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Professor T

Competition v's Cooperation.

Competition v's Cooperation.    28 members have voted

  1. 1. What is more important to you?

    • Competition.
      1
    • Cooperation.
      13
    • Neither.
      4
    • Both.
      10

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45 posts in this topic

What is more important to you... Competition or Cooperation?

It seems to me that competition is has been built into human nature, we compete for resources, food, mates, social standing, power, you name it, we compete for it.. And yet we are a species that can, could, and should spend our energies towards cooperative goals, helping each and every one of us to create a world that serves everyone equally, and not just for the sake of propping up one group of individuals, or one nation over others...

Competition and Cooperation are two natures within all of us, but it seems to me that we've built this world on the spirit or premiss of competition, and cooperation has been largely ignored in the systems we have in place today.. We compete against neighbor, workmate, schoolmate and nation... We compete against friend, family, brothers and even beliefs... I don't see much cooperation in the world unless it's in the form of Allies v's foe..

And yet we are capable of Cooperation...

Why is that?

What's gone wrong?

When did the nature of competition overthrow the nature of cooperation?

Can balance be brought between these two natures? and how?

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Good post, interesting topic. I think competition is illogical, primitive (infantile), counterproductive, (eventually) self destructive.

Competition:

tumblr_mdyrcfH9Jo1rjmzmjo1_500.jpg

Cooperation:

wood-building-blocks-23313853.jpg

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Posted (edited)

Human beings live in social groups and that requires cooperation in the group and with other groups. I think cooperation is the adaptive behavior that has brought us out of trees to the computer age. We compete within groups and with other groups but the without cooperation competition is mote. Even in a football team if there isn't group cooperation then your team is not going to win. Competition is overrated.

Edited by Darkwind
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Even group cooperation falls apart because of competitive behavior. How often do we hear that the band is breaking up, or there's another marriage failure.. Within teams we hear the terms in-fighting, or power struggle..

IMO, this is important because I kind of perceive a very large imbalance in society where Competition is destroying cooperation from within.. If that happens, well, I'd hate to think what the future will be like..

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Posted (edited)

Cooperation is a higher concept requiring more than one person to forgo a Immediate benefits for greater future benefits. This requires an expansion of ego to encompass another. It can be done. But even most people that are cooperating are actually doing it to be more competitive. They feel that it benefits them more and therefore is adventagious.

Most people don't understand that our economic system that is based upon competitive markets is not a choice or a philosophy. It is a description. Economics through research and peer review makes discoveries of statistically significant truths and describes how people actually behave. Then policy is SUPPOSED to based on empirical research and market reactions to certain kinds of centralized decisions.

I get eternally irritated when people blaim competitive activity for our ills. For one its completely impossible. Even cooperation is actually competitive activity. Without it nothing, and I mean nothing would be accomplished.

Capitalism is often crtisized for our problems, but true capitalism is not even followed. In fact it's the socialistic aspects of 'capitalistic' systems that are usually the center if problems.

Rant over :)

Edited by Seeker79
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Cooperation is a higher concept requiring more than one person to forgo a Immediate benefits for greater future benefits. This requires an expansion of ego to encompass another. It can be done. But even most people that are cooperating are actually doing it to be more competitive. They feel that it benefits them more and therefore is adventagious.

I get eternally irritated when people blaim competitive activity for our ills. For one its completely impossible. Even cooperation is actually competitive activity. Without it nothing, and I mean nothing would be accomplished.

Hmmmmmm, :o You might have good a point... but I can't quite get my head around it..

Do you not think that there is currently an unhealthy imbalance between Competition or Cooperation?

How is Cooperation actually a competitive activity?

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In some situations involving praise, it can be said that cooperation can be considered a competitive activity. It only takes one person in a group to want that praise for being cooperative to such a level that it is a competitive sport to them.

'Yes, I helped Tom with that. I also helped Becca with her project. Dale and Joe got back to me on last week's project but it was me that told them it wasn't complete. Also, last week, I went around to all the senior offices and gathered the documents that our group needed. So, now let us go through these documents together. When we are done I'll stay behind and combine these documents for us.'

Okay, perhaps the above situation is a bit far fetched... maybe... however, hopefully it demonstrates my previous point.

Great thread, OP! :tu:

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Posted (edited)

Cooperation is the unacknowledged master of human endeavour. it follows nature which is also predominantly based upon synergistic relationships between elements. Life itself and multicellular species are the ultimate expression of cooperation over competition. When competition (cancer) takes over we generally die. These are all essential natural lessons which should guide us.

Competition is the desire to better yourself without concern for those around you, the cooperative movement demonstrates that anything a competitive corporation can achieve can equally be achieved by mutual consent and cooperation - but with superior outcomes for the majority of participants.

