Re: comment wrt. ESR's talk in Vienna

Autor: sebastian sauer (
Datum: Son Jul 14 2002 - 11:30:09 CEST

On Sat, Jul 13, 2002 at 09:28:17PM +0200, Franz Schaefer wrote:

> there are people who do not care only for them self but also for other
> people.
ACK. and i'm sure you only mean the positive aspects of that.
bear in mind however caring for other ppl. makes the them less
independent. by caring about others you may take away some of their freedom.

plz. don't get me wrong, i'm the last who beliefs this "cogito ergo sum"
bullshit. (which is *very* egoistic.) rather i prefer
heinz v. foerster's "cogito ergo summus."
(my mind's cognition makes us all alive."). IMO the best best answer to
questions like "why is credit such important in the free software culture?"
or "are humans in general egoistic or rather altruistic?" is:

"sollen ist gewollt werden."
-- karen kastenhofer

(rather odd translation, feel free to come up with a better one:
"ought is being liked and recognized.")

> > What other people interpret as altruistic willingness to make
> > sacrifices for the sake of making a better world is actually my
> > selfish desire to *create* that world so I can live in it.

IMO sounds like the game theory approach... ..or this crappy marvin
minsky AI philosophy...

for the interested...

Scientific American, January 2002

The Economics of Fair Play

Why do we value fairness and cooperation over seemingly more rational
selfishness? How can Darwinian generosity arise? Biologists and

by Karl Sigmund, Ernst Fehr and Martin A. Nowak

> well. some people have affection to other people. some even have affection
> to people in general..
full ACK.

"There is no hope of joy except in human relations."
- Antoine de Saint-Exupery

> and they also care for the world that those people
> live in.
ACK, but this can be explained with altrustic considerations as well as
egoistic ones.

(quite often, when i get bored of this altruistic vs. egoistic dogma
dispute, i start arguing that a single wo/man can't even reproduce their
very own speci and no single isolated child can survive. hence a strict egoist
has to break his dogma, since he, the "ego" wouldn't survive. and killing
the "ego" is not very egoistic.
an strict altruist is probably also going to break his own dogma, since
without "the notion of i" no morale is possible, since ethics is very
subjective. (IMO the reason why communism is doomed as well as capitalism.
for further argumentation about "the notion of i", "the notion the
selfrefering i" (aka 2nd order cybernetics) or the subjectivity of ethics
see: f. varela, h. maturana, h. foerster, et al.)

> to explain everything with selfishness is simple bullshit. sorry.
full ACK. this is one reason i'm very skeptic about the game theory

> now if you are clever you might argue: when people act for other people then
> it is their selfish affection for them... to maximize the feeling of one
> self to see one self as being good judgment of ones one moral... ok now
> then you can stick the label "selfish" on everything..
ACK, however marx, lenin, gorky et al. wouldn't allow this way of

> but then this is not
> what is commonly understood with the term "selfish"...

ahh well, reminds me on this wonderful cite my fabulus physics teacher used
once, when she was critized for being a feminist:

"Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age 18."
-- albert einstein

she when added: "to avoid missunderstanding, don't rely on common

> p.s.: i was not able to attend your talk in vienna... since i do not own a
> bullet-prove-vest...
LOL. wasn't that bad, though @least /me got a bit sick of esr's "very 5 min.
another warfare term" (e.g. the biting dogs, the weapon systems, the gun
that protects (sic!)) *yuck*

just my 0.1 cent comment,
seb., human by bio-logical definition, peacenik as a logical con-sequence.

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