Smart Chameleons and Broken Windows

Who has better chances of survival — the most selfish or the least selfish? What is the better modus operandi — combat or networking, competition or cooperation? Are the surviving organisms superior to those that have gone extinct? Is the present generation better than the past generation?
Evolution has given many interpretations to understand these questions. According to one view, evolution sees natural selection as shaping organisms to fit their environment. Another view claims that living things alter their world to suit their needs. In nature, survival is based on adaptability, connectivity, communication, and cooperation. In other words, it is the whole ecosystem that has to evolve. One of the messages is – If you want to succeed, others must succeed as well.
According to one interpretation, the driving force of evolution is not to be found in the chance events of random mutations, but in life’s inherent tendency to create novelty, in the spontaneous emergence of increasing complexity and order. This view recognises the vital importance of cooperation in the evolutionary process. Some believe that life did not take over the globe by combat, but by networking. Combat happens, because in some situations combat is necessary. In other words, both competitive and cooperative spirits must co-exist for a healthy evolution. Competition and cooperation are essential, as growth and decay are, for our existence and continuance. Compete, and when that is over, sync and swim together. You don’t have to be perfectly adapted to survive; you just have to be as well adapted as your competitors are. We are like chameleons. We instinctively and unintentionally change, based on our surroundings.
Selfishness alone can never be beneficial, but in the presence of goodness, it can be. A person of competitive spirits likes to be surrounded by the most competent. That is why persons with nose for talent, hire really smart people, often smarter than themselves. Smartness is good, but the problem is that most people think they are smarter than they are. Often this attitude helps, if one knows where to draw the line.
The broken windows theory, rightly or wrongly suggest that people are more likely to commit crimes in neighbourhoods with broken windows. Broken windows are found more in the areas where residents don’t care enough to maintain their property. The theory says that broken windows encourage vandalism. More the litter, more the waste accumulates.

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