The importance of cooperation is under reported in this world of sociopaths and psycopathic leaders and CEO's.

Br Cornelius

Edited by Br Cornelius
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Cooperation is a higher concept requiring more than one person to forgo a Immediate benefits for greater future benefits. This requires an expansion of ego to encompass another. It can be done. But even most people that are cooperating are actually doing it to be more competitive. They feel that it benefits them more and therefore is adventagious.

Most people don't understand that our economic system that is based upon competitive markets is not a choice or a philosophy. It is a description. Economics through research and peer review makes discoveries of statistically significant truths and describes how people actually behave. Then policy is SUPPOSED to based on empirical research and market reactions to certain kinds of centralized decisions.

I get eternally irritated when people blaim competitive activity for our ills. For one its completely impossible. Even cooperation is actually competitive activity. Without it nothing, and I mean nothing would be accomplished.

Capitalism is often crtisized for our problems, but true capitalism is not even followed. In fact it's the socialistic aspects of 'capitalistic' systems that are usually the center if problems.

Rant over :)

I think there is a lessen to be learn from the robber barons of the 19th century, pure capitalism breeds corruption as much as pure socialism. There is a balance between the two that can be struck, to protect average folks from being taken advantage of. Labor Unions came about because people got tired of being riped off and sometimes killed because of unscrupulous corporations and businesses who thought people's lives were expendable to the bottom line. When people complain about regulations and I always remember canned meat got its start as a way to make money out of the scrapings off the floor of the big slaughter factories of the mid-west. Yummy Some people will do anything for a buck. Read "The Jungle" by Sinclair, it was a work of fiction based on the truth of what was going on before unions and "social programs."

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Thanks Guys..

But I'm still struggling to get my head around the premiss that Cooperative behavior is Competitive..

I'm thinking now of people who volunteer their time/energy into community based projects, food banks, shelters soup kitchens ect... They get together and cooperate for the benefit of a few and their community as a whole.. This is not competitive by any stretch of the imagination, unless you take into account certain groups who use their actions to promote their social or religious views.. (advertising)

I can understand that folk who do this and flaunt their "charity work" for kudos and brownie points are I guess, fishing for social prestige.. But I can't see how that is competitive in all but a few cases.. I know a lot of people who donate time & money without thought for praise or advertising of self or organization. I've met and know a few people who work in my community for the benefit of the down trodden.. They don't do it for praise.. They do it because they've been there and know what its like, or simply because they want to live in a better society.. I guess there is something missing here in understanding?

On the one hand, competition is great for advancing, but in this day and age It seems to lack any form of compassion.. maybe it's just me, but I do perceive a huge disparity between competition & cooperation.. Perhaps the apparent lack of compassion in the rules and laws we have today are a cause of it? I dunno.. Maybe that's what it is? Competitive behavior lacks compassion...

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Professor T, cooperation as competition is a ruse though up by the social darwinists, anything which boost survivability is considered as offering competitive advantage in evolutionary terms. Social Darwinism is a dubious concept, a b****** child of evolutionary thinking and capitalist economics. I wouldn't consider it a hard science and I wouldn't pay much attention to the notion that cooperation is covert competition.

Br Cornelius

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no cooperation- no men on the moon.

no cooperation- no big science.

no cooperation- no charities.

no cooperation- no engineering.

no cooperation- no conservation.

no cooperation- no protests.

no cooperation- no food.

no cooperation- no civilisation.

there are many forms of cooperation that go unnoticed, or unthought of, but without them, our world would collapse.

there's much more of it going on than we realise, but it's not really reported because the media standard seems to be 'if it bleeds, it leads'

people would rather hear about the latest car-bomb casualties that some guy who helped an old dear across the road.

altruism's alive & kicking; it just doesn't like to brag about itself like competition does.....

;-)

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no cooperation- no men on the moon.

No competition from the Soviet space program: no men on the Moon.

People talk about these two things like it's one or the other. Many things in life are a subtle combination of both. For example, my job is cooperating with my fellow employees so our company will produce good products but at the same time we're competing with each other for promotions, raises, and for our ideas to be selected for new products.

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The point is that it is an ideologically driven idea to say that all life is competitive - it is justification for a largely disfunctional social order. The competitive parasitize on the cooperative foundations of society externalizing their costs and grabbing as much social capitol to create their profits.

Competition is far to idolized in this world of ours.

Br Cornelius

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Posted (edited)

Im a little surprised that more people did not vote for both. They are two sides of the same coin. You can compete and cooperate at the same time.

