Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Extortion trumps cooperation?

Extortion trumps cooperation?  This article talks about a new solution to the classic game theory problem usually dubbed “Prisoner’s Dilemma”.  This new solution says that in some cases a strategy they dub “extortion” can beat the traditional cooperative solutions.  This is an interesting result, and the piece is fun to read – but that's not what caught my eye.

One of the authors of the new solution is Freeman Dyson, the famous physicist with a fascinating career.  He also happens to be 91 years old, and it still (obviously) a productive scientist.  In the last decade or so he's been a vocal skeptic of the anthropogenic global warming hypothesis, and his skepticism was one of the factors driving my own.

Now here he is publishing a paper that's rather far afield from his usual haunts.  I'll take that as evidence of a curious mind, a health skeptical outlook, and of those little gray cells still working just fine despite his advancing years...

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