“Cooperation” and “selfish behavior”.

Utilizing transmission of cause – effect through the communicating medium that is reality.

  • The information exchange which occurs in conjunction with reproduction is only one subcategory of the ways in which expressions of the informational content of reality relate with the environmental fluctuations produced by other informational expression.

Any “movements” of the informational content of reality can represent simultaneous environmental fluctuation for other examples which equates to a stimulus of further adaptive response. It is one reality, and this is the zone of communication within reality where it’s various biological aspects accommodate their actions to one another.

As stated, all organism interaction including group strategy, intelligent selection, all forms of “social” and “antisocial” interaction, all symbiotic, parasitic, predator – prey, and hologenomic relational strategies are examples of this mutual accommodation.

Adaptive pressure and evolution can only act upon the “functional units” within the informational content of reality which are the seemingly separated expressions of DNA (i.e. organisms). In other words adaptation can only occur via various strategies of relatedness between seemingly “individual”, “separate” expressions of information, and the rest of reality.

In this sense, adaptive activity can be thought of as acting in the interests of the “selfish” gene.

This however is only valid using a sense of the word where “self-ish” is taken to be “self imitating” or “self – like” activity, since the reality of the evolutionary process is that such “self” creating activity must ultimately fail in this particular goal, and will only impact in any lasting sense by contributing to the wider informational content of reality which has no “self”.

Within these “functional units”, those aspects of physical reality constituting the physical “self” function together in a closely integrated non conflicted manner to manage relatedness with the remainder of reality.

The aspects within physical reality comprising this particular DNA expressed organism are fully unified in the goal of protecting this DNA. Their perfectly cooperative organization and function, as well as the organism’s perception that these particular aspects of reality are it’s “self”, are in line with this unity.

Within the organism, “separate” “parts” of reality, such as the bones in an arm interact in a fashion which is “greater than their sum”. This can be thought of as an adaptive utilization of the manner by which cause and effect are transmitted within the communication medium of reality.

Systems created through reductionistic activity such as machinery also function in this manner.

The various forms of “cooperative” behavior extend this “greater than the sum” ability into the relatedness between those “parts” of reality comprising “separate” organisms.

Cooperation too then, is a simple adaptive utilization of the relational manner by which the “movements” of an aspect of reality accommodate to those of the surrounding reality.

Bees and flowers, birds and fruit are examples of this form of interaction.

“Self-ish” behavior also represents the transmission of cause and effect through the communication medium of reality, however not in a manner which is “greater than the sum of the parts”.

Rather “parts” are appropriated. Grass – grazer, and predator – prey relationships are examples of this form of relational activity. The parts are then immediately redeployed along relational lines where they again interact in a manner which is greater than their sum, both within the new organism and in it’s cooperative relationships such as with offspring.

“Selfish” behavior then, is essentially a brief parasitic “discontinuity” or “subroutine” within the wider “creative” manner in which cause and effect are utilized.

Such parasitic behavior can only move flows of resource and benefit from one place to another. All benefit can only be created by the “greater than the sum of parts” interactions between aspects of reality which it’s informational content induces.

Such parasitizing however, provides the resources accumulated through the functioning of “lower order organisms” (for want of a better term) to the “higher order aspects”, freeing them from the need to engage in this form of activity. The orders of functioning thereby become interdependent. In this way a chain of relatedness throughout reality is created.

In humanity and it’s descendants there is the adaptive potential for reality to understand itself, which by nature would include appreciation of the contributions of all it’s aspects. In this sense the operation of the entire relational chain supports humanity, and thereby creates the potential for reality to understand itself. In this sense it can be thought of as a cooperative venture.

Presumably parasitic behavior then becomes an anathema to the mind which understands all aspects as part of it’s “self”. For the foreseeable future however, cooperative and parasitic behavior continue to coexist.

The extent to which selfish and cooperative behavior (“parts” of reality interacting in a manner which is greater than their sum) coexist is determined by the presence of mutual adaptive benefit accruing to the various discrete functional units (organism expressions) involved, relative to the presence of executable “selfish” strategy capable of according an aspect relatively greater net adaptive benefit. Strategy can be thought of as the balance of these forces.

Selfish behavior can only ever occupy a relatively small niche within the wider relational activity of reality.

Copyright © 2013 By Peter Sillifant.

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