Tit-for-tat strategy in tribal culture

The world today changes at a rate great than ever before. And 10,000 years ago, when most of mankind lived in hunter gatherer societies, change was not so prevalent. Life might have altered over many generations with the comings and goings of long climactic processes, but not with the coming and going of the new iPhone.

What’s interesting about this is that if life was so much more stable, conflicts would be much more reminiscent of situations that produce tit-for-tat strategies. If you know what tit-for-tat strategies are, skip the next paragraph.

Tit-for-tat scenarios are ones in which 2 parties play a game. The game consists of rounds. The rounds give the players the option to cheat or cooperate. If they both cheat, they both lose. If one cheats and the other does not, the cheater wins big. If both don’t cheat, they both win similarly (but less than the previous case). What’s interesting about this is that if there are an innumerable number of rounds, than the players will fall into a tit-for-tat strategy where if one player cheats, the other will pay retribution to them by cheating once as well. But then they’ll go back to cooperating as soon as they both understand the game. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tit_for_tat

So maybe we’re missing out on a golden age in which tribes knew that if the guys next door tried anything funny, they would just hit back the same way, so that it made most sense to just be peaceful. In any case, it only works when there’s enough resources to go around which obviously isn’t the case any more. But no sense in not appreciating what was.

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