I choose to defect.Kim writes below that "Unquestionably in these one-shot Prisoner's Dilemma situations, cooperation is better." - but I can't bring myself to agree. The case of the chocolate donut is a misleading analogy, because ultimately the value of the donut is purely subjective. We aren't talking about competing for an astronaut slot on Space Station Alpha or the last ticket out of Ho Chi Minh city circa 1973. Its just a donut. The vast majority of Prisoner's Dilemma situations that we come across are of similar less-than-weighty import, and I think that there is a clear reason to defect rather than cooperate.
I don't think you can unify the demands of morality (which are also subjective) with the simple strategy of playing a PD game. You have to choose. The PD almost always is in conflict with morality, and which choice you make is highly dependent on the desired outcome.
I find most of the attempts to unify morality and PD-strategy to be deeply flawed. These are orthogonal decision-making strategies.
permalink | posted by Aziz P. | 11.01.2003 |