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Re: [ontolog-forum] Self Interest Ontology: Emotions in animals

To: ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 04 Jan 2012 13:54:50 -0500
Message-id: <4F04A07A.2010400@xxxxxxxxxxx>
On 1/4/2012 12:53 PM, Ed Barkmeyer wrote:
> It is the strategy of the indirect approach.  I would argue that such
> behavior is a particularly human version of the more general behavior of
> various species in which apparently pointless immediate sacrifices can
> be made to achieve a perceived long term good.    (01)

The indirect approach requires the ability to think several steps ahead.    (02)

Prey species, such as deer and rabbits, are always watchful for
possible attacks by predators.  And they learn what kinds of threats
are harmless.  My sister had a dog that was tied on a leash in the
back yard.  A rabbit was in the garden, happily munching on plants,
while the dog was straining at the leash and barking a few feet away.    (03)

But predator species have to anticipate actions by prey species
in order to ambush them or head them off before they reach safety.
However, most predator species get confused when people anticipate
their actions.    (04)

People quickly learn to think one or two steps ahead, but they need
a lot of experience and practice to see possibilities a few steps
further.    (05)

Robert E. Lee and Admiral Yamamoto were excellent military strategists.
They understood the strengths of their opponents very well, and they
knew that their chances of success in the long run were slim.  But
they had a very strong sense of duty.  They chose risky strategies
that had a small chance of success.    (06)

This raises questions about duty and honor, which are useful to control
a large army and keep them focused on the goal despite the danger to
individuals.  Those qualities begin with loyalty to the family, which is
valuable for survival of the species, even at the expense of individual
self interest.  That kind of loyalty is common in social organizations
ranging from bees and ants to a wolf pack, a herd of bison, a troop of
baboons, or a football team.    (07)

John    (08)

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