brought to you by a bikini-clad sarcasm peddler, I got you.
I believe I have listened to this album 8,057 times so far this lifetime, and always wondered what the title meant (by the way, I'm still looking for the title track instro, lace me please somebody). Ergo, what we have here is yet another edition of "I was curious about it, so I figured you guys might be too."
"GAME THEORY is the science of strategy. It attempts to determine mathematically and logically the actions that “players” should take to secure the best outcomes for themselves in a wide array of “games.” The games it studies range from chess to child rearing and from tennis to takeovers. But the games all share the common feature of interdependence. That is, the outcome for each participant depends on the choices (strategies) of all. In so-called zero-sum games the interests of the players conflict totally, so that one person’s gain always is another’s loss. More typical are games with the potential for either mutual gain (positive sum) or mutual harm (negative sum), as well as some conflict.
Games are fundamentally different from decisions made in a neutral environment. To illustrate the point, think of the difference between the decisions of a lumberjack and those of a general. When the lumberjack decides how to chop wood, he does not expect the wood to fight back; his environment is neutral. But when the general tries to cut down the enemy’s army, he must anticipate and overcome resistance to his plans. Like the general, a game player must recognize his interaction with other intelligent and purposive people. His own choice must allow both for conflict and for possibilities for cooperation.
The essence of a game is the interdependence of player strategies. There are two distinct types of strategic interdependence: sequential and simultaneous. In the former the players move in sequence, each aware of the others’ previous actions. In the latter the players act at the same time, each ignorant of the others’ actions.
A general principle for a player in a sequential-move game is to look ahead and reason back. Each player should figure out how the other players will respond to his current move, how he will respond in turn, and so on. The player anticipates where his initial decisions will ultimately lead and uses this information to calculate his current best choice. When thinking about how others will respond, he must put himself in their shoes and think as they would; he should not impose his own reasoning on them.It is often thought that the application of game theory requires all players to be hyperrational. The theory makes no such claims. Players may be spiteful or envious as well as charitable and empathetic. Recall George Bernard Shaw’s amendment to the Golden Rule: “Do not do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Their tastes may be different.” In addition to different motivations, other players may have different information. When calculating an equilibrium or anticipating the response to your move, you always have to take the other players as they are, not as you are."
"Game theory studies interactive decision-making, where the outcome for each participant or “player” depends on the actions of all. If you are a player in such a game, when choosing your course of action or “strategy” you must take into account the choices of others. But in thinking about their choices, you must recognize that they are thinking about yours, and in turn trying to take into account your thinking about their thinking, and so on."
Or I just coulda posted The Battle of Wits in The Princess Bride to illustrate this perfectly. We all know how Black Thought, Kamal, Amir, et al are huge Rob Reiner fans.
"Never get involved in a land war in Asia."