Tuesday, January 21, 2003

I can see this dynamic at work in a great many areas from politics to corporate management.

This is the first surprising result. In interactions that require coordination of strategies, it is not necessarily an advantage to evolve fast. In many cases, the slow evolver will gain the upper hand. However, an additional twist provides an advantage for the slow evolver: each species grows best when it is selfish and the other generous, and thus one might expect most individuals in a species to come from areas which are predominantly selfish. This would mean that there is a bias towards selfish-selfish pairing, and those favor the slow evolver. Thus, in some evolutionary scenarios it takes all the evolving one can do just to stay in the same place, as the Lewis Carroll's red queen would say, and in other scenarios it pays to take one step at a time as the red king would do, and wait patiently for the other player to make the big move.

"The model is also important for evolutionary economics. It is linked to a result known in economics: when bargaining it is sometimes better to have "one's hands tied". The model applies to cases in which individuals/companies interact, and have several possible stable outcomes - agreements, or simply stable interactions", says Michael Lachmann.

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