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stcredzero comments on The True Prisoner's Dilemma - Less Wrong

56 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 03 September 2008 09:34PM

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Comment author: stcredzero 29 May 2010 11:29:33PM 85 points [-]

I suspect that the True Prisoner's Dilemma played itself out in the Portugese and Spanish conquest of Mesoamerica. Some natives were said to ask, "Do they eat gold?" They couldn't comprehend why someone would want a shiny decorative material so badly, they'd kill for it. The Spanish were Shiny Decorative Material maximizers.

Comment author: Omegaile 02 April 2013 03:01:51PM 8 points [-]

That's a really insightful comment!

But I should correct you, that you are only talking about the Spanish conquest, not the Portuguese, since 1) Mesoamerica was not conquered by the Portuguese; 2) Portuguese possessions in America (AKA Brazil) had very little gold and silver, which was only discovered much later, when it was already in Portuguese domain.

Comment author: Philip_W 25 June 2015 06:35:33AM 0 points [-]

In a sense they did eat gold, like we eat stacks of printed paper, or perhaps nowadays little numbers on computer screens.