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Tag Archives: game theory

2024 Election Life and Death Game Theory: Introduction

Background Assumption #1: Voting is an affirmative action. You have to be willing to do it. When I say, “if it’s raining, I’m not going to waste my time voting for Joe Biden and Tammy Murphy,” it will not change the outcome of the Presidential or, probably, even the New Jersey Senate election. But the turnout will be lower than a sunny day would be. Similarly, “if it’s only drizzling, I’ll probably vote for Andy Kim, at which point I might as...

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An Overview Of Game Theory

[embedded content]An Experiment in Game Theory Game Theory provides a formal treatment of well-specified situations in which the outcome depends on the choices of several agents who may have conflicting interests. Abstractly, a player chooses a strategy, where a strategy specifies the player's move in every situation that may arise in the game. For example, a strategy for white in chess specifies, roughly white's move for every board configuration in which it is his turn. This example is...

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Why I think the west should support Ukraine big time, but also why we shouldn’t ignore the risks

That is my op-ed today in the L.A. Times. I really do think the ruin of war is a useful lens to look at conflict. It also helps us see how this conflict might end, why it might end faster if NATO is unconditional in its support for Ukraine, and why I think that stance is worth the great risks it entails. First, the rest of the op-ed:Even Vladimir Putin, author of the world-changing conflict in Ukraine, tried to avoid war in his own insidious way. For two decades, he employed every underhanded...

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Up with international relations theory, down with the -isms, and down with the certainty

Putin’s invasion of Ukraine has rekindled another, potentially more bitter conflict: the long-running war between international relations school of thought. You may have read the Mearshimer interview in the New Yorker that roiled so many, defending his version of realism. Maybe you read Stathis Kalyvas’ defense of constructivism. Or one of a thousand tweets, raging against or loving an IR take. If you’re like most people, however, you’re just confused. If so, forgive yourself. I spent years...

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A coherent and (mostly) strategic explanation for war in Eastern Europe emerges?

Yesterday Russia moved to consolidate its control over eastern separatist regions of Ukraine. People bickered over whether this constituted an invasion, at which point Noah Smith won Twitter for the day: If it’s not from the Invasion region of southern France, then it’s not an invasion, it’s just a sparkling annexation — Noah Smith 🌐+🧦=🐇 (@Noahpinion) February 22, 2022 I’m only medium-good at tweets, and I don’t have much experience at all with Russia or Ukraine. But what I can do is parse...

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Computer viruses don’t come with a return address

Is a renegade American responsible for shutting down much of North Korea’s internet? Just over a year ago, an independent hacker who goes by the handle P4x was himself hacked by North Korean spies. P4x was just one victim of a hacking campaign that targeted Western security researchers with the apparent aim of stealing their hacking tools and details about software vulnerabilities. He says he managed to prevent those hackers from swiping anything of value from him. But he nonetheless felt...

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The Habtic Standard

I few weeks ago I was approached to write an article about “game theory and organizations”…I wasn’t quite sure what to talk about at first, but then I realized that managers play “games” with their employees every time them implement any type of inventive system (or promotion system, for that matter!). So let’s think about the different factors we should think about when structuring incentives in the workplace, both to maximize profitability but also to do right by workers…

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Jean Pisani-Ferry — The Global Economy’s Three Games

Three major players – the United States, China, and a loose coalition formed by the other members of the G7 – are shaping the future of the international economic and geopolitical order. And they are all engaged in three contests simultaneously, without knowing which one is the most important. This is about international relations, geopolitics and geo-strategy, and these fields are generally analyzed in terms of game theory. The only one that can know which game the US is currently...

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You know you’re an econ/math nerd if you read this and…

You know you’re an econ/math nerd if you read this and think “haha, it’s like the matching pennies game.” But hear me out…here’s the matching pennies game, and, like the joke, the crux of the game is that there is no Nash equilibrium without randomization. To further the analogy: The matching pennies game works as it does because player 1, let’s say, “gets off” when the pennies match whereas player 2 gets off when the pennies don’t match. (This wording hopefully shows the intuition of why...

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