This is a site for discussing roleplaying games. Have fun doing so, but there is one major rule: do not discuss political issues that aren't directly and uniquely related to the subject of the thread and about gaming. While this site is dedicated to free speech, the following will not be tolerated: devolving a thread into unrelated political discussion, sockpuppeting (using multiple and/or bogus accounts), disrupting topics without contributing to them, and posting images that could get someone fired in the workplace (an external link is OK, but clearly mark it as Not Safe For Work, or NSFW). If you receive a warning, please take it seriously and either move on to another topic or steer the discussion back to its original RPG-related theme.
NOTICE: Some online security services are reporting that information for a limited number of users from this site is for sale on the "dark web." As of right now, there is no direct evidence of this, but change your password just to be safe.

Author Topic: Star Trek RPG... What if there is no time travel?  (Read 7393 times)

GeekyBugle

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4829
  • Now even more Toxic
Re: Star Trek RPG... What if there is no time travel?
« Reply #135 on: May 20, 2022, 05:35:43 PM »
Did the Puppeteers have anything to do with the extinction of the Pak? I wouldn't put it past them.

The Pak aren't extinct.  They had to flee the explosion of the Milky Way Core, but they had at least a fleet or two doing that.  The Puppeteers collapsed Ringworld civilization, if that's what you mean.

No, I meant in the rest of the known space, we know they sent colonizing ships to earth and other places, we know what happened on earth. What happened with their other colonies? Did the puppeteers also collapsed them?
« Last Edit: May 20, 2022, 05:37:31 PM by GeekyBugle »
Quote from: Rhedyn

Here is why this forum tends to be so stupid. Many people here think Joe Biden is "The Left", when he is actually Far Right and every US republican is just an idiot.

“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.”

― George Orwell

Omega

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • O
  • Posts: 16113
Re: Star Trek RPG... What if there is no time travel?
« Reply #136 on: May 20, 2022, 06:27:48 PM »
And the Puppeteers ARE lying sacks of shit as demonstrated once and again in the novels. Manipulative, lying sacks of shit.

The Puppeteers manage to be bigger assholes than both the Pak and the Thrint, making them the biggest in Known Space by a comfy margin.

Very. Though its also VERY YMMV depending on who is writing them. Some of the non-Niven books are more than a bit off the mark.

Pat

  • BANNED
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • ?
  • Posts: 5252
  • Rats do 0 damage
Re: Star Trek RPG... What if there is no time travel?
« Reply #137 on: May 20, 2022, 08:21:08 PM »

Manipulating Kzin evolution and maybe human evolution too, in such a way it benefits them. I read them as willing to exterminate a whole species if it's for the benefit of theirs. So yes, they are the biggest assholes, the Pak are acting due to their instincts, the Puppeteers do the same or worst in a purelly rational way.

Did the Puppeteers have anything to do with the extinction of the Pak? I wouldn't put it past them.
First principles are never rational. Our needs and desires are set by instinct, not reason. That's true for us, it's true for the Pak, and it's almost certainly true for the Pupeeteers. And of the three, the Pak, not the Puppeteers, are the most completely and purely rational, when it comes to fulfilling their desires. The Pak are just a bit more absolutist about it.

Also, the Pak are never going to be extinct as long as humanity, including the Ringworld clade, exists. Tree of Life is just too good as a secret weapon. If humanity runs into an existential threat, sterilize a few colonies and turn all the eligible adults into Pak, and sic them on the threat du jour. Combined with the Teela gene, the Puppeteers must be really glad that humans are fairly friendly.

Star Trek and Known Space probably aren't a bad mix. They're not directly compatible, but Star Trek is fundamentally about exploration so it's designed for stand-alone encounters, and KS has a lot of elements that can be adopted piecemeal, and which can be used to raise difficult philosophical quandaries and instigate interesting conflicts.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2022, 08:27:19 PM by Pat »

GeekyBugle

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4829
  • Now even more Toxic
Re: Star Trek RPG... What if there is no time travel?
« Reply #138 on: May 20, 2022, 09:27:00 PM »

Manipulating Kzin evolution and maybe human evolution too, in such a way it benefits them. I read them as willing to exterminate a whole species if it's for the benefit of theirs. So yes, they are the biggest assholes, the Pak are acting due to their instincts, the Puppeteers do the same or worst in a purelly rational way.

Did the Puppeteers have anything to do with the extinction of the Pak? I wouldn't put it past them.
First principles are never rational. Our needs and desires are set by instinct, not reason. That's true for us, it's true for the Pak, and it's almost certainly true for the Pupeeteers. And of the three, the Pak, not the Puppeteers, are the most completely and purely rational, when it comes to fulfilling their desires. The Pak are just a bit more absolutist about it.

Also, the Pak are never going to be extinct as long as humanity, including the Ringworld clade, exists. Tree of Life is just too good as a secret weapon. If humanity runs into an existential threat, sterilize a few colonies and turn all the eligible adults into Pak, and sic them on the threat du jour. Combined with the Teela gene, the Puppeteers must be really glad that humans are fairly friendly.

