Non-Reciprocal Altruism

Dr. Jarryd Willis PhD
9 min readJul 5, 2021


Altruism in its purest form? Another way to assess sentience in future Ai

Far Cry 5’s ‘Faith’ was a masterpiece

What is the evolutionary or socialization basis of non-reciprocal altruism? The image below is from last Autumn & shows 2 packs of breakfast tacos that were placed next to each other in the store. Neither expiration date is past the “best if used by” date, but there is nearly a 7-month gap between them (May 2021 vs January 2022). Obviously, being someone with a healthy appreciation of how time works, I selected the product with a full calendar year of freshness remaining. I then placed the less fresh pack at the back of the row & moved other fresh packs with the January 2021 date up front. That way the next person who goes to buy breakfast tacos for herself, his kids, etc won’t risk buying a suboptimal product & potentially feeling nauseous or getting sick as a result.

This may be the purest form of altruism. Consider the following:

(1) My individual fitness, that of my genetic kin/family, social kin/friends, or virtual kin/social media followers doesn’t benefit in the slightest. Putting the less fresh (and in some cases expired) products out of reach of future consumers won’t increase my likes on Instagram, followers on Twitter, improve the health of my future daughters, or bolster my personal immune functioning.

(2) No reciprocity or utilitarian resource extraction is possible in the immediate or near future from whichever human I spare from obtaining the suboptimal product. I’ll never know their sex, race, gender identity, age, religion, height, political affiliation, sexuality, if they are left-handed… I wouldn’t know who to seek out for recompense.

(3) The person my efforts benefit may be someone I would personally block on Twitter, or impeach. It’s unlikely that such altruism would take place in a social context where the adversarial identification of the other party was salient. For instance, I don’t consider vans adversarial, and yet I’m usually 100% motivated to pass a van trying to merge in front of me rather than altruistically let the van enter, because the threat of the van being slow is too existentially exhaustive. I’d argue letting a van merge when one could have passed is aversive-altruism & feel similar to when you bubble in the correct answer but then erase it & choose the wrong one.

(4) There is no social capital to be gained via branding. For example, if I donate to wildfire relief in Australia, I can then put #.Donator on my social media feeds & receive likes/followers in exchange. Thus, it would be non-reciprocal altruism in that I had donated to help people I will never meet (they can never reciprocate my effort), but it would fall short of being ‘pure’ because I receive utilitarian gains via social media.

(5) If I hear steps behind me while opening a door & decide to hit the handicap button (see image) so that the door stays open, that approximates non-reciprocal altruism but there’s also a criticism-avoidance motivation. The motivation is stronger for someone you’ll likely see again (colleague) than someone distant (random human at Starbucks), such that if a particular handicap button hasn’t been reliable in the past & the footsteps heard in the background may be those of a coworker (based on likelihood of encounter in one’s current location) then a second step would be added after the button press of ‘holding the door’ just to make sure. It’d be unfortunate if a technological malfunction lead to reappraisal of oneself as being inconsiderate due to the coincidentally proximate spatial & temporal placement the actor and partner found themselves in.

(6) If I put the door’s kickstand based on the prediction that additional people will be entering/exiting a particular dwelling via that same door throughout the course of the business hours of the day, that action could be considered non-reciprocal altruism. It would be contingent on the fact that I’m unlikely to see the innumerable bodies utilizing said passage, they’re unlikely to see me (particularly if I’ve departed before they even arrive), & I’m unlikely to receive any reward in the short-term (highest value) or distant future for the action (modulated value/ sender-dependent value).

Lastly, this pure altruism is still effort-contingent. It takes negligible effort to move a pack of suboptimal food or expired orange juice to the back of their respective rows. However, if the expired product was a 24 pack of Pepsi (significantly heavier) I’m unlikely to unstack the other 10 packs of Pepsi, place the expired one on the bottom, and then restack all the fresh ones back on top of the expired one. Moreover, I’m unlikely to purchase the expired one for the purpose of throwing it away. If the store is dedicated to selling the expired one, they may move it back to the front the following morning, thus nullifying my efforts. (Nier Automata may, in fact, have the best example of how this form of altruism isn’t free of cost considerations.)


😅) #Tumblr 🐈
#Evolution #Socialization
#Altruism #ProSocial


#AhmaudArbery was jogging on hard mode‬ ‪

Black #gamers (like me) are less likely than White gamers to create avatars who look like us in #MMORPG (Lee, 2014). This is one of many realities related to why people participated in the #RunForAhmaud event; it just happens to be a reality in #Gaming as well 💁🏻‍♀️‬

I’ve also discussed the racial hierarchy of mating preferences via my #GamerGirl alter ego (usually Persian but in some games I’m Hispanic or White or Elf; always a woman). Women’s desirability decreases with age, suggesting that 70 year old women who join #Match or #eHarmony will be playing on hard-mode. This is generally true of Black daters regardless of age.

In addition, Masters/Doctoral educated women & undereducated men face more difficulty in dating compared to Masters/Doctoral educated men & Baccalaureate women.

NeoLiberalism = The imposition of market frameworks into the interpersonal sphere. For example, as a Hyur, I’m the most valuable racial asset if you’re trying to sale an ipod nano via TikTok.

