In the News (from Technology Review): “The world of game theory is currently on fire. In May, Freeman Dyson at Princeton University and William Press at the University of Texas announced that they had discovered a previously unknown strategy for the game of prisoner’s dilemma which guarantees one player a better outcome than the other.
“That’s a monumental surprise. Theorists have studied Prisoner’s Dilemma for decades, using it as a model for the emergence of co-operation in nature. This work has had a profound impact on disciplines such as economics, evolutionary biology and, of course, game theory itself. The new result will have impact in all these areas and more. …
“Until now, everyone thought the best strategy in iterative prisoner’s dilemma was to copy your opponents behaviour in the previous round. This tit-for-tat approach guarantees that you both spend the same time in jail.
“So the news that there are other strategies that allow one player to not only beat the other but to determine their time in jail is nothing short of revolutionary. …
The new approach is called the zero determinant strategy (because it involves the process of setting a mathematical object called a determinant to zero).
It turns out that the tit-for-tat approach is a special case of the zero determinant strategy: the player using this strategy determines that the other player’s time in jail is equal to theirs. But there are a whole set of other strategies that make the other player spend far more time in jail (or far less if you’re feeling generous).
The one caveat is that the other player must be unaware that they are being manipulated. If they discover the ruse, they can play a strategy that results in the maximum jail time for both players: ie both suffer.”
My Comment: Recently, more and more discoveries are happening in the field of human interaction. This should lead us to the realization of our absolute integrality as a unified system in which there is no individual freedom in thoughts, feelings, and actions. And only dissolving oneself in everyone makes one free. For the time being this seems incredible, but we will outgrow this inertia and the limitations of our understanding of the great unity of nature.