Star Trek and Known Space probably aren't a bad mix. They're not directly compatible, but Star Trek is fundamentally about exploration so it's designed for stand-alone encounters, and KS has a lot of elements that can be adopted piecemeal, and which can be used to raise difficult philosophical quandaries and instigate interesting conflicts.

Known Space also has the better aliens.

The Pak are very intelligent and rational but driven by instincts, they must protect their descendants, and if their descendants die they stop eating.

A species that manages to cooperate better than them must be considered more rational.
Quote from: Rhedyn

Here is why this forum tends to be so stupid. Many people here think Joe Biden is "The Left", when he is actually Far Right and every US republican is just an idiot.

“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.”

― George Orwell

Pat

  • BANNED
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • ?
  • Posts: 5252
  • Rats do 0 damage
Re: Star Trek RPG... What if there is no time travel?
« Reply #139 on: May 20, 2022, 10:07:49 PM »

Manipulating Kzin evolution and maybe human evolution too, in such a way it benefits them. I read them as willing to exterminate a whole species if it's for the benefit of theirs. So yes, they are the biggest assholes, the Pak are acting due to their instincts, the Puppeteers do the same or worst in a purelly rational way.

Did the Puppeteers have anything to do with the extinction of the Pak? I wouldn't put it past them.
First principles are never rational. Our needs and desires are set by instinct, not reason. That's true for us, it's true for the Pak, and it's almost certainly true for the Pupeeteers. And of the three, the Pak, not the Puppeteers, are the most completely and purely rational, when it comes to fulfilling their desires. The Pak are just a bit more absolutist about it.

Also, the Pak are never going to be extinct as long as humanity, including the Ringworld clade, exists. Tree of Life is just too good as a secret weapon. If humanity runs into an existential threat, sterilize a few colonies and turn all the eligible adults into Pak, and sic them on the threat du jour. Combined with the Teela gene, the Puppeteers must be really glad that humans are fairly friendly.

Star Trek and Known Space probably aren't a bad mix. They're not directly compatible, but Star Trek is fundamentally about exploration so it's designed for stand-alone encounters, and KS has a lot of elements that can be adopted piecemeal, and which can be used to raise difficult philosophical quandaries and instigate interesting conflicts.

Known Space also has the better aliens.

The Pak are very intelligent and rational but driven by instincts, they must protect their descendants, and if their descendants die they stop eating.

A species that manages to cooperate better than them must be considered more rational.
I think cooperation is less rational.

Think of it this way. The selfish gene, or the idea that evolution optimizes toward each individual maximizing the survival of their genome, is remarkably well supported. There was this idea that certain species evolved collectively, and that individuals would sacrifice their own reproductive utility for the betterment of the group. It seemed to make sense, and fit certain human preconceptions about how the world should work. But as they looked at case after case, they were able to knock each of them down. It didn't hold up, anywhere, except for eusocial insects. So the idea of collective evolution was pretty much annihilated.

The Pak is the ideal of the selfish gene. They're completely, and exclusively focused on the survival of their lineage. That's a purely rational reaction to a primal urge. There's nothing extraneous. No art, no frivolousness. Just a complete obsession on one thing, using their super-human and even super-Puppeteer intellects.

Cooperation requires betraying that base urge. It requires certain individuals sacrificing their own best interest, for the sake of the group. Yes, it can lead to better results for the group as a whole. The Pak homeworld was wracked by war, while other more cooperative species (there's growing evidence that humans may be eusocial; an exception to the selfish gene) spread and flourished. But those results are contingent on individual failures, and if you have the urge to preserve your germ line, then acting in a way that dooms it, is irrational.

GeekyBugle

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4829
  • Now even more Toxic
Re: Star Trek RPG... What if there is no time travel?
« Reply #140 on: May 20, 2022, 10:45:25 PM »

Manipulating Kzin evolution and maybe human evolution too, in such a way it benefits them. I read them as willing to exterminate a whole species if it's for the benefit of theirs. So yes, they are the biggest assholes, the Pak are acting due to their instincts, the Puppeteers do the same or worst in a purelly rational way.

Did the Puppeteers have anything to do with the extinction of the Pak? I wouldn't put it past them.
First principles are never rational. Our needs and desires are set by instinct, not reason. That's true for us, it's true for the Pak, and it's almost certainly true for the Pupeeteers. And of the three, the Pak, not the Puppeteers, are the most completely and purely rational, when it comes to fulfilling their desires. The Pak are just a bit more absolutist about it.

Also, the Pak are never going to be extinct as long as humanity, including the Ringworld clade, exists. Tree of Life is just too good as a secret weapon. If humanity runs into an existential threat, sterilize a few colonies and turn all the eligible adults into Pak, and sic them on the threat du jour. Combined with the Teela gene, the Puppeteers must be really glad that humans are fairly friendly.

Star Trek and Known Space probably aren't a bad mix. They're not directly compatible, but Star Trek is fundamentally about exploration so it's designed for stand-alone encounters, and KS has a lot of elements that can be adopted piecemeal, and which can be used to raise difficult philosophical quandaries and instigate interesting conflicts.

