09 November 2010

Game Theory

I am probably too familiar with the Prisoner's Dilemma that Dr. Zappala described in his post.  I've played it several times in high school seminary, each time with disappointing results.  In class today, Dr. Zappala demonstrated the dilemma with two students.  Both students chose to remain silent.  He commented that it was probably because we are nice religious people since that result is highly unusual.  Does that mean that my seminary classes weren't religious?

Not once did my entire seminary class manage to "remain silent" while enacting this Prisoner's Dilemma.  My team always chose to "remain silent."  Why?  Because I believed that was the right thing to do.  I am a woman of principles.  I do not yield to win a silly game.  Yet I found myself on several occasions frustrated to the point that I doubted my actions--it's not fun to be the class doormat. 

The game was meant to teach the law of consecration, particularly why we do not live the law of consecration right now, and that it did well.  How can we live the law of consecration if we cannot risk our own best interests in a seminary game?

So maybe I can analyze this interview that my group is planning to set up for our final group project: Our interviewee can agree or disagree to an interview.  If he consents, we both benefit (2, 2).  If he refuses, we lose but he saves himself some trouble (0, 1).  Either way, if we do not interview, then neither party gains (0, 0).  So, isn't mutual agreement a Nash equilibrium?

I hope he agrees!  I would if I were in his place.

Photo credit Stuck in Customs

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