Collective Action You are probably familiar with the prisoner’s dilemma. For those who don’t know, here’s a quick summation. The prisoner’s dilemma is the archetypical game theory situation. See the above example. If both players confess, both loose 6 points of utility. If neither confess, both loose one point of utility. But if one confesses, … Continue reading What is Social Capital?
At risk of seeming condescending, many arguments about free speech are cringe-worthy bad, such as the common refrain, “Freedom of speech doesn’t mean freedom from consequences!” The Soviets could claim the same thing. “We let you say what you want, but the consequence is being sent to the gulag. Freedom of speech doesn’t mean freedom … Continue reading Free Speech, Social Media, and Network Externalities
Between 1:53:30 and 1:55:30, physicist and economist Eric Weinstein (to the right of his brother, Bret Weinstein, who I have a whole post about), asks a simple question: “Is a whale a fish?” You might read that and think I’m an idiot. A whale isn’t a fish; a whale is a mammal. But let us step … Continue reading Third Order Thinking (Or: Is a Whale a Fish?)
Have you ever wondered why there is still a royal family in the UK? One that doesn’t ostensibly holds no power, and “rules” over (several) otherwise democratic countries? Have you ever wondered about seemingly arbitrary cultural practices, like marriage? Why businessmen wear a suit and tie? These things seem normal because they are the way … Continue reading Traditions and Junk DNA
I unequivocally believe that the industrial revolution was a good thing. It improved our quality of life in an uncountable number of ways we take for granted. Modern medicine, modern media, modern transportation. Everything modern is a product of the industrial revolution. However, nothing is perfect; economist Thomas Sowell points out that in economics there … Continue reading Legitimate criticisms of industrialization
In decision theory, the term "game" has a specific definition that is different from everyday use. Because this blog is based on decision theory, it is worth nodding to that fact. However, that is not the subject of this post. This post is about the term “game” in common usage. I would like to both … Continue reading Why do we play games?
A zip tie starts in an opened position. Then you connect the two ends. A zip tie can always tighten; it will never loosen. If you want a zip tie to be loose, you will have to take special care to ensure that it never tightens. You can not fix the situation after it tightens. … Continue reading Zip Ties and Ear Plugs