The big idea: is cooperation always a force for good?

Nichola Raihani in The Guardian:

What springs to mind when you hear the word cooperation? It increasingly feels like bland corporate jargon, evoking images of firm handshakes and cheerful teamwork. Typing it into Google Images produces a reel of people doing increasingly bizarre things with their hands. But cooperation is much more than a workplace platitude: it is sewn into the fabric of our lives, from the most mundane of activities, such as the morning commute, to magnificent achievements such as sending rockets into space. Cooperation is our species’ superpower, the reason that humans managed not just to survive but to thrive in almost every habitat on Earth.

We often talk about cooperation in glowing terms, associating it with ideas of virtue and morality. And, to some extent, this perspective is justified. Cooperative individuals are more likely to care for others, to display empathy for those in distress and to act to alleviate their suffering. It’s why people are willing to donate their money, their time and even their blood to help those in need.

More here.