[FoRK] The Traveler's Dilemma
<aaron at bavariati.org> on
Thu May 24 12:54:30 PDT 2007
On Wed, May 23, 2007 at 06:20:15PM -0400, Stephen D. Williams wrote:
> I really need to talk to this guy to either figure out his deficiencies
> or mine. "In the years since I devised the game... this rejection of
> formal rationality and logic has a kind of meta-rationality attached to
Took me a while, but what I got was that this is a good model for how
some iterative strategies can ratchet you down the drain.
> Their "logic" that $2 is the rational choice is broken on several
> counts. The goal is to maximize payoff, not to guarantee that you do
> better than the opponent.
Yabbut if you iterate a perfectly rational strategy, you get to $2.
1. Start at a price of $100.
2. Think, "The other person's gonna do that, too."
3. Think, "If I go to (price - 1), I'll end up with (price + 2)."
4. Goto 2.
This resembles various social and corporate death-spirals. (e.g.
cycles of layoffs and underperformance, escalating parent-child power
struggles.) Folks can even compare iterations and realize they're going
downhill, but they're trapped by the expected behavior of the other
parties in the game.
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