Communion Of Dreams


Game-changer.

The other day I posted a video clip which nicely demonstrated one particular aspect of “game theory” and mentioned that it tied in to Communion of Dreams, though I wasn’t explicit how (nor did I explain what I found so interesting in the clip). Partly this was just due to my being preoccupied with the Kindle promotion that day, and partly it was because I like to leave people to figure things out for themselves.

Well, yesterday Bruce Schneier, whom I have mentioned here a number of times, posted an excellent explanation of what was so interesting about the clip (which has been making the rounds). Here’s the gist of the explanation:

Think about Nick’s strategy. He can’t trust that Abraham will split. More importantly, he can’t trust that Abraham will do what he said, because it’s in Abraham’s best interest to say one thing and do another. So he changes the game. He offers to split the pot outside the game — set up a meta-game of sorts — and removes Abraham’s incentive to lie.

Read the whole thing – it’s only a couple of paragraphs long, and nicely goes over exactly why this strategy works.

And that is also why I thought it had such a strong connection to Communion of Dreams: because in one very real sense, the whole book is about what happens when you unexpectedly ‘change the game’. The character of Chu Ling is the key in this regard, both literally and metaphorically, and that is why I had to have her as a game theory prodigy.

Just thought I’d share that.

Jim Downey

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[…] up on game theory. It was something new to him when he saw it in Communion of Dreams, and my recent posts about it had again piqued his […]

Pingback by The fox which wasn’t there. « Communion Of Dreams




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