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Egoism and altruism in publishing


By Serge Kreutz (2010)

There is a fundamental conflict between egoism and altruism that plays into any publishing endeavor. If we are to address a large group of readers, and want to appeal to them (or even just stay safe from being lynched), we have to stress altruistic positions. But individually, we are egoists, and our interest is our own success, which usually means the failure of others.

Thus, whenever an author starts publishing and is known as the author, he feels compelled to stress altruistic positions, or at least positions that others agree to. In doing so, he basically starts lying. If he were to write honestly, and his work became known in his immediate environment, the publishing of his opinions would most probably undermine his most basic interests: the interest in staying safe, and the interest in mating.

Imagine a world in which everybody can read any other person's mind. It would be a world in which absolutely everybody hates everybody. This is because, while we sometimes think nice of others, many very small triggers can make us think very bad about others.

This domain tries to achieve a high level of honesty. And it can do so only because its author does not aim for public acclaim.(sac)


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