Known Space also has the better aliens.

The Pak are very intelligent and rational but driven by instincts, they must protect their descendants, and if their descendants die they stop eating.

A species that manages to cooperate better than them must be considered more rational.
I think cooperation is less rational.

Think of it this way. The selfish gene, or the idea that evolution optimizes toward each individual maximizing the survival of their genome, is remarkably well supported. There was this idea that certain species evolved collectively, and that individuals would sacrifice their own reproductive utility for the betterment of the group. It seemed to make sense, and fit certain human preconceptions about how the world should work. But as they looked at case after case, they were able to knock each of them down. It didn't hold up, anywhere, except for eusocial insects. So the idea of collective evolution was pretty much annihilated.

The Pak is the ideal of the selfish gene. They're completely, and exclusively focused on the survival of their lineage. That's a purely rational reaction to a primal urge. There's nothing extraneous. No art, no frivolousness. Just a complete obsession on one thing, using their super-human and even super-Puppeteer intellects.

Cooperation requires betraying that base urge. It requires certain individuals sacrificing their own best interest, for the sake of the group. Yes, it can lead to better results for the group as a whole. The Pak homeworld was wracked by war, while other more cooperative species (there's growing evidence that humans may be eusocial; an exception to the selfish gene) spread and flourished. But those results are contingent on individual failures, and if you have the urge to preserve your germ line, then acting in a way that dooms it, is irrational.

So, instead of constantly plotting against other protectors and rendering the land uninhabitable (they did so in the Ringworld too) their best bet to preserve their lineages would be to pool their intelects towards that goal.

By not doing so they show irrational behaviour that's governed by their instincts and or passions not their reason.

On the other hand the Puppeteers cooperate among themselves and with other useful inteligent species, thus maximizing their survavility.

Nessus survives his trip to Ringworld thanks to the loyalty of the humans and Kzin.

A pak is unable to work with other species, he must destroy them. The Puppeteers will destroy only those they can't cooperate with. A much more rational approach.
Quote from: Rhedyn

Here is why this forum tends to be so stupid. Many people here think Joe Biden is "The Left", when he is actually Far Right and every US republican is just an idiot.

“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.”

― George Orwell

Pat

  • BANNED
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • ?
  • Posts: 5252
  • Rats do 0 damage
Re: Star Trek RPG... What if there is no time travel?
« Reply #141 on: May 21, 2022, 12:21:30 AM »

Manipulating Kzin evolution and maybe human evolution too, in such a way it benefits them. I read them as willing to exterminate a whole species if it's for the benefit of theirs. So yes, they are the biggest assholes, the Pak are acting due to their instincts, the Puppeteers do the same or worst in a purelly rational way.

Did the Puppeteers have anything to do with the extinction of the Pak? I wouldn't put it past them.
First principles are never rational. Our needs and desires are set by instinct, not reason. That's true for us, it's true for the Pak, and it's almost certainly true for the Pupeeteers. And of the three, the Pak, not the Puppeteers, are the most completely and purely rational, when it comes to fulfilling their desires. The Pak are just a bit more absolutist about it.

Also, the Pak are never going to be extinct as long as humanity, including the Ringworld clade, exists. Tree of Life is just too good as a secret weapon. If humanity runs into an existential threat, sterilize a few colonies and turn all the eligible adults into Pak, and sic them on the threat du jour. Combined with the Teela gene, the Puppeteers must be really glad that humans are fairly friendly.

Star Trek and Known Space probably aren't a bad mix. They're not directly compatible, but Star Trek is fundamentally about exploration so it's designed for stand-alone encounters, and KS has a lot of elements that can be adopted piecemeal, and which can be used to raise difficult philosophical quandaries and instigate interesting conflicts.

Known Space also has the better aliens.

The Pak are very intelligent and rational but driven by instincts, they must protect their descendants, and if their descendants die they stop eating.

A species that manages to cooperate better than them must be considered more rational.
I think cooperation is less rational.

Think of it this way. The selfish gene, or the idea that evolution optimizes toward each individual maximizing the survival of their genome, is remarkably well supported. There was this idea that certain species evolved collectively, and that individuals would sacrifice their own reproductive utility for the betterment of the group. It seemed to make sense, and fit certain human preconceptions about how the world should work. But as they looked at case after case, they were able to knock each of them down. It didn't hold up, anywhere, except for eusocial insects. So the idea of collective evolution was pretty much annihilated.

The Pak is the ideal of the selfish gene. They're completely, and exclusively focused on the survival of their lineage. That's a purely rational reaction to a primal urge. There's nothing extraneous. No art, no frivolousness. Just a complete obsession on one thing, using their super-human and even super-Puppeteer intellects.

Cooperation requires betraying that base urge. It requires certain individuals sacrificing their own best interest, for the sake of the group. Yes, it can lead to better results for the group as a whole. The Pak homeworld was wracked by war, while other more cooperative species (there's growing evidence that humans may be eusocial; an exception to the selfish gene) spread and flourished. But those results are contingent on individual failures, and if you have the urge to preserve your germ line, then acting in a way that dooms it, is irrational.