I know most people these days looks at competition as some evil selfish entity. But competition leads to a lot of progress, for example how world records get broke in the Olympics each year. Because everyone is trying to top the record the record keeps improving.

The same goes for technological progress.

Competition is not inherently a bad thing, it becomes a bad thing when you decide to damage or eliminate your competition to achieve your goals.

Edited by spartan max2
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Posted (edited)

No competition from the Soviet space program: no men on the Moon.

.

why only stop at that one example Scowl?

you could've used the competitive side of the argument for every point i raised, but as Br Cornelius pointed out so well, it's the competitive angle that gets lauded these days, while cooperation gets left by the wayside.....

both are needed.

a society can't grow without competition, but neither can it function without cooperation.

the key is finding the correct balance between the two, instead of having one at the expense of the other.....

Edited by shrooma
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Posted (edited)

I see nothing admirable in breaking olympic records - but tha'ts just me.

Most technical progress is achieved through publicly funded pure research in academic institutions, there maybe an element of competition but it is more than reasonable to say that the work would get done regardless of whether there were other teams doing the same research.

Its just a bit of a bogus argument to me. I am not saying that competition isn't important, just that it is massively overvalued in our current culture.

Br Cornelius

Edited by Br Cornelius
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why only stop at that one example Scowl?

Because I thought that one example demonstrated my point.

Also I was late for a meeting. :unsure2:

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Posted (edited)

I see nothing admirable in breaking olympic records - but tha'ts just me.

Most technical progress is achieved through publicly funded pure research in academic institutions, there maybe an element of competition but it is more than reasonable to say that the work would get done regardless of whether there were other teams doing the same research.

Its just a bit of a bogus argument to me. I am not saying that competition isn't important, just that it is massively overvalued in our current culture.

Br Cornelius

Olympics was just the first one that popped in my head.

Business's compete to have the next best product because they want your money, making technology increase each year. For example laptops and phones get more advanced each year. Farmers find better ways to grow better crops so they can out due their competition.

Public funded is useful for things as well, but I would hardly give it credit for the most technical progress. Even so Scientist compete for those grants, and they compete hard! It is not easy to be the one to get the grant. So they have to prove themselves by showing that they are the best scientist for the job, hence competition gives us the best scientist even in publicly funded research.

Of course the problem with public is a lot of times grants just are given out to people as favors instead of picking the best candidate.

Competition many times drives different things to improve so that customers want to pick you over the out of date competition.

Cooperation is equally important, I am just defending competition more because that is the one that gets attacked the most.

Edited by spartan max2

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Competition is built into our nature though isn't it?

example..........The first thing a child does when given a new toy is to hog it.. (I guess it is caused by feelings of value & personal possession?) They're told they must be nice and to share it with others... But we all know that sharing is all to often a very difficult lesson to learn..

Actually, come to think about it, cooperation with children playing together is usually what happens first, followed 2nd by the introduction of competitive behavior because someones getting all the attention, or he or she has the best toys.. Then the war breaks out.. Then you have mass compassion because everyone's crying... :huh:

:lol: .. this is doing my head in..

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Im a little surprised that more people did not vote for both. They are two sides of the same coin. You can compete and cooperate at the same time.

I'm surprised that 2 people voted for neither.

I guess I should have worded the question better..

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What really annoys me about this debate is that it is somehow seen as admirable to climb the greasy pole through acts of competition, yet no one stops a minute to think of all the acts of cooperation and compassion which go on every day and without which our society would cease to function. i am thinking of the numerous acts of charity, the neighbour helping the elderly neighbour with no thought of reward.

We have our value system all wrong.

Br Cornelius

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What really annoys me about this debate is that it is somehow seen as admirable to climb the greasy pole through acts of competition, yet no one stops a minute to think of all the acts of cooperation and compassion which go on every day and without which our society would cease to function. i am thinking of the numerous acts of charity, the neighbour helping the elderly neighbour with no thought of reward.

We have our value system all wrong.

Br Cornelius

Ironically, from an emotive perspective, I would perceive compassion as a byproduct of competition, not cooperation.. And compassion a key ingredient in cooperation..

In many ways, we can thank competitive behavior for compassion, because through competition people loose, and it's loser's and victims that teach compassion.. It's also loser's and victims who are more than likely the ones who like you say, perform numerous acts of charity simply because they know what it's like..

Again, going back to my analogy of children playing, first there is Cooperation, then there is Competition, then there is Compassion.. it think.. lol.

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I think unless we put cooperation centre stage in the future - we are in for big trouble as a species.

Br Cornelius

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Both I say, we need each other to work together but we also need competition so we can be better, smarter.

Competition has been here for millions of years so has cooperation

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