Is world peace even known to be possible?

Have their been any economic/political simulations in game theory or otherwise that have shown world peace to be a possible outcome? I was at a hippie concert last night and she was singing on and on about how great world peace would be, leading me to go “meh.” But I was just reading about Nash equilibrium around and about on the web, and it’s not clear to me that it implies that there is a peaceful equilibrium for all players, where one of them won’t realize they have something to gain by cheating on a previous ally. Can anyone enlighten me on this matter? :dubious:

I’m not even sure how you’d begin to build a game theory simulation on “world peace”; implicit in the notion of game theory is conflict, so I guess you’d have to define some arbitrary level of acceptible conflict and adjust your solution to meet that goal. There certainly has never been and will probably never be a stable equilibrium in world affairs; even if population sizes were frozen and politics were run along rational (rather than egotistical) lines, changes in the value and accessibiliy of resources will continually fluctuate. I suspect any effort toward an ongoing equiibrium state (Nashlike or otherwise) would require an overseeing body that governs distribution of resources, and our experience with centralized resource and production planning on large scales has been unacceptibly bad, nor could we legitimately accept wealthy nations to freely share their resources without compensation.

As for hippies singing about world peace, I understand that discussion of world peace is a great in (and they’re usually an easy lay) but you don’t want to go on about nonequilibrium fiscal dynamics, imbalance in martial capability and resultant impact on cooperativeness, and the viability of altruism vis a vis the strategy of opportunistic parasitism. It’s just not the sort of thing that really gets them going, even after a few hits on the bong.


Meh, simulations/game theories are beyone the pale, to even engage in such a discussion is … as the entire course of human history has shown such a thing is not possible. Will bet ye eleventy billion dollars world peace will not be accomplished in the next eleventy billion years. A better bet would be humans spontaneously sprouting wings. :wink:

What the hell is World Peace anyway? Are we talking no nukes, no war between countries, no revolutions, no civil wars, no fistfights, no gang wars, no murder, what?

Man, If we could all just take enough drugs to stay up all night and see the sunrise together…
OK, I lifted that from Spider Robinson.

If that wasn’t so damn long, it would be my ultimate bumper sticker.

I always assumed that somebody liked hippies even in an idealistic and a perfect world kind of way. I suspected that some people of very liberal social leanings liked them but I can’t find any these days. It looks like everyone hates hippies and that was the last stronghold of yearning for world peace.

Everyone hates hippies because they talk about changing the world but all they really do is sitting around all day doing bong hits.

I dunno, it sounds to me like Stranger on a Train likes hippies. Or is “easy lay” not a good thing any more?

Besides which, it’s quite possible to think that a group’s goals are laudable while simultaneously thinking that their methods are impractical.

We still have beauty pageant contestants.

I would take that bet, if “eleventy” is defined as “more than 5.” The Sun will be all used up by then, the Earth will likely be uninhabitable by humans and there will be World Peace.


Quite. I daresay that there are but a few that would argue for the converse of world peace, assuming that said peace does not come at the cost of liberty and self-determination. However, liberty and self-determination are not qualities that are even appreciated by the vast majority of the world’s population, including a substantial number of citizens of civilized nations, recognize as having utility or find particularly desirable.

Regarding hippies, or whatever one labels their successor as a countercultural group, I find their prideful lack of analytical acumen and bullish ignorance almost as objectionable as their acute abeyence of body hygiene. Anybody who walks around with an image of Che Guevara or Vladimir Lenin on their clothing is obtuse to the meaning of “peace”. I still find them less objectional than Ann Coulter, however.


I guess the pragmatic means of realizing such a goal would be for us to annihilate the rest of the world with neutron bombs, wait for the radiation to clear, populate the vacant areas, introduce the areas as new states under the US constitution, and we’d have world peace as a result.

Lots of people don’t subscribe to the pragmatic view of life, though.

I think it just depends on the definition of hippie. One of my friends (ok, actually, one of my husband’s friends’ husbands) was railing on and one the other day about how much he hated hippies, and I was just thinking, “Dude, I’m a liberal atheist vegetarian environmentalist who plans on unschooling her kids, and we’re cool, so what the hell are you talking about?”

Maybe he just doesn’t like the smelly ones.

Gene Roddenberry thought it was possible, and showed us a pretty attractive image of what it might look like. But as a species, we’ve got a looooooong way to go before we can celebrate.

Oooh, about that… I’ve been meaning to shower, it’s just that I’ve been really busy lately, and hugging trees can occasionally be a kinda… pungent… activity. Sorry.

I’m not so sure about that assumption. There was probably a time 10,000 or more years ago when humans never strayed more than a few weeks’ walk away from where they were born and the daily struggle for survival precluded any fighting with those in your immediate area, who were essentially your extended family anyway.

But then again, I’m sure the occasional Mr. Cro Magnon bashed his brother’s brain in with a rock over the greater share of the kill or the better seat by the fire.

Yeah, maybe you’re right after all.

Of course I know Cro Magnon was longer ago, but you get my point.

Hey, Adam and Eve got along. The next generation, well not so much.

I’ve never heard of this before. At the risk of hijacking the thread, what is it?