Game Theory?

ugly - take Hawks and Doves, or what I would call Chicken.

The object of the game is to win, of course, and the strategy is simply to take the bigger risk. But the game must be viewed as a closed system to make choosing the winning strategy worthwhile. The greater risk is the greater risk of death (in the classic example). In that context, it is a game better lost than one, on average.

Other than testosterone-poisoned young men, who would play? The flaw here is that testosterone-poisoned young men are not very good at assessing risk, which happens to be a very useful skill in such a game. So the worse you play, the better your chances of survival. The better you play, the worse your chances for survival. Because the game must be seen in a broader context to matter - once you’re dead, nothing matters.

This is not typical of games in general.

The planet Earth is the global commons where all life grazes off eachother. We are organells of a planetary cell and are all food for one another. This is the win- win rules of life on Earth. When win-lose games are subsituted then eveyone loses and the commons is destroyed. We must remember that all processes are dependent on the daily flow of photons, the life giving light from the Sun. Our mother Star. A way of Modelling the Earth processes and playing by win-win rules. The dawning of the Solar Age, an Age of Light.

Hi Tab,

Game theory is generally understood to be a branch of mathematics.

It is my belief that, because mathematical results are so reliable, many disciplines such as economics and the social sciences wish to apply the results of game theory to bolster their various theories.

However, if these applications don’t give:

  1. a full description of the game,
  2. all of the strategies available to the players of the game,
  3. and, assuming that this is a multiple player game > 2, a compelling reason to believe that the players will all behave in a homogenous manner (which I believe is virtually never true)

Then one can not draw mathematically valid conclusions.

The matrix formed by the cross product of the strategies is the payoff matrix and it must be assigned valid numerical values in order to draw conclusions. This must be done even if we are only looking for the best outcome.

Your observations, about the difficulties of doing so, are valid, which is why I think that many game theoretic conclusions are invalid.

Being a mathematician by temperament and training, once we back away from this rigor, I am simply a junky suffering from withdrawal. I can not accept the uncertainty.

As a side point, I would like to mention that the conclusions of iterated tit for tat analysis strike me as nearly identical to the Skinner like behaviorist models, which have been shown to fail.

While there are some important game theoretic results, without the rigor, I’m afraid we are just drinking buddies sitting at a bar talking about tits.

I believe that is the wrong application of the theory.

GT is a limited tool and is not a system to be used universally.

This is why I gave the example of the GT models being used in business.

Well, perhaps you’re just getting the wrong description. Game theory, in fact, is more practical than most any other branch of philosophy since a particular game, the Stag Hunt, is meant to be a “focal point for social contract theory” (Skyrms). As long as social contract theory is relevant, so is study of the Stag Hunt and hence game theory.

Go to this link and read the back cover of a book on game theory by Brian Skyrms: Honestly, I’m no big fan of game theory, but I don’t think it doesn’t have its place of importance.

That wasn’t a lot to go on. I am a social contractarian myself, but not a Rousseauian one. So I would question your assertion that game theory is relevant to the SC. I’m kinda shooting in the dark, though.

Hey Ed,

Youre it did I think, but it was beaten by a new contender - the “tit for two tats” version - which forgives twice before retaliating. This strategy was better at overcoming breakdowns of cooperation, and restoring firendly terms. As a reflection of the real world - this equivalent of counting to ten and taking a few deep breaths before wading in fists flying - was useful in overcoming misunderstandings and ‘accidental’ betrayals of trust.

I did actually say a “tit for two tats” looking back:

Anyway. Boş Ver. Gift it no importance.

:laughing: Great line. I lolled.

The trouble with economics and game theory - I don’t know if you’ve read “the Black Swan” - see the link for some notes on the book - is that maybe the blame lies with the economists rathers than the game theorists. In adhering to a guassian curve model of economic risks they are making false assupmtions about the nature of
business and finance.

What are you up to btw…? Last time we talked was about inheritence and epigenetics an age ago.


Check this out man…

Well how can anyone reply to game theory with ‘so what?’ theres practical applications in understanding that behavior’s like tit for tat can produce testable hypothesis about human and animal behavior, its use as an explainatory role is not weak either.

How is prisoner’s delimma not a real life problem occassionally? slightly alter the situation and you have nonzero sum games that humans routinely play. Like war or peace. arms races etc

Cyrene - the lesson of the Prisoner’s Dilemma is “Play the odds.”

But I knew that already.

Sure but the way people choose to play the odds highlights a decent bit of human behavior and what pressures (social) our ancestors dealt with.

Maybe. But so does a good game of Texas Hold’em.

personally, i find game theory easier to understand than poker

I think that’s because Game Theory has less to teach us.

But also because Game Theory makes perfectly good strategies look bad.

Sometimes, you just get beat.

It very well could if studied from an evolutionary perspective, game theory happens more frequently in diverse/settings ways. I mean most shit seems obvious but that stuff can lead to predictions that would be impossibly hard to imagine otherwise.

You’re always asking me about practical application, well certain behavior’s suggestive of sexual jealousy corresponds positively with violence based on single acts/tactics (of jealousy) these predictions many turned out right (some wrong) is important stuff, to warn friends/family about warning signs.

Its only an evolutionary psychologist who predict’s that sexually jealous behaviors/tactics corresponds to violence because violence can be viewed often times in light of males trying to control female sexuality. (not conscientiously). Now game theory could produce such predictions, probably does.

Sexual jealousy is obvios its predictive power to reveal unknown risk factors for female abuse

is only obvious to a trained mind. I think discounting it as obvious when even more obvious occurances (sexual jealousy) is responsible for a lot of nonobvious human behavior isn’t prudent. Especially since looking at sexual jealousy is still unveiling more and more about things we knew little about.

though maybe so would behaviors used in Texas hold em’ I’m just saying’

Sometimes, but sometimes game theory also reveals what otherwise seemed like poor strategies to be good ones.

i can see that poker might do a better job teaching people to guage the odds, but only under the limited sets of circumstances which poker-scenarios are capable of evoking

Cyrene -

An evolutionary psychologist, or your sister. I don;t think it’s so hard to predict violence.

I would like to see a specific example of a specific game model that produces an unlikely prediction form a real-life scenario that can’t be predicted another way with equal accuracy.

I’m not saying they don’t exist - I would just like to see one.

ugly -

Again, my mind is not closed to the possibility. I’d just like to see a good example.

Actually, I can think of one - the Monty Hall game.

Truth be told, that one still bothers me, for a reason I can’t put my finger on.

Oh shit. I just got it. I had misunderstood the rules.