Posts Tagged ‘game theory’

Equilibria

November 8, 2012

It’s a well-known fact that a cake can be divided into two equal slices in cooperation by two players, who each only want to maximise their own share of it. All we need to do is tell one of them to cut the cake in two and the other to pick a slice.

Without even attempting any calculations it’s easy to see how their greed balances out and guarantees a fair outcome, exactly as game theory predicts.

Except…

Here, in front of us are two people desperate for cake.

And we’ve just given one of them a knife.

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Theories

November 16, 2011

Evolutionary biologists must be cursing the day one of them came up with the phrase “Darwin’s Theory” instead of “Darwin’s Law”. They wouldn’t be in the trouble they’re in. Of course in science a theory is as serious as it gets, whereas in everyday usage it is something akin to a hunch, an inspired guess at best..Good luck to explaining this to people who don’t want to listen though.

And while this doesn’t seem to be a problem for physicists, even though Einstein’s theories of relativity contain far more counter-intuitive elements than Darwin could ever dream of, it’s one of the “weak points” creationists love to latch onto.

Not only that, it’s hard to be taken seriously in general by the public if your area is “only” a theory. And if you think it can’t get any worse, spare a thought for those brave people who devote their lives researching game theory.