Nice Guys Finish First

Aug 13, 2022 | Science, Videos

Nice Guys Finish First is a 1986 documentary by Richard Dawkins, who describes the selfishness and cooperation, arguing that evolution often favors cooperative behavior, with special emphasis on the tit for tat strategy dilemma game the prisoner.

In the opening scene, Richard Dawkins responds precisely to what he considers a misunderstanding of his first book The Selfish Gene. In particular, the right response for use as a justification for social Darwinism and laissez-faire (free market capitalism).
Richard Dawkins has considered this issue throughout his career and focused most of the recent documentary, The Genius of Charles Darwin on this subject.

The concept of reciprocal altruism is a central theme of this documentary. Dawkins also discusses the tragedy of the commons and the dilemma that arises. It uses the large area of common pasture land port in Oxford, England, who has been affected by overgrazing as an example of the tragedy of the commons.

Fourteen academics and experts in game theory presented their own computer programs to compete in a tournament to see who would win in the prisoner’s dilemma. The winner was the blow by blow. A program that is based on “equivalent retaliation” and Dawkins illustrates the four conditions of the eye for an eye.

Unless provoked, the agent will always cooperate.
If provoked, the agent will retaliate.
The agent is quick to forgive.

The agent must have a good chance of competing against the opponent more than once.

In a second trial, this time over sixty eye for an eye candidates won again.

The documentary does not seem to address much larger issues within the tragedy of the commons, for example, only briefly mentioned global warming. However, “initial friendliness” is the conclusion that Richard Dawkins drew from this study and other research for effective cooperation that led him to believe that, in fact, “Nice Guys Finish First.”

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Riyan H.