So, instead of constantly plotting against other protectors and rendering the land uninhabitable (they did so in the Ringworld too) their best bet to preserve their lineages would be to pool their intelects towards that goal.

By not doing so they show irrational behaviour that's governed by their instincts and or passions not their reason.

On the other hand the Puppeteers cooperate among themselves and with other useful inteligent species, thus maximizing their survavility.

Nessus survives his trip to Ringworld thanks to the loyalty of the humans and Kzin.

A pak is unable to work with other species, he must destroy them. The Puppeteers will destroy only those they can't cooperate with. A much more rational approach.
No, it's not irrational behavior. The irrational behavior is trust.

The iterated prisoner's dilemma is effectively a model for cooperation among selfish individuals, so it's a pretty good abstraction of evolutionary behavior. And it can tell us the winning strategies, which tend to be variations on tit for tat. That's a type of cooperation. But it's also assuming infinite iterations. If it's a finite series, which it will always be, because we don't live forever, the most optimal behavior for the final iteration is betrayal. We see that among humans, but it's pretty uncommon, when game theory tells us it should be the way every relationship ends.

Not only that, but the tit for tat strategies are very weak forms of cooperation, compared to real human cooperation. We do punish people, but very rarely considering the opportunities and population size. In a social milieu like that, even a small percentage of bad actors or free riders would break the system. But the number of sociopaths who do take advantage is even smaller than that, small enough that the system functions. Humans exhibit an extraordinary degree of a cooperation, without the expectation of reciprocation. The degree is far beyond that exhibited by other animals, or expected from simple game theory analysis of evolution.

It requires humans to sacrifice for an abstract that has nothing to do with the propagation of their genes, and to do so regularly. If your motive is to spread your genes, which is the most fundamental motive of any species shaped by evolution, then that degree of cooperation is irrational from the perspective of any individual. You want everyone else to behave like that, but it makes no logical sense for you to behave like that. It gains you, and your goal, nothing.

Furthermore, if you look at the origins of social behavior, it's all completely irrational. We're tied together by things like religion, or ecstatic dancing, or waving a flag. None of these are optimal behaviors, from the standpoint of the individual. If you create the perfectly logical being, and give him the basic evolutionary impulse, that being will never engage in any of those behaviors.

Sure, in the long run, those irrational behaviors that lead to high degrees of cooperation will win. But if everyone's acting logically, you'll be stuck in a suboptimal Nash equilibrium, with no way to make the jump.

That's why less logical behavior is important. We need art, we need play, because it allows us to break out of that dog-eat-dog world, and achieve things beyond those who simply take the most logically direct route based on their own needs.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2022, 12:24:58 AM by Pat »

GeekyBugle

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4829
  • Now even more Toxic
Re: Star Trek RPG... What if there is no time travel?
« Reply #142 on: May 21, 2022, 12:40:57 AM »

Manipulating Kzin evolution and maybe human evolution too, in such a way it benefits them. I read them as willing to exterminate a whole species if it's for the benefit of theirs. So yes, they are the biggest assholes, the Pak are acting due to their instincts, the Puppeteers do the same or worst in a purelly rational way.

Did the Puppeteers have anything to do with the extinction of the Pak? I wouldn't put it past them.
First principles are never rational. Our needs and desires are set by instinct, not reason. That's true for us, it's true for the Pak, and it's almost certainly true for the Pupeeteers. And of the three, the Pak, not the Puppeteers, are the most completely and purely rational, when it comes to fulfilling their desires. The Pak are just a bit more absolutist about it.

Also, the Pak are never going to be extinct as long as humanity, including the Ringworld clade, exists. Tree of Life is just too good as a secret weapon. If humanity runs into an existential threat, sterilize a few colonies and turn all the eligible adults into Pak, and sic them on the threat du jour. Combined with the Teela gene, the Puppeteers must be really glad that humans are fairly friendly.

Star Trek and Known Space probably aren't a bad mix. They're not directly compatible, but Star Trek is fundamentally about exploration so it's designed for stand-alone encounters, and KS has a lot of elements that can be adopted piecemeal, and which can be used to raise difficult philosophical quandaries and instigate interesting conflicts.

Known Space also has the better aliens.

The Pak are very intelligent and rational but driven by instincts, they must protect their descendants, and if their descendants die they stop eating.

A species that manages to cooperate better than them must be considered more rational.
I think cooperation is less rational.

Think of it this way. The selfish gene, or the idea that evolution optimizes toward each individual maximizing the survival of their genome, is remarkably well supported. There was this idea that certain species evolved collectively, and that individuals would sacrifice their own reproductive utility for the betterment of the group. It seemed to make sense, and fit certain human preconceptions about how the world should work. But as they looked at case after case, they were able to knock each of them down. It didn't hold up, anywhere, except for eusocial insects. So the idea of collective evolution was pretty much annihilated.

