Don't trust pretty blondes

A study on the Prisoner’s dilemma:


Good for her!

A dear friend of mine got her eyebrow pierced and dyed her hair burgundy because she was sick and tired of being the “sweet innocent blonde”.

Have you ever head Kevin Bacon’s comments on what it is like to go out disguised as someone else? He thinks it is awful, because he has grown used to special treatment so having to deal with normal treatment is really tough for him. My friend learned from her experiment but she went back to being blonde (and took out the ring as soon as we left college and it became a piece of social stigma as opposed to a positive symbol of rebellion).

I don’t blame her. Who would? Rock the advantages you have. Play those stereotypes. Make them work towards your advantage. Naturally, these sorts of things only work when they are culturally conditioned positive stereotypes but still. We’ve all got 'em. I fake math skills beyond my actual ability all the time and people buy it.

I would’ve killed the bitch.

…although, she did say she was betrayed…I don’t think my reason would kick in quick enough.

Of course in the situation I wouldn’t know what to do, I’m far too trusting. She was pretty hot too.

Seems to me however that the best option is simply to always choose the steal ball. That way you ensure that you don’t get fucked and nobody else runs off the winner over you. Even if that means getting nothing. Because if you get nothing, that means both of you chose to steal, meaning that if you had chosen split, you would be the fool and if they chose the split you would win. The only way to avoid losing this game is to not play it at all and choose steal every-time. Then when the game is over, if you have in fact won the money, you quietly approach the individual you screwed over and offer them their fair share. That seems to be the only “right” thing to do. Guilt…would eat away at me and burying the guilt would do me no good either. As well as allowing someone else to screw me in such a way, I would literally feel the need to take action against them.

Really though, what an awful game to play out for our amusement. I certainly wasn’t amused.

What a nasty premise. It’s like putting two slaves into a ring to fight to the death for our entertainment.

My first reaction was, what a fucker.
But honestly would you just give half of “your” money to a complete stranger?

It’s a game. She played it well, learning after being screwed over before. It’s not like the other guy is in poverty. There’s no sense in making promises beforehand, like the guy tried to do, because the nature of the show is to entertain – not to have everybody win and play nice.

It’s not just a game - not when that much hope and fear is involved. He’ll feel bitter about it for the rest of his life, unless he’s a very unusual person. She’ll hide this episode in her life from most people she knows, because people will have trouble trusting her. And all so we can be mindlessly entertained, or worse yet - so we can experiment with philosophical concepts on human subjects.

People are selfish, what else is new. The guy tried to gain her trust, perhaps thinking that she would easily capitulate. Boy was he surprised. They don’t even know each other, why would you trust a stranger on a show like that? It’s not like she back-stabbed him after years of friendship. They called the one choice a “steal,” but it’s not like it was actually his money to begin with. It was completely up for grabs.

I wonder what other ethical and philosophical dilemmas and perplexities we could explore via reality television?

Of course. If I were placed in such a situation, I would immediately want to rebel against the authoritarian, mad-scientist like nature of the game. To me it would seem sick immediately and I would understand how to handle it. No greediness here. You have to simply accept that you may have to ‘lose’ in order to win. Don’t play these sorts of games. Do not become the object of amusement, destroy the very game. Choose the steal ball and whatever happens, happens…if you win the money it is your obligation to give the other half to the other player if they in fact were to choose split. You should certainly attempt to persuade them to this point sincerely as well. Because deep down you know that no matter what occurs, you have won the War. Does anyone get this? C’mon people get with the program. We have to try and make other people understand the way things should be even if they have trouble accepting it. If you end up looking like an asshole because of it…so be it. What matters is what you believe is correct. Never go against your conscience and never deny what your instincts are guiding you towards.

Prisoner’s dilemma.

If you fail at it, you fail at life. Anon is entirely correct to point out that this woman will hide this event from as many people as she can for her entire life.

Too bad it was televised. Now she has that public shame following her everywhere.

