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Physicist and Ig Nobel Prize–winner Fisher (How to Dunk a Doughnut) explores how game theory illuminates social behavior in this lively study. Developed in the 1940s, game theory is concerned with the decisions people make when confronted with competitive situations, especially when they have limited information about the other players' choices. Every competitive situation has a point called a Nash Equilibrium, in which parties cannot change their course of action without sabotaging themselves, and Fisher demonstrates that situations can be arranged so that the Nash Equilibrium is the best possible outcome for everyone. To this end, he examines how social norms and our sense of fair play can produce cooperative solutions rather than competitive ones. Fisher comes up short of solving the problem of human competitiveness, but perhaps that is too tall an order. Game theory works better as a toolkit for understanding behavior than as a rule book for directing it. Fisher does succeed in making the complex nature of game theory accessible and relevant, showing how mathematics applies to the dilemmas we face on a daily basis. (Nov.)
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Fisher, author of the entertaining and educational How to Dunk a Doughnut (2003), explores how the seemingly amorphous notion of cooperation can be explored, quantified, and even modified through the new science of game theory, which isn’t about games in the usual sense of the word. Rather, game theory concerns the strategies we use when we interact with other people. It’s about the way we manipulate situations to our own advantage; the way we negotiate and weigh our options before making decisions; the way we instinctively make split-second decisions based on myriad potential outcomes. Through a combination of real-world examples (like a traffic jam that took three days to unclog) and philosophical problems, Fisher shows us that we’re way more cooperative than we sometimes think we are, while at the same time startlingly more selfish than we ought to be. As with Doughnut, the writing is lively, the scientific discourse clear and accessible, and the ideas challenging and exciting. --David PittSee all Editorial Reviews
Not the one you want to start. Never the one you want if there is even one better introduction to Game Theory. See, instead, Survival Game by Barash.Published 6 months ago by DaveHwriter
The only reason this book gets two stars is because it is mostly accurate in describing highly basic game theory situations. That said, the descriptions are quite shallow. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Jordan
I knew I had seen too many TV explanations of Game Theory.
Fisher does an excellent job of explaining Game Theory in a non-mathematical way. Read more
Game theory has two sides. The math and its meaning. This book trusts the math to be right, and is focused on what the application of game theory means to real life. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Mall of America Gift Card Customer
This book was boring and not based on fact/science. Terrible. It's not worth even a dollar. I was hoping to learn something but instead it was just a waste of time.Published on July 5, 2013 by J. Reiland
Game theory is an important and exciting topic. Unfortunately, this book ignores the beautiful mathematics in favor of an annoying combination of autobiography and political... Read morePublished on May 18, 2013 by D. Fleeger
This book successfully exercises the mind in the world of game theory, yet it does not overcomplicate the subject matter. Read morePublished on January 13, 2013 by Ross Gonzales, Jr.
but gave my copy to my brother when I was done. This time I Kindled it because I want to reread it . Read morePublished on January 12, 2013 by Jon P. Cavanaugh Spain