The Pak is the ideal of the selfish gene. They're completely, and exclusively focused on the survival of their lineage. That's a purely rational reaction to a primal urge. There's nothing extraneous. No art, no frivolousness. Just a complete obsession on one thing, using their super-human and even super-Puppeteer intellects.

Cooperation requires betraying that base urge. It requires certain individuals sacrificing their own best interest, for the sake of the group. Yes, it can lead to better results for the group as a whole. The Pak homeworld was wracked by war, while other more cooperative species (there's growing evidence that humans may be eusocial; an exception to the selfish gene) spread and flourished. But those results are contingent on individual failures, and if you have the urge to preserve your germ line, then acting in a way that dooms it, is irrational.

So, instead of constantly plotting against other protectors and rendering the land uninhabitable (they did so in the Ringworld too) their best bet to preserve their lineages would be to pool their intelects towards that goal.

By not doing so they show irrational behaviour that's governed by their instincts and or passions not their reason.

On the other hand the Puppeteers cooperate among themselves and with other useful inteligent species, thus maximizing their survavility.

Nessus survives his trip to Ringworld thanks to the loyalty of the humans and Kzin.

A pak is unable to work with other species, he must destroy them. The Puppeteers will destroy only those they can't cooperate with. A much more rational approach.
No, it's not irrational behavior. The irrational behavior is trust.

The iterated prisoner's dilemma is effectively a model for cooperation among selfish individuals, so it's a pretty good abstraction of evolutionary behavior. And it can tell us the winning strategies, which tend to be variations on tit for tat. That's a type of cooperation. But it's also assuming infinite iterations. If it's a finite series, which it will always be, because we don't live forever, the most optimal behavior for the final iteration is betrayal. We see that among humans, but it's pretty uncommon, when game theory tells us it should be the way every relationship ends.

Not only that, but the tit for tat strategies are very weak forms of cooperation, compared to real human cooperation. We do punish people, but very rarely considering the opportunities and population size. In a social milieu like that, even a small percentage of bad actors or free riders would break the system. But the number of sociopaths who do take advantage is even smaller than that, small enough that the system functions. Humans exhibit an extraordinary degree of a cooperation, without the expectation of reciprocation. The degree is far beyond that exhibited by other animals, or expected from simple game theory analysis of evolution.

It requires humans to sacrifice for an abstract that has nothing to do with the propagation of their genes, and to do so regularly. If your motive is to spread your genes, which is the most fundamental motive of any species shaped by evolution, then that degree of cooperation is irrational from the perspective of any individual. You want everyone else to behave like that, but it makes no logical sense for you to behave like that. It gains you, and your goal, nothing.

Furthermore, if you look at the origins of social behavior, it's all completely irrational. We're tied together by things like religion, or ecstatic dancing, or waving a flag. None of these are optimal behaviors, from the standpoint of the individual. If you create the perfectly logical being, and give him the basic evolutionary impulse, that being will never engage in any of those behaviors.

Sure, in the long run, those irrational behaviors that lead to high degrees of cooperation will win. But if everyone's acting logically, you'll be stuck in a suboptimal Nash equilibrium, with no way to make the jump.

That's why less logical behavior is important. We need art, we need play, because it allows us to break out of that dog-eat-dog world, and achieve things beyond those who simply take the most logically direct route based on their own needs.

Where did the trsut thing come from?

The puppeteers don't cooperate out of trust but out of self interest. And they are ready to anihilate you if you cross them.

We don't cooperate out of trust but out of self interest, so do our cousins the chimps.

I don't need to trust every single human to behave in X way, we know some won't, it's why we have laws to punish those who behave in ways that are perjudicial for society.

The optimum way to pass your genes is to have as many kids as possible, but is it the best way to guarantee their survival? Why was the woman's virginity valued? It's not because religion, it's because it guarantees you're suporting YOUR kids. Religions incorporated it after the fact because those were our first laws.

Speaking of religions and experiments, why is it that when they think someone is observing them people are more honest than when they think no one is watching? The experiment has been done. Thus religion serves another purpose, to provide the ever watchful eye.

It doesn't matter if YOU believe, if you're surrounded by people who believe they will be thrwon in hell if they steal you'll have a more honest population.

Then it's the issue of reciprocity/fair play, something even rats grok. The dominant rat must let the lesser rat win sometimes when they play or the lesser rat will not want to play.

All social animals cooperate, intelligent social animals are no exception. If by cooperating the chances of all to pass their genes imcrease the logical option is to do so. Yes, you as an individual have no guarantee but you are in the same position by not cooperating or worst.

So, the Puppeteers are way more rational than the Pak because they will cooperate even with other species.
Quote from: Rhedyn

Here is why this forum tends to be so stupid. Many people here think Joe Biden is "The Left", when he is actually Far Right and every US republican is just an idiot.

“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.”

― George Orwell

Pat

  • BANNED
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • ?
  • Posts: 5252
  • Rats do 0 damage
Re: Star Trek RPG... What if there is no time travel?
« Reply #143 on: May 21, 2022, 09:02:05 AM »
No, it's not irrational behavior. The irrational behavior is trust.

