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In games, as in life, your experience is defined by the a priori goals you set. If I'm playing chess against you, but I've decided that the end goal of the game is not to force you into checkmate, but simply to take all of your pieces, then we are going to have very different experiences. We're going to play differently, we're going to think differently, we're going to prioritize differently, and we're going to disagree on when the game is over and who has won.

The thing about a priori goals is that you can't argue your way into or out of them. If the foundation of your ethics is the maximization of personal freedoms and mine is the minimization of human suffering, then not only will we not agree on right and wrong or optimal strategies, we may each wind up insisting that the other is evil. least, that's how it would be if human beings started with a priori principles and logicked their way into a comprehensive belief system. In reality, of course, we actually start with mammalian instincts and societal imprints, then (some of us) backtrace and derive principles to justify what we're already doing.

Perhaps that's one of the reasons we fear the development of A.I. - we've seen what can happen when someone holds fast to ironclad principles and behaves accordingly, regardless of reality. A consciousness that truly initiates from a handful of abstract principles and develops behaviour patterns from them has the potential to be very dangerous, the moral equivalent of a truck slowly but implacably backing through a crowd of people it is certain are not there.

(Tues afternoon, INT: EB and JH's place, EB, JH and MH are all at the table)

MH: Y'know, Jamie, I'm kinda surprised. When you said Polymono was the opposite of Monopoly, I assumed we'd be going backwards around a board, giving away real estate, losing two hundred dollars whenever we pass Go. Make it a Zen anti-materialist race to zero.
EB: And I assumed the game would at least still be competitive.
JH: I don't think Polymono would work if it was competitive. You'd see your opponent was one trade away from victory, then you'd just refuse to trade at all, the whole thing would grind to a halt.
EB: Well, in any game, trying is the first step towards failure, the only winning move is not to play, et cetera.
MH: But refusing to trade is a losing move in this game, because the tokens eventually run out. So the question is: would you rather lose, or would you rather ensure no one wins?
EB: The goal is what it is because Jamie declared it at the start - the objective as defined by the rules forces us to work together. You could have made the win condition to get as many resources as possible before the bank runs dry.
MH: To be the richest tycoon on a depleted, uninhabitable hellworld! Fun stuff.