Maybe I need to watch a whole show of Golden Balls (or whatever it’s called) to get perspective, because I don’t see how it’s such a horrible thing to compete for money on a gameshow.

Here is a good thread for you to read and ponder.

I’m with you on this. They all knew the premise before they started. Plus she actually never said that she was going to choose the share ball.

I’m not so sure. Personally, if she was my friend I wouldn’t think any less of her for it. She played the game and won. I wouldn’t take her actions in this game show to be indicative of how she would act outside of the show.


I’ve already read that thread in nearly its painful entirety. I’ve posted quite a bit there, too. Not quite sure why you think it’s relevant.

Yes, I think we’re on the same wavelength here.

She’s not pretty, and she doesn’t have an honest face. I don’t think I would’ve trusted her at all.

With all due respect to Brevel_Monkey, I don’t think she’s pretty, either. She has a gopher face, for one thing, and I think if she dyed her hair dark brown and pulled it back, she’d look much like Casey Anthony. I don’t think she looks trustworthy, either.

Obviously, I can’t be sure about this, but it wouldn’t surprise me if in the papers you sign before the show you agree not to share the money with your opponent if you choose, “Steal.”

Greed is a bitch. Obviously, both players guarantee themselves money by simply deciding to Share it, but not only does greed come into play, but so does the probabilistic law of expected return.

For instance, if the amount is $50,000 and you choose, “Share,” then one of two events can happen:

Opponent Shares: Win $25,000
Opponent Steals: Win $0.00
Expected (Average) Return: $12,500

However, if you choose steal:

Opponent Shares: Win $50,000
Opponent Steals: Win $0.00
Expected (Average) Return: $25,000

The above example, of course, assumes that the possibility of either scenario is 50/50, which mathematically, it is. However, if you can steer your opponent in one direction or another, thereby generating a new percentage that is not strictly known, but can be guessed, you have an advantage.

For instance, if your opponent “Shares,” in your estimation, an 80% probability:

If you share:
Opponent Shares: Win $25,000 (80%)
Opponent Steals: Win $0.00 (20%)
Expected Return: $20,000

If you steal:
Opponent Shares: Win $50,000 (80%)
Opponent Steals: Win $0.00 (20%)
Expected Return: $40,000

Contrastly, if you believe that your opponent will steal, or if your opponent actually does steal, you’re fucked anyway.

Despite the Math behind it, I would probably try to convince my opponent to share and then choose, “Share,” myself. If my opponent does decide to betray me, I would rather at least one of us gets a huge chunk of money.

EDIT: Actually, I might try a little reverse psychology. I might say to my opponent, “Listen, I’m going to steal no matter what you say or what we discuss. You might as well choose, ‘share,’ that way at least one of us gets the money,” and then I would proceed to choose, “Share.”

Regardless of any paperwork, I would simply choose steal every-time. Then proceed as I had stated before. I would persuade the individual, quite sincerely, to share with me. Then if they stole, it would be fitting punishment for them to get nothing and if people think I’m a scoundrel, well that’s what they think then. If they shared and felt betrayed, I would most certainly make things right behind the scenes and tell them later why I simply had to be sure. I guess that you’re playing within the rules and I’m not but I’m just trying to look at this from a pragmatic, realistic standpoint. In reality I would attempt to fuck this game up at all costs.

I couldn’t do that to somebody and feel OK nor could I allow someone to screw me over and feel OK. I’m not trying to say that I’m so very self-less. What I’m saying is that I can’t deal with a game like that, I wouldn’t want to win it or lose it nor would I would I want to see anyone else win or lose it either. That game is probably bullshit though anyway, it just seems a bit too cruel to be true (maybe I’m missing a bit of context?). I’m sure everybody wins at the end of the day…of course I have no way of knowing.

I guess that actually being in the situation…well who knows. Given the right person, I may very well choose to share. Thinking about it logically now though, I see what the correct decision is.

You could choose to steal, then reimburse your fellow contestant afterwards (preferably publicly).

Listen dude, I just had to be sure, here’s 25 grand.