The iterated prisoner's dilemma is effectively a model for cooperation among selfish individuals, so it's a pretty good abstraction of evolutionary behavior. And it can tell us the winning strategies, which tend to be variations on tit for tat. That's a type of cooperation. But it's also assuming infinite iterations. If it's a finite series, which it will always be, because we don't live forever, the most optimal behavior for the final iteration is betrayal. We see that among humans, but it's pretty uncommon, when game theory tells us it should be the way every relationship ends.

Not only that, but the tit for tat strategies are very weak forms of cooperation, compared to real human cooperation. We do punish people, but very rarely considering the opportunities and population size. In a social milieu like that, even a small percentage of bad actors or free riders would break the system. But the number of sociopaths who do take advantage is even smaller than that, small enough that the system functions. Humans exhibit an extraordinary degree of a cooperation, without the expectation of reciprocation. The degree is far beyond that exhibited by other animals, or expected from simple game theory analysis of evolution.

It requires humans to sacrifice for an abstract that has nothing to do with the propagation of their genes, and to do so regularly. If your motive is to spread your genes, which is the most fundamental motive of any species shaped by evolution, then that degree of cooperation is irrational from the perspective of any individual. You want everyone else to behave like that, but it makes no logical sense for you to behave like that. It gains you, and your goal, nothing.

Furthermore, if you look at the origins of social behavior, it's all completely irrational. We're tied together by things like religion, or ecstatic dancing, or waving a flag. None of these are optimal behaviors, from the standpoint of the individual. If you create the perfectly logical being, and give him the basic evolutionary impulse, that being will never engage in any of those behaviors.

Sure, in the long run, those irrational behaviors that lead to high degrees of cooperation will win. But if everyone's acting logically, you'll be stuck in a suboptimal Nash equilibrium, with no way to make the jump.

That's why less logical behavior is important. We need art, we need play, because it allows us to break out of that dog-eat-dog world, and achieve things beyond those who simply take the most logically direct route based on their own needs.

Where did the trsut thing come from?

The puppeteers don't cooperate out of trust but out of self interest. And they are ready to anihilate you if you cross them.

We don't cooperate out of trust but out of self interest, so do our cousins the chimps.

I don't need to trust every single human to behave in X way, we know some won't, it's why we have laws to punish those who behave in ways that are perjudicial for society.

The optimum way to pass your genes is to have as many kids as possible, but is it the best way to guarantee their survival? Why was the woman's virginity valued? It's not because religion, it's because it guarantees you're suporting YOUR kids. Religions incorporated it after the fact because those were our first laws.

Speaking of religions and experiments, why is it that when they think someone is observing them people are more honest than when they think no one is watching? The experiment has been done. Thus religion serves another purpose, to provide the ever watchful eye.

It doesn't matter if YOU believe, if you're surrounded by people who believe they will be thrwon in hell if they steal you'll have a more honest population.

Then it's the issue of reciprocity/fair play, something even rats grok. The dominant rat must let the lesser rat win sometimes when they play or the lesser rat will not want to play.

All social animals cooperate, intelligent social animals are no exception. If by cooperating the chances of all to pass their genes imcrease the logical option is to do so. Yes, you as an individual have no guarantee but you are in the same position by not cooperating or worst.

So, the Puppeteers are way more rational than the Pak because they will cooperate even with other species.
Trust is the most fundamental requirement for cooperation.

Do you understand the argument I've been making? In a situation where you don't know if you can trust other people, there are provably optimal strategies for each individual, when acting in their own self-interest (based on game theory). Demonstrating a high degree of trust without proof of reciprocation is not the optimal decision for individuals in those situations. In fact, it's the least optimal choice. Individuals who act that way will be exploited, and quickly removed from the gene pool.

It's true that societies or species that display a high degree of trust will be able to cooperate in ways that will give them a great advantage over more internally competitive societies or species. But evolution doesn't happen at the species or group level, it happens at the individual level. It's about you passing on your genes.

That means the rational, optimal choice will never lead to a high degree of trust, and thus cooperation. A purely rational species or society will be trapped at a lower local maxima, as exemplified by the Pak. To overcome that local maxima requires members of the group to act non-rationally. They need to trust, even when it's not in their best interest. Once a sufficient number of the group develops that trusting behavior, the group as a whole will be able to out-compete the purely rational beings who only engage in activities that further their own self-interest. But to reach that level requires irrational behavior.

GeekyBugle

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4829
  • Now even more Toxic
Re: Star Trek RPG... What if there is no time travel?
« Reply #144 on: May 21, 2022, 11:37:00 AM »
No, it's not irrational behavior. The irrational behavior is trust.

The iterated prisoner's dilemma is effectively a model for cooperation among selfish individuals, so it's a pretty good abstraction of evolutionary behavior. And it can tell us the winning strategies, which tend to be variations on tit for tat. That's a type of cooperation. But it's also assuming infinite iterations. If it's a finite series, which it will always be, because we don't live forever, the most optimal behavior for the final iteration is betrayal. We see that among humans, but it's pretty uncommon, when game theory tells us it should be the way every relationship ends.

