|Print List Price:||$16.99|
Save $5.00 (29%)
Hachette Book Group
Price set by seller.
Rock, Paper, Scissors: Game Theory in Everyday Life Kindle Edition
|New from||Used from|
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
- ASIN : B0097DHSLU
- Publisher : Basic Books (November 4, 2008)
- Publication date : November 4, 2008
- Language : English
- File size : 893 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 279 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #486,244 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
I suspect that many of those introduced to game theory by this book will have a false sense of knowledge about game theory and its application in everyday life. Like Fisher, these individuals will speciously argue for solutions to everyday problems (social dilemmas Fisher prefers to call them). Part of the problem is that he is, initially, quite convincing in his simple presentation of game theory. Only after the reader comes in contact with those with even a rudimentary understanding of game theory does the reader realize that he has been fooled by the simple and seemingly intuitive presentation.
Fisher has other books out in multiple disciplines (he has a Ph.D. in chemistry I think). I cannot comment on these, but I suspect that he is a sort of jack of all trades, master of none (except perhaps informal, inaccurate, ultimately entertaining representations of scientific disciplines). For this book, he frequently injects his own categorization, terminology, and opinions into the text in place of thought out explanations for game theoretic concepts. For example:
He refers to Nash's equilibrium as Nash's trap. "Professional game theorists may not much like my describing the Nash equilibrium in this way, because it implies that the equilibrium always leads to a bad outcome. I am sticking with it, though, because this book is about bad outcomes and how to get out of them." Let's begin this endeavor by not purchasing this book.
For a great introduction to game theory try "Games, Strategies, and Decision Making" by Harrington. It is the standard for learning game theory and great for applying it to everyday life (the right way). Ken Binmore is another game theorist/author that I highly recommend, even for beginners.
Avoid "Rock, Paper, Scissors". Fisher is loose with his definitions, uses idiosyncratic terminology, and presents a facile, unsatisfactory explanation of game theory.
There's no doubt Fisher is a skilled writer. He interweaves humorous stories of his own game theory experiments with explanations and detailed illustrations of the theories he's working with. In that respect, it's fun and pretty easy to read. The drawback of the book lies with the weakness of game theory itself, at least as far as he's explained it. More than anything else, it seems to be just a mathematical model of psychological phenomena, and it doesn't appear to really offer much that's new in the way of explaining how human beings interact with each other. Fisher, though, thinks otherwise. His claims about the revolutionary insights of game theory (particularly in the introduction) are pretty extreme: "This trap [people cheating for their own benefit in a situation in which cooperation with others would benefit everyone] has been with us for time immemorial. Examples can be found in the Bible, the Koran, and many ancient texts ... Its true nature was not understood ... [until] the advent of game theory ... reveal[ed] its inner workings." Yeah. Good thing. Recommended, but not earth-shattering.
Rock, Paper, Scissors is best read by reading the chapters in reverse order. Fisher really wants to write about trust and how to gain it, by realizing that game theory not only describes situations (the seven dilemmas identified by Nash equilibriums), but also identifies methods for breakthroughs. Various problems in everyday life (mainly Fisher's!) and some business/political ones can be identified, then addressed. This is good stuff. Knowing the Ultimatum and Centipede games provide value.
A reader upon completion will most likely believe that while the book was worth the time and effort, a better book should be available with more interesting examples, that would have been MORE worth the time and effort. It's as if Fisher "mailed" it in. He couldn't have spent more than a few weeks (if that long) writing it. It's merely a money-maker that doesn't show great depth of knowledge or effort by the writer, but it is understandable.