I expect to apply myself, as a social resource, to someone who is hot enough to return value proportional to my aesthetic value/ commodified beauty. Given that Elves are the least desired race with the least attractive skin & pointy ears, I won’t be posting stories with an Elf friend… at least not publicly where other people may see. But if the Elf is biracial, then maybe. Best rule of thumb in these cases is to err on the side of I’ll go with the Lighter (Kyla Walters, 2017).

We must narrow the gap between the promise of our ideals & the realities of our era. We owe it to future generations to bind our aspirations to the hopes of others & courageously work towards an inclusive Majority-Minority America worthy of our increasingly diverse voices of Patriotism.

The Metaphysics of Morals

— If you rescue a lost dog, does it matter whether you did it for the reward money or because you care about reuniting the pup and its family… regardless of the reason, the action creates the outcome that the dog is back at home 💁🏻 #ExitusActaProbat (the outcome justifies the action) (regardless of the meaning)

Whether a human chef creates my entree with a sense purpose/pride or a non-sentient robot creates it with no sense of meaning, all that matters is that i enjoy my food 💁🏻 From a purely #postmodern perspective, the true absurdity of life is that there doesn’t have to be any meaning except for that which we create for ourselves.


→ moral judgments have a tripartite structure, often aligned but sometimes separable: consequences — rules — character (RogertheGS). And similarly, rule-followers are seen to be more moral than consequentialists! (Shiri_Spitz)

@shiri_spitz : The explanation that makes most sense to me is that people are basically uncomfortable with actors who are willing to make calculated tradeoffs, even if those tradeoffs are motivated by concern for the greater good.

I think a lot of this comes down to framing, which tends to be less charitable towards the consequentialists.

morality is the most important dimension in impression formation we engage in many behaviors to manage our moral reputations

Moral judgments are sometimes pragmatic and based on self interest, but unconsciously so.

Doing bad seems worse than doing good seems good.

Interminority Prejudice

  1. Most hate crimes against minority individuals are committed by White individuals.

2. White individuals are more likely to call someone out for racism (64%) against minorities than minorities are themselves (range of 59% — 43%; Pew Survey).

3. Asian experience more Inter-Minority prejudice than any other minority group (Zhang et al., 2021). Thus, while Asians are most likely to be attacked by someone White, they’re more likely than someone Hispanic to be attacked by someone Black, and more likely than someone Black to be attacked by someone Hispanic.

4. A lot of interminority prejudice may be overlooked due to the microaggressions being spoken in a language the ‘harmed party’ can’t translate & thus has no idea of.

A counterfactual wall awaits wayward souls who seek to assess the efficacy of their Social Utilitarian strategies.

Basically: if you use your initials instead of your name on resumes/ job applications, how do you know that it was concealing your birthname that helped? Can you be sure that the employer wouldn’t have been able to pronounce your name?

Thankfully, this counterfactual wall is a soluble.

Temporal Political Preferences

Conservative posts referenced the past to a greater extent than the future and liberal posts referenced the future more than the past. A conceptually parallel cross-over interaction was obtained in Study 2, which analyzed 145 State of the Union addresses. The temporal orientation of conservatives and liberals, then, appears qualitatively different.

Robinson, M. D., Cassidy, D. M., Boyd, R. L., & Fetterman, A. K. (2015). The politics of time: Conservatives differentially reference the past and liberals differentially reference the future. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 45(7), 391–399.

Acceptable Rate of Loss

Scott Woods — May 5/2/2021

There’s an acceptable rate of loss in policing around how much city governments are willing to pay in civil case resolutions, rather than reform. There are observable acceptable rates of loss in homelessness, public education funding, and pretty much any other issue you can name. America is historically a “just enough” country when it comes to things like safety and justice.

There was a point at which the rate of loss regarding Covid was unacceptable, and when that was the case early on, things (eventually) shut down. But we are re-entering the phase of American life where that number has shifted in line with the country’s priorities in the face of a market-cratering event.

#COVID & Mental Health

“college students are also vulnerable to major changes in their routine and, as a consequence, to the psychological impact of the pandemic (Khan et al., 2020).

Having graduation affected by the pandemic has already been significantly associated with increased depression rates (Duan L. et al., 2020). Factors that may aggravate this situation include living away from family, instability of family income and insufficient access to technology in order to attend online classes (Cao et al., 2020; Khan et al., 2020). In fact, the mental health impact of online classes is a topic that deserves further evaluation, since it might lead to overburden (Dubey et al., 2020).

Suicides due to depression after an exam postponement and due to inability to access online classes have been reported (Mamun et al., 2020).”

Mask Infection

If you get infected while wearing a mask…

The lower the viral dose/load → the less severe the infection → the greater the chance of full recovery.

More Democrats than Republicans complied with the mandate (Schaeffer, 2021).

In Colonial Maryland…

Prior to the enactment of anti-interracial marriage laws in 1661, enslaved Black men and indentured White women servants intermarried freely, and their children following the custom of the time acquired the status of their free White mothers.

Since Hispanics & Filipinos aren’t White, Filipino-Mexican interracial marriages were commonplace.

Mexican & Punjabi interracial couples were also quite common.

Prior to Loving v Virginia (1967)

Interminority interracial marriage was legal everywhere in America except North Carolina & Louisiana (which banned interminority marriage between Blacks & Native Americans).

Thus, the majority of multiracial people prior to Loving v Virginia were interminority multiracials.

What happened to that generation of multiracial Americans?



Dr. Jarryd Willis PhD

I'm passionate about making a tangible difference in the lives of others, & that's something I have the opportunity to do a professor & researcher.