Re: virus: Reinventing the Justice meme

David McFadzean (
Tue, 09 Jul 1996 16:06:31 -0600

At 03:31 PM 08/07/96 -0500, KMO wrote:

>I assume that in the case of the bird or the bear a decision will be judged
>good or bad with respect to some kind of risk/benefit analysis (given the


>available information at the time of the decision). What constitutes a
>good desision with respect to social justice?

Good question. I guess it depends who you ask, ie. "good" and "bad"
are relative, and ipso facto, so is justice.

>I would say that decisions made based on recognition of a social contract,
>the rights of others, or some kind of utilitarian calculation are good
>decissions. Good decisions which resulted in injustice would most likely
>result from a critical lacuna in the agents knowledge of the dynamic
>variables in the situation. Environmental noise might also result in a
>good decision leading to an unjust outcome. Remember, in a noisy
>environment, a cooperative partner might appear to be selling-us out.

True. And misunderstandings occur even (especially?) in a relatively
less noisy environment such as this one with ASCII messages.

> Notice that, given the above criteria for 'good' decisions, it is
>impossible to make good decisions without understanding what makes them
>good. The only standard which allows agents to make good decisions without
>understanding what makes some actions good and others bad is if the
>standard for judging decisions is their adherence to the gross description
>of an action in the rule-book. If you value Consciousness, you would
>prefer some other standard. I sure do. Take care. -KMO

Agreed. I guess my point was merely that the Justice meme is a necessary
if not sufficient condition for social cooperation.

David McFadzean       
Memetic Engineer      
Church of Virus