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The human culture celebrates competition against one another.

Me against him

Us against them

Groupthink is nothing more than a way to compete with another group when the individual is too weak to compete by itself.

This is problematic and I'm not here to explain why achieving victory by inflicting a loss onto others isn't the most humane thing.

Even the idea of winning a soccer championship is only possible by ruining the dream of an Argentinian kid who wants to get rich to support his family, same for muay thai, kids beat themselves to broken bones for money...investors and traders fight one another to make each other poorer because for one trader to get rich 10'000 need to lose money.

The question is about how to make people more competitive against themselves and less competitive against others.

So how does one achieve that in a society made of clones?

This is the continuation of my other clone question.

The full list of related questions will be found on my profile, this website doesn't allow more than one question at once, and too detailed questions are often seen as filled with excessive filler details and you often see comments reducing a 1000+ word question to "are you basically asking this....?"

So if you need more details, just answer the question in a generic manner, I've often found help from generic answers and even wrong answers. Otherwise, just wait for the full list of questions if you are really anal about following the website frame to absolute godly order and having that perfectionist attitude for your answers.

Re Zero ; kill all and start over - what genes are associated with non violence

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  • $\begingroup$ @ARogueAnt. The maniac wants to build a new civilization of clones, the perfect humanity.....cited from the older question $\endgroup$
    – user86663
    Jul 1 at 19:52
  • $\begingroup$ The question is about how to make people more competitive against themselves and less competitive against the other. So how does one achieve that in a society made of clones? $\endgroup$
    – user86663
    Jul 1 at 19:53
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    $\begingroup$ Competitive against their very selves, or their clones? $\endgroup$
    – Alexander
    Jul 1 at 20:57
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    $\begingroup$ @A Rogue Ant - "very same" meaning same soul in the same body. A clone, on the other hand, is a different body and a different soul - though it can be a very close copy. $\endgroup$
    – Alexander
    Jul 1 at 21:31
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    $\begingroup$ @A Rogue Ant The goddess Psyche is very different from the modern term Psyche, and we can safely disregard all connections between them. $\endgroup$
    – Alexander
    Jul 1 at 23:20
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This is highly cultural. There are other societies both past and present that did not focus so intensely on competitiveness. They merely didn't become the dominant cultures of the 20th/21st century. That might be due to the fact that even cultures compete in the "survival of the fittest" sense of the word.

There is no reason that it might not go differently in a different world. Taboos that have developed inexplicably could scorn or shame those that engage in it. Religion could espouse virtue in avoiding it and sin in celebrating it. It might be absent even without any single explanation, or even without obvious explanation.

If that becomes culture, then adults will transmit it to younger generations who do the same, believing that it is the only (sane/decent/acceptable) way to be.

There are a few things that would help to promote this (or the lack of which might discourage it). Technology must have progressed to a point where "results can be measured". You can't compete with yourself if you don't know if you've improved or not. You can't run the fastest mile without both being able to measure an accurate mile, and time down to the second. (Without this, races between people are possible... they both start at the same time, and judge who arrives first.) So we need basic weights and measures and mediocre time-keeping.

You also need some idea that bodies can be improved in general. This was no secret to the ancient Greeks, but other non-technological societies don't necessarily come to understand it quickly. And that's probably because...

You need decent nutrition. If you're constantly experiencing famines, you're not going to breed the strongest/fastest humans ever. This isn't just about bodybuilding, but any athleticism in general (which is where self-competition will tend to start, even if in later centuries they develop more intellectually-challenging pursuits). So the food supply has to be somewhat stable, perhaps even agricultural.

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    $\begingroup$ @ARogueAnt. I caught that part after clicking submit. It wasn't well emphasized. But besides, identical twins are clones, so perhaps it needs to be clarified. Even besides that, my answer still stands as he asked for the psychology/anthropology required for this norm to develop. $\endgroup$
    – John O
    Jul 1 at 20:37
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    $\begingroup$ I wrote: "The existence of cloning technology precludes the possibility of it being a pre-agricultural societiy", in the twenty minutes since I wrote that I've had second, third and a few other thoughts - most of which seem to indicate that my comment is nonsense (potentially). It's too late to withdraw my downvote now, but if you edit the answer, then I shall, and more as the answer is perfectly valid in my imperfect judgment. $\endgroup$ Jul 1 at 20:59
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Have a post scarcity society.

Competition is common and routine because people need to compete for resources. The argentinian kid who breaks their bones to win a martial arts tournament does so because they have poor job prospects and a small chance at a win seems like a good idea.

If you have cloning and genetic engineering and a planned society you can probably eliminate most resource limitations. This will reduce the need to compete with others.

Accept lower performing teams.

There's lots of groups that value participation over competition. They tend to try less hard, because less is on the line and it's a more minor conflict. If you have a society that feels this way then everyone will work less hard.

Which is fine if you have enough of a resource surplus to deal with this, and no competition from rival societies.

Mitigate sexual competition by making everyone hot.

If people aren't very attractive then they'll seek to spruce themselves up, and people who look hotter will work to build harems and seek dominance against others in competitions. To limit sexual competition, make sure everyone looks pretty attractive.

Encourage polyamorous relationships among people and discourage jealousy so that there's less incentive to compete on sexual grounds.

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  • $\begingroup$ This + an extra factor a la The Island for extra conflict: at a certain point of time, the existence of the "past self" and the "current self" becomes mutually exclusive. It could be that the past self needs the current self for spare parts, or that the current self needs to overtake the past self to gain full citizen status $\endgroup$ Jul 2 at 10:00
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You compete against yourself.

