Universal Ethics > Research > Emergence of a Rule

Emergence of a Rule

Here is a simple simulation you can run right in your web browser. A basic simulation is provided as well as a couple of variations of it. The simulations are designed to answer this question: Can a rule of behavior arise from random interactions among individuals, without any need for anyone to act as a leader to set the rule?

We'll test this question by investigating if "rules of the road" would emerge in a primitive world where vehicles are newly invented. Without any rule for passing on the left or passing on the right, what will happen?

I got the idea for this simulation from my Bumper Cars Game. In that game cars drive around at random and the player tries to get through. It's not easy! In the game bumping is safe, but real drivers may prefer to create order out of mayhem...

I have three versions of this simulation, and you are welcome to run each of them. The simulation uses Javascript, so it will run in your web browser. Click each link below to open a simulation web page:

  1. Basic simulation where drivers learn from experience
  2. Simulation #2, a variation where some of the drivers don't learn.
  3. Simulation #3, a variation where mistakes are fatal.

Although this is a contrived situation, it does demonstrate a few basic principles of how ethics emerges in a society. To read a bit more about the implications in the real world, click here.


Do you have any comments on this topic? If so, click below.


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Copyright Arthur de Leyssac, 2016, all rights reserved.