Not only that, but the tit for tat strategies are very weak forms of cooperation, compared to real human cooperation. We do punish people, but very rarely considering the opportunities and population size. In a social milieu like that, even a small percentage of bad actors or free riders would break the system. But the number of sociopaths who do take advantage is even smaller than that, small enough that the system functions. Humans exhibit an extraordinary degree of a cooperation, without the expectation of reciprocation. The degree is far beyond that exhibited by other animals, or expected from simple game theory analysis of evolution.

It requires humans to sacrifice for an abstract that has nothing to do with the propagation of their genes, and to do so regularly. If your motive is to spread your genes, which is the most fundamental motive of any species shaped by evolution, then that degree of cooperation is irrational from the perspective of any individual. You want everyone else to behave like that, but it makes no logical sense for you to behave like that. It gains you, and your goal, nothing.

Furthermore, if you look at the origins of social behavior, it's all completely irrational. We're tied together by things like religion, or ecstatic dancing, or waving a flag. None of these are optimal behaviors, from the standpoint of the individual. If you create the perfectly logical being, and give him the basic evolutionary impulse, that being will never engage in any of those behaviors.

Sure, in the long run, those irrational behaviors that lead to high degrees of cooperation will win. But if everyone's acting logically, you'll be stuck in a suboptimal Nash equilibrium, with no way to make the jump.

That's why less logical behavior is important. We need art, we need play, because it allows us to break out of that dog-eat-dog world, and achieve things beyond those who simply take the most logically direct route based on their own needs.

Where did the trsut thing come from?

The puppeteers don't cooperate out of trust but out of self interest. And they are ready to anihilate you if you cross them.

We don't cooperate out of trust but out of self interest, so do our cousins the chimps.

I don't need to trust every single human to behave in X way, we know some won't, it's why we have laws to punish those who behave in ways that are perjudicial for society.

The optimum way to pass your genes is to have as many kids as possible, but is it the best way to guarantee their survival? Why was the woman's virginity valued? It's not because religion, it's because it guarantees you're suporting YOUR kids. Religions incorporated it after the fact because those were our first laws.

Speaking of religions and experiments, why is it that when they think someone is observing them people are more honest than when they think no one is watching? The experiment has been done. Thus religion serves another purpose, to provide the ever watchful eye.

It doesn't matter if YOU believe, if you're surrounded by people who believe they will be thrwon in hell if they steal you'll have a more honest population.

Then it's the issue of reciprocity/fair play, something even rats grok. The dominant rat must let the lesser rat win sometimes when they play or the lesser rat will not want to play.

All social animals cooperate, intelligent social animals are no exception. If by cooperating the chances of all to pass their genes imcrease the logical option is to do so. Yes, you as an individual have no guarantee but you are in the same position by not cooperating or worst.

So, the Puppeteers are way more rational than the Pak because they will cooperate even with other species.
Trust is the most fundamental requirement for cooperation.

Do you understand the argument I've been making? In a situation where you don't know if you can trust other people, there are provably optimal strategies for each individual, when acting in their own self-interest (based on game theory). Demonstrating a high degree of trust without proof of reciprocation is not the optimal decision for individuals in those situations. In fact, it's the least optimal choice. Individuals who act that way will be exploited, and quickly removed from the gene pool.

It's true that societies or species that display a high degree of trust will be able to cooperate in ways that will give them a great advantage over more internally competitive societies or species. But evolution doesn't happen at the species or group level, it happens at the individual level. It's about you passing on your genes.

That means the rational, optimal choice will never lead to a high degree of trust, and thus cooperation. A purely rational species or society will be trapped at a lower local maxima, as exemplified by the Pak. To overcome that local maxima requires members of the group to act non-rationally. They need to trust, even when it's not in their best interest. Once a sufficient number of the group develops that trusting behavior, the group as a whole will be able to out-compete the purely rational beings who only engage in activities that further their own self-interest. But to reach that level requires irrational behavior.

I grok you but you're wrong, evolution is about populations not individuals, thus a species that develops a trait that's more advantageous will probably survive those who don't. Within a same species a population that develops an advantageous trait will eventually either replace those who didn't or evolve into a separate species, it's how we got dogs, foxes and cats.

Intelligent animals aren't only bound by their instincts tho, it's why chimps teach their offspring to "build/use" tools, and they aren't the only primate to do so, there's also a japanese monkey that has a population that does so.

The pak are driven by their instinct to pass on their individual genes and to protect those who carry their genes. This is disadvantagous to the whole, any rational species would see it and they do, but they are unable to stop themselves, because those instincts overpower their reason.

On the other hand the Puppeteers will exterminate/manipulate or selectively breed any hostile species and will cooperate with those open to do so.

They don't trust the humans or the Kzin, they know they can wipe them out of existence so they aren't really a treat, especially since they selectively breed the Kzin for millenia. They are paranoid, and yet they still are able to use those like Nessus who wouldn't be able to reproduce otherwise to cooperate in a dangerous mission with two alien species.

