Subject: Re: Oversimplifications in HtN -- Philosophy and biology
From: Ian Lance Taylor <>
Date: 27 Sep 1999 19:33:45 -0400

   Date: Mon, 27 Sep 1999 17:19:24 -0400
   From: "Eric S. Raymond" <>

   Richard Stallman <>:
   > I was unable to find the earlier part of the discussion, but I recall
   > that when Ian stated his motivations, you said that they were beside
   > the point, because (you believed) his behavior could be predicted from
   > reputation-seeking anyway.

   Richard, you're unable to find that because I didn't say it ;-).  Which
   rather puts paid to the rest of your argument.

What you said was this:

    Date: Mon, 30 Aug 1999 15:51:47 -0400
    From: "Eric S. Raymond" <>
    Subject: Oversimplifications in HtN
    Message-ID: <>

    Did you miss the point about reputation incentives unconsciously shaping
    behavior, even when they are not part of the player's conscious agenda?
    The fact is, you use and obey conventions that are designed to maintain 
    the reputation game -- I've seen you do it.  You're *in* that game.
    You play by its rules.

    The fact that you don't consciously experience the reputation-game 
    incentive is interesting, but not surprising to me.  I don't normally
    experience it consciously myself.  Nevertheless, I play the game because
    that's what I've *learned to do* in order to function in the culture.

    The real clincher here is that the customs we observe have features for
    which there doesn't seem to be a sufficient explanation other than the
    reputation game.  To falsify my model, you'd have to at least propose
    an alternative that explains the three taboos described in the paper.

I think that Richard's quote above is a reasonable summary of these