Reversion to Tit for Tat

As the optimal strategy for iterated games, Tit for Tat long ago became the norm and basis of human social coordination. It is manifest in our sense of fair play, in our customs and laws, and in all our economic exchanges. Tit for Tat is then a strange attractor for human societies. They all tend toward it, homeostatically. The further you push a society away from Tit for Tat, the harder will it try to get back.

Prevent a people from responding to tats for a long, long time, and eventually they will snap. The frenzy of the explosive rush to restore equilibrium will manifest in a million tits for every tat. Those who had lately done well by tatting will find themselves all tits up.

It will be a bloody ugly rebound.

9 thoughts on “Reversion to Tit for Tat

  1. Right now middle-class white people follow the “always cooperate” strategy while nonwhites prefer the “always defect” strategy. Obamacare was based on the assumption that healthy middle-class folks consider insurance so essential that they will pay five times as much for it instead of just showing up in the ER like poor people do.

    Jim Donald points out many different ways that societies get stuck in a defect-defect equilibrium, where the rule is to screw the other guy before he screws you. E.g.

    War and peace, rich or poor, boom or bust, conscription or demobilization, has little effect on fertility. What controls fertility is whether women are permitted to defect on their husbands, whether women are permitted to have a succession of boyfriends, playing one partner off against another.

    If women are allowed to defect, you get defect/defect. Men, expecting defection, decline to invest in wives and children. If you do not allow farmers to own their land, their cattle, and their crops, you are not going to get much cattle or crops. And, similarly, you have to allow husbands to own their wives and their children.

    If women are compelled to cooperate, then men have an incentive to invest in wives and children.

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  3. Yes, all that pent up frustration will eventually burst forth in a raging torrent. This is one reason that our current obsession (as a culture) with preventing “bullying” is so horrifying to witness. In the first place, a very large percentage of acts currently denominated “bullying” simply aren’t; in the second, to properly deal with an actual “bully” one must at some point respond in kind and let him know – good and hard! – that he has met more than his match.

    At the end of the day men will have to reassert their authority and prohibit the rule of women over the society. Mark that down for the upcoming reboot.

    • “Bullying” ihas become a euphemism for ‘disapproves of sexual perversion in deed, word, or even merely thought”.

      After some practice the constantly moving jargon becomes easy to follow. “Racist” = breathing while white, “youths” = nonwhite criminals, “woman” = voluntary crossdressing eunuch, “gay” = derives personal identity from regular acts of sodomy, “rape” = woman later regrets a voluntary sexual act, etc. etc.

      One way to mitigate the tower-of-babel effect is to repeat the word: “wait, do you mean rape or actual rape-rape?” But you have to repeat it the right number of times and use the right qualifiers:

  4. @Kristor

    As a prediction… I’m not sure. Because if this was going to happen, I think it already would have happened – and quite a long time ago.

    Thinsg are different this time round – probably for more than one reason. Most important, for most people the bottom-line is that God is dead and anything is permitted (to combine Nietzsche and Dostoievsky); secondly the developed world has the the oldest populations with the smallest proporton of children and youths ever; thirdly the mass media; fourthly the possibility of several generations of mutation accumulation due to the reduction of child mortality from 60% to 1% making almost everyone genetically sick in various ways (and other things)…

    The list goes on – but the point is that prediction is very difficult because people have never been in this situation before – all historical comparisons are qualitatively different.

    Our best bet is inspired prophecy – which is never precise. Plus, knowledge of what is going-on.

    One thing I would like to see (which could only come after a Christian awakening) is explicit and general recognition that the global establishment are evil.

    I mean they have evil motivations (they are *not* well intentioned!). Furthermore, that their evil is primarily *spiritual* evil – they don’t care much (they do care a bit – but not much) about whether/ how-many people are happy or sad, peaceful or at war, prosperous or impoverished, overfed or starving, healthy or diseased, amused or bored… they are instead primarily engaged in *spiritual* warfare.

    Specifically, and overall, the global establishment strategise the damnation of as many people as possible.

    This isn’t an easy thing to accomplish (see CS Lewis’s The Screwtape Letters!) but at present they are doing better than ever at any time in world history – because now many, many people openly argue for an inverted sense of The Good; and would/ will therefore reject the Gift of salvation Even When They Know It Is True (as will presumably happen after their deaths).

    Anyway, it would be a great help to know who is the enemy, that they are the enemy; and what they are aiming at.

    • To be sure. I don’t meant to venture a prediction as to timing, because I have no idea when the avalanche of tits will begin; it does seem to my old eyes as though it ought to have come round long ago. But then, the various deformations you adduce as factors of the curious delay in its onslaught are each themselves perversions from the normal homeostatic strange attractors natural to our species. Atheism, crashing fertility, genetic load, obsession with delusory fake news (such a useful term: essentially *all* the media is fakery) as opposed to real life: these are all illnesses of some sort.

      Every deformation of the human being encourages some other deformation, if only in virtue of the human system’s attempt to maintain overall balance under some distortion by means of a compensatory distortion. So deformation feeds deformation, in a vicious cycle. The system hobbles along under its burden of vices, as long as it can. Eventually, however, the manifold illnesses so weaken the system as to open room for incursion and massive florescence of some sort of invasive parasitic organism, and a life or death crisis ensues.

      Each of the diseases you notice therefore invites its own sudden violent reversion to the norm. A reversion toward health from any one of them – a salutary red pill taken for just one of the diseases working its beneficial effects – tends to reveal and amplify the sickening effects of the others, destabilizing the whole system, and triggering a preference cascade (fear of such cascades is the reason our adversaries so abhor triggers). Put the reversions all together, and you have an intense, systemic, pervasive purgation, by means of the social equivalents of fasting, high fever, vomiting, diarrhea, sweating, bleeding, savage convulsions.

      Whenever it comes, the Collapse™ will certainly involve participation of all four Horsemen.

      Such a total crisis can be so extreme as to threaten destruction of the host, in a Pyrrhic victory over its invaders. Nevertheless is it a harbinger of returning vigor – even if it results in death.

      Death after all is not the end of the story of our recovery to health.

      In sum: while the hour and the day are hidden to my eyes, it seems quite clear that a crisis must eventually transpire, and that when it does, it will be a massive, intense, and pervasive purgation, as befits the complex of diseases that now besets us.

      • Yes. Catharsis. A word with medical, sociological, and spiritual connotations. And one which in the Venn diagram overlaps a good deal with expulsion. A Christian society is ideally non-expulsive, but a de-Christianized society, which is what we currently are, will naturally revert to pre-Christian behaviors. Since the foolishly invited “Other” is determined to expel those who invited him in the first place (call it tat), tit will make use of expulsion. It can only make use of expulsion, when the time comes. So, catharsis will be nasty in its hour. Indeed, it will invoke all four Horsemen.

        P.S. Expulsion can take the radical form of immolation. The Mancunian atrocity was merely the latest of Islam’s 1,400-year record of mass sacrificial immolations to its tutelary demon.

      • katharsis “purging, cleansing,” from stem of kathairein “to purify, purge,” from katharos “pure, clear of dirt, clean, spotless; open, free; clear of shame or guilt; purified …”

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