Not only they aren't killing each other they are cooperating/using when advantageous other intelligent species.

They might not be smarter but they are more logical than the Pak.
Quote from: Rhedyn

Here is why this forum tends to be so stupid. Many people here think Joe Biden is "The Left", when he is actually Far Right and every US republican is just an idiot.

“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.”

― George Orwell

Pat

  • BANNED
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • ?
  • Posts: 5252
  • Rats do 0 damage
Re: Star Trek RPG... What if there is no time travel?
« Reply #145 on: May 21, 2022, 01:23:13 PM »
I grok you but you're wrong, evolution is about populations not individuals, thus a species that develops a trait that's more advantageous will probably survive those who don't. Within a same species a population that develops an advantageous trait will eventually either replace those who didn't or evolve into a separate species, it's how we got dogs, foxes and cats.
Except for eusocial insects and perhaps humans, the idea that evolution operates at the population level has been rigorously debunked over the last few generations. It's one of the most conclusive results in all the biological sciences. Look up stuff on the selfish gene, though you'll probably fine a lot of references to Dawkin's book, which I've never read, so I can't really comment on its applicability.

Since we disagree on such a fundamental matter of fact, I doubt any further discussion will be productive.

GeekyBugle

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4829
  • Now even more Toxic
Re: Star Trek RPG... What if there is no time travel?
« Reply #146 on: May 21, 2022, 01:26:45 PM »
I grok you but you're wrong, evolution is about populations not individuals, thus a species that develops a trait that's more advantageous will probably survive those who don't. Within a same species a population that develops an advantageous trait will eventually either replace those who didn't or evolve into a separate species, it's how we got dogs, foxes and cats.
Except for eusocial insects and perhaps humans, the idea that evolution happens at the population level has been rigorously debunked over the last few generations. It's one of the most conclusive results in all the biological sciences. Look up stuff on the selfish gene, though you'll probably fine a lot of references to Dawkin's book, which I've never read, so I can't really comment on its applicability.

Since we disagree on such a fundamental matter of fact, I doubt any further discussion will be productive.

Mutations happen at the individual level, evolution (which deals with population mechanics) happens at the population level.

Lets say an individual is born with an advantegous mutation, but it fails to reproduce. There was no evolution. Lets say it reproduces but on the third generation all his descendants are wiped out by a disaster. No evolution.
Quote from: Rhedyn

Here is why this forum tends to be so stupid. Many people here think Joe Biden is "The Left", when he is actually Far Right and every US republican is just an idiot.

“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.”

― George Orwell

Shrieking Banshee

  • Narcissist Undead
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2200
Re: Star Trek RPG... What if there is no time travel?
« Reply #147 on: May 21, 2022, 02:48:44 PM »
The idea that evolution operates at the population level has been rigorously debunked over the last few generations.

How does that work? Isn't evolution about the slow change in populations over multiple generations? Im not sure how a species can evolve without a population. Unless its Pokemon.

jhkim

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10034
Re: Star Trek RPG... What if there is no time travel?
« Reply #148 on: May 21, 2022, 03:33:05 PM »
This is getting rather far afield of both Star Trek and Ringworld. I note that there is crossover between Ringworld and Star Trek, since the Kzinti feature in "The Slaver Weapon" - an episode for the animated series written by Larry Niven. And thus the Kzinti feature in Star Fleet Battles and related games based on the Star Trek Technical Manual.

Humans exhibit an extraordinary degree of a cooperation, without the expectation of reciprocation. The degree is far beyond that exhibited by other animals, or expected from simple game theory analysis of evolution.

It requires humans to sacrifice for an abstract that has nothing to do with the propagation of their genes, and to do so regularly. If your motive is to spread your genes, which is the most fundamental motive of any species shaped by evolution, then that degree of cooperation is irrational from the perspective of any individual. You want everyone else to behave like that, but it makes no logical sense for you to behave like that. It gains you, and your goal, nothing.

I think the root of the disagreement here is the bolded assumption above (bolding mine). Evolution is a scientific process that happens - it isn't a moral imperative to try to do. It happens regardless of one's motives and choices, and it isn't something that an individual should necessarily logically pursue. Individuals can have motives unrelated to spreading their genes. I don't think Isaac Newton, say, should be considered an irrational failure because he failed to spread his genes.

I've read Dawkins' "The Selfish Gene", but I haven't read much on more recent research. Still, regardless of the scientific discoveries on how evolution tends to work, it doesn't change what evolution is.

Pat

  • BANNED
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • ?
  • Posts: 5252
  • Rats do 0 damage
Re: Star Trek RPG... What if there is no time travel?
« Reply #149 on: May 21, 2022, 04:19:57 PM »
The idea that evolution operates at the population level has been rigorously debunked over the last few generations.

How does that work? Isn't evolution about the slow change in populations over multiple generations? Im not sure how a species can evolve without a population. Unless its Pokemon.
Natural selection is a filter. It selects for organisms that are successful at passing down their genes, and is ruthlessly focused on that one thing. Over time, this certainly changes populations. But the processes operates on the individual, not the population.