Take your World Cup example. Two teams play the game, but the winner is awarded on most improved relative to their performance at the same event the last time it was held.

Every team that wants to a shot at winning must have a non-competitive first year where they set the bar.

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    $\begingroup$ "Rewarding the progress", in general, has a drawback that it incentivizes holding back. "I won't show my full strength for now until I have the best chance at winning it all." $\endgroup$
    – Alexander
    Jul 1 at 20:54
  • $\begingroup$ But after you do that once, you’ve properly set the bar $\endgroup$ Jul 1 at 21:00
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    $\begingroup$ After you've became a champion, there is no way to repeat, under this system. The only way is down. $\endgroup$
    – Alexander
    Jul 1 at 21:03
  • $\begingroup$ Isn't that basically competition against the one another but with extra steps? $\endgroup$
    – user86663
    Jul 2 at 8:27
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I'm a little confused about what you mean by us and other. If a group competes with itself wont this only this only make a tribe smaller? You have less us a more them as your group spits into a smaller group I fail to see what you accomplish by this?

Regardless to the best way for this is push competition and individualims. Make a society were everyone see themselves as a tribe of one instead part of larger tribe, nation or club. This would still be a very competitive society but it wouldn't not be a tribal society.

There would be no us just me and them.

Consider if you will things like family and patriotism. These things are less important now then a hundred 2 hundred years ago. This because are socity has become more individualistic. Your society would push this even more.

Ironically your society would have to be much more competitive then ours Cooperation competitions opposite it is what forms tribes. The more cooperation the bigger the tribe.

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  • $\begingroup$ Read the question $\endgroup$ Jul 1 at 23:04
  • $\begingroup$ The question was how a society of clones would promote competition among themselves not against others. $\endgroup$ Jul 1 at 23:05
  • $\begingroup$ I'm confused your saying each group is competing within themselves as individuals that what I put. $\endgroup$ Jul 1 at 23:32
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You view your past self as the Other.

That slacker jerk. He could have gotten the groceries. But no, he watched videos and he watched the same one (of that Kpop group) three times. And he thought he was so sweet running the 5K in 45 minutes. He did not call his brother. I remember because I was that guy.

I can do better than him. I am going to school him so hard! Videos will wait until there is orange juice and cat food and then only one watch per video. And I will stretch, and wear the fast shorts, and run that 5K in 40 minutes, no breaks. I will call Sid and ask about his projects and his kid. It is not about being the best I can be. Kum-bah-yah and lets eat our greens! Who cares? It is about crushing the competition. I will be better than that guy who I was.

And now the cat is fed and Sid has told me his tale, and I managed to tie that 45 minute time but I looked good doing it. Better than I did. And tomorrow I will be better than that guy who I am today. I will dance a victory dance!

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Have that Tech and Balance

Just for Question 2

First, the clones have to compete against each other directly. Think, both lose, steve wins. Second, they need the same equipment and employer to make things fair. Third, it needs to be judged by a third party.

Question 2: From cyberpunk, extensive augmentations. Whether cybernetics, looks, or surgeries. Everyone look a little different. Or a lot different. All these require money pushing people to work harder. Plus, other luxury goods. The social pressure from slurs like drone or blank to 'you are you' or 'This is not a collective" I didn't think too hard on the mottoes, but you get the point. Maybe some government, or other organization, can help motivate them through say minor subsidies to the hardest worker.

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Its neither entirely cultural or genetic, I think.

People are in a culture which encourages them to compete, to be "good enough" to win approval and reward/avoid criticism and punishment, and to measure themselves by comparing to others. But they also have a billion+ year heritage of ferocious evolution, in which failure to be ruthlessly competitive was death. How else do we get such refined immune systems, for example, or cognitive capabilities. (That's a rhetorical question BTW).

So you have 4 basic routes to change that, that I can think of

  1. Culture is different. Education, life lessons, and experiences are somehow already collaborative as a first recourse, and about supporting the other to be better together. Everyone grows up with it, and otherwise is seen as wrong, child abuse (teaching harmful lessons), or something like that.
  2. Related, but different. In a society of clones, everyone sees others as essentially an aspect of themselves. They want to help others and support them because, well...... "that's me as well". Like you might support and not harm your closest loved ones.
  3. By design. They're clones. They are created/cloned and the original didn't have that overriding neurological tendency to need to beat others to feel secure. If you like, they're all oxytocin over producers too, or less haphazard emotional.
  4. There's a crisis, or has been. People work together in a crisis. Much more than if there isn't one. If people have to work together to survive, they often will.

Competitive with past selves is much easier.

  1. Its a taught or learned redirection of their biological tendency, and a way to handle heavy emotions more healthily
  2. The society values personal growth, and sees it as significant.
  3. Its biologically a tendency from the source clone
  4. Its a crisis and not learning from mistakes is taught as a bad thing. Flexibility, adaptability, taking new stuff on board and not needing explaining more than once, are important. Being better than you were, or learning on your own past lessons without being told to, is as part of their nature and life, as looking for shooters when they go out of the city (or whatever)
  5. They're clones. They are, literally, all each other. So exploring what that "one being" could be, in a kaleidoscope of a thousand clones that each develop as they see fit, is a huge adventure or discovery. A clone that didn't want to, would feel they were disappointing their clone-selves. It just wouldn't happen. Its a common drive they all have or develop.
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