It looks like that now the competition is between nation-states. The problem is that this competition is often takes form of wars, and after the creation of nuclear weapons, it becomes possible for one country to blackmail the whole world to get what it wants via Doomsday weapons. This is not sustainable, especially if there will be several such blackmailers with mutually exclusive goals. Therefore, the price of competition becomes too high, and design starts too look more attractive.

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Agree with your general theme. Competition may well be rooted biologically. The network of life is a zero sum competition for energy (nutrients) among all species with the exception of plants . Interesting you state 'Foragers didn’t overtly compete with each other, but instead made important decisions by consensus, and largely by appeal to community-wide altruistic goals.We have no evidence for this as written records do not exist. Whatever evidence there is and it is not strong points in the other direction. That is hunter gatherer societies contacted for the first time and cooperating social animals (predators).

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Design and selection are often pitted against one another in explanations. Paley's watch offers a famous example. However, the truth is more that brains use selection internally to help to implement their optimization processes. Axons and dendrites compete with other similar structures for resources. Synapses compete with other synapses. During development, failed structures often die off. At a higher level, ideas compete with other ideas for attention. Memories compete with other memories in a similar way. Selection is not the only way in which brains work, but it is an important part of their toolkit. Similarly, engineers make extensive use of selective processes. Software engineers frequently discard code that breaks tests. Selection is thus ubiquitous, and so won't ever be replaced with design - because it is part of design.

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Cooperation often creates new means of competition. Cooperation and competition are not contradictory things but are often supportive. Sports are good examples - people need to agree on rules and then within those rules great competition can arise. Without the rules the competition can't exist. The purpose of the cooperation is to compete.

It's the same with companies and governments. Companies are literally made out of government rules, the purpose of which is to foster competition.

I don't know of any human society that wasn't both cooperative and competitive. The competition and cooperation has just happened in different ways.

I don't see why a world government would want to stop competition. If it did, it would collapse (as you suggest) but be replaced by something that didn't. Eventually something would be in place that at least allows interstellar colonization if not encourages it.

There will be cooperation and competition at many different levels - as there is now between nations, companies, religions, etc. Many of these are helpful in technical development, and will continue to be. I don't know if any new ones will arise or are necessary.

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Of course, you can design for competition. For example, if it was important that a nation is best at basketball, that nation could improve its future teams by tweaking the genetics of its new generations. Of course, that was a toy example, because it's not in basketball that a nation really needs to win. It's more things like high fertility, high trust, robust health, and high cognitive flexibility that help in global competition, though design can help with these as well.

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I think looking toward biology for inspiration of future model of selection is useful. In particular the idea of kin selection.

Asexual selection keeps getting re-invented (due to avoiding what biologists call the two-fold cost of sex), but then dies out, due to rot (competition/pathogens).

Bees somewhat thread the needle by having drones more related to the queen than each other. So can have workers more altruistic towards the hive than to each other.

A kin selection style solution to these problems is available to would be grabby aliens: asexual with designed modification. This retains the kin selection bias of loyalty toward the hive, but avoids the stagnation of pure asexuality. Think of our robot descendents having some kind of crypto identity key embedded within them that allows them to identify true descendents (allies) of their clan. But they could still design their self modifications, or steal them from other cleans, to avoid rot.

This model of asexual descent maximizes the kin selection loyalty, but avoids rot by allowing designed modification. The closest biological analogue would be Argentine ants super colony, where a particular clade in california has so little genetic variance that it believes all colonies are the same, so behaves like a super colony against other clades and is wiping them out.https://askentomologists.co...

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