign policies by governments are enhanced by following the rules of cooperative engagement, not bellicose chest beating that is anachronistic to modern peaceful reconciliation. For example, President Barack Obama’s recent policy change with Cuba invests in the future and moves both countries forward adapting strategies, rather than remaining stagnant in a 50 year old failed policy.
is retired and lives in Clearlake, California. She has three grown
children and one grandson and a Bachelor’s degree in Health Services
Administration from St. Mary’s College in Moraga California. On the
home front Dava enjoys time with her family, reading, gardening, cooking
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