Wednesday, May 29, 2002

The rewards of Forgiveness

Akma has been discussing the theory and practice of forgiveness in great and clarifying detail.

One of the interesting insights in Nonzero is the great survival value of forgiveness. In order to gain non-zero sum benefits, trust and communication are necessary, but how one acts towards betrayal is very important. Avoiding the cycle of revenge and mistrust that lead to war and other negative sum outcomes is important. Nonzero's discussion of iterated prisoners dilemmas, based on Axelrod's work is interesting, in that it explains the advantages of the 'Tit for Tat' strategy, but more recent research shows that more forgiving strategies win out in the long run, especially over generations.

The Templeton foundation has gathered a lot of research into forgiveness here. Much food for further thought:

For example, This experiment concludes:
...this study suggests that inadvertent transgressions can be overcome through overlooking some of the offenses of one's partner (which might have been prompted by one's own hurtful behavior), and also, by refraining from allowing one's own inadvertently hurtful behavior from starting a precedent for mutual hurt in the relationship. Thus, willingness to forgive the inadvertent transgressions of one's relationship partner, but especially contrition for one's own hurtful behavior, appear to be critical ingredients for long-term success in interpersonal relations.

Monday, May 13, 2002

Linking to Joho

Dave's latest JOHO is out.
In the email section he somehow repeats the original version of a little back and forth we had on my sadly-neglected Nonzero blog, implying I retracted it, when in fact we both forgot which blog it was on. Dave kindly corrected this in his blog at the time

Anyway, the point I was failing to make well by exaggerating and parodying was that Dave's orginal 'Web as Utopia' piece makes sense for those of us who are familiar with the web and have fond our place in it, but confuses those for whom it is an alien experience.

I know Dave doesn't really think that the web is 'a transcendent Platonic ideal of Socratic discourse'; I was exaggerating to make the point that we find online what we go looking for, and the web we see is a reflection of ourselves individually as well as collectively.

With 2 billion pages and counting, we can never see it all, and when we venture outside the well trodden paths of the personal web we know, we are more likely to make mistakes in our maps, and come back with 'here be dragons' written across entire continents and tales of men with no heads.

I think this effect, rather than malice or wilful misrepresentation is what is behind such things as journalists' clueless articles on weblogs or congressman fulminating against the net consisting mostly of porn and piracy.

This is part of what I got from reading SPLJ, and I'm glad I provoked Dave into such a clearly expressed retort about connection.

And talking of connecting, try out the Amazon connection browser that (appropriately enough) defaults to starting with SPLJ.

Just to make sure I don't lose this version, I'm 'syndicating' it to my own blog and nonzero too.