Tuesday, February 05, 2008

The Prisoner's Dilemma - Nice Guys Finish First

Thanks for HASSERS forum members Richard for raising the Prisoner's Dilemma topic and Nick for posting these links:-

Some articles on Prisoners Dilemma.
(has some great comments, a vote and more links) (part 1 of 5)
Part 1: Richard Dawkins (1987) on social darwinism, selfish gene, altruism, game theory
Part 2: Prisoners Dilemma
Part 3: Tragedy of the Commons, Strategies: Cheats, Suckers, Grudgers
Part 4: Robert Axelrod (evolution of cooperation), Cooperative Strategy: Tit for Tat - Nice Guys Finish First
Part 5: non aggression pacts in warfare - Tit for Tat,'s_dilemma (also read the game
theory section.)

The Prisoner's Dilemma

Postby MrDoom on Sun Dec 23, 2007 10:44 pm

This is an old one:

You and an acquaintance live in a nation under occupation by a foreign state. One day the two of you are arrested by the military police on suspicion of partisan activity, and are incarcerated separately.

You are approached by the commander of the local garrison, whose only interest is suppressing rebellious activity, and are given a choice: you can remain silent, or you can accuse your acquaintance of subversion. You are told that your acquaintance has been given the same choice under the same conditions.

If you accuse your acquaintance, and they remain silent, all charges will be dropped against you and the acquaintance will serve 10 years in the gulag. However, if you remain silent while your acquaintance accuses, you will serve the gulag term while they go free. If both of you accuse each other, the commander will assume one or both of you to be subversives, and you will each serve 5 years in the gulag. If both of you remain silent, you will each be given a token sentence of six months in local prison for suspicious activities. You must respond within one day.

Given that you do not know what your acquaintance will say, what do you do?

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