Game Theory

The Nash Equilibrium is best illustrated in a scene from the movie about his life.

One could also add at least 2 further factors in support of Nash’s conclusion to leave the blond alone.

1. If she has been a pretty girl all of her life, she may be a little jaded by approaches from boys and be somewhat aloof by now. She may also be used to not having to start conversations, to not having nurtured interests especially an interest in other people because others have always shown interest in her.

In short, she could lack personality

2. This lack of eagerness to please could be something her friends do not share as they have experienced life in her shadow to some extent.

To have a boy show a genuine interest in her might be something she has a tendency to reciprocate.

In short, she may not only show an interest but be genuinely more eager to make a positive impression

And be more content


There are many aspects of Philosophy that I particularly enjoyed while studying the subject at university. Of particular interest were some of the concepts from Game Theory and for some reason I had a focus on the one that promotes the idea that we should look to maximise the minimum gains we could receive from a decision / action.

And conversely, we should also strive to minimise maximum losses (Mini-Max).

I think one reason why Maxi-Min stuck with me is that either it applied or I applied it to several scenarios after learning about it.

One such scenario was a view on how people might choose to build social and legal rules if they were in the ‘original position’ (Social Contract) but did not know what their position and situation might be if they were a member of the society they were setting norms for.

In his book A Theory of Social Justice, John Rawls discusses this veil of ignorance scenario and concludes that the natural result is reasonably conservative. That people would choose his core principles as a matter of reason.

I recall thinking that it was a novel approach to the Social Contract constructto delve into the original position much like predecessors Locke, Rousseau and Hobbes did 350-550 years prior.

I also recall struggling somewhat with an essay at the time and then most fortuitously stumbling across a journal article on Rawls’ construct, arguing that the conclusions could be flawed because people were never without their position in life thus how could we possibly predict what they would decide if they were ever faced with a scenario whereby they were suddenly not aware of the most fundamental human ..?

Anyway, I clearly did not nail the argument in my paper because I think I barely managed a B- grade or maybe even a C.

But as I recall, the article was reasonably well argued. It was bound in a hardback collection of a series of journals on Philosophy I found in a second hand bookstore. ‘Philosophical Papers’ I think it was called and the author of the particular article was from a South African university.

The lecturer was writing his own theory of justice at the time and he shared large parts of it with is in class. Geoff Cupit would receive accolades for Justice as Fittingness (Oxford University Press, 1999) and I recall thinking of it fondly and discussing a number of scenarios with him during and after classes.

One such conversation was about whether a person could be said to deserve the rewards that might come from their application of a particular skill that they may have initially acquired by being born with particular physical capabilities, like someone who would go on to be a professional sports person.

This gist of fittingness was that what a person deserved was much better to be centred upon their actions in terms of what they contributed to others or to society in general (or perhaps to the environment which we didn’t discuss directly but I suspect Cupit would agree to that).

Finite vs Infinite Games

Simon Sinek gives a pretty good explanation in this video

Published by Maru Ririnui

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