What's wrong with the concept of indirect reciprocity?
I think it mixes two very different things together.
- One is where a positive reputation results in cooperation - A is nice to B and then C is nice to A.
- The other is where generosity is misplaced - A is nice to B and then B is nice to C.
Indirect reciprocity is also a bit of an oxymoron. The word "reciprocity" doesn't really apply to indirect situations unless the benefits are eventually returned to from whence they came.
It is much better to put these two types of interactions in different categories. That's what I do - with the concepts of virtue signalling and overgeneralisation.