# Thread: My grand utopic political model

1. ## My grand utopic political model

I just came up with the idea that all government employees should be nihilistic and that policies should be made exclusively by game-theorists and econometricians.

My arguing goes as follows:

One has to take, the prisoners dilemma (look it up if you don't understand the picture):

As one can imagine in this system it would be best to defect as average gain would be (5+1)/2 =3 whereas if one would cooperate the average gain is (3+0)/2=1.5.

However, while this is greatly effective if the game was played once on average the chances of success would decrease over time because the other player would predict that you would defect and would do so constantly himself as well, leading to a gain of 1 for every game.

Game theory has actually solved this problem in practice. Around 1980 there were several competitions held between mathematicians to write computer programs that would have to play out the prisoners dilemma an indefinite number of times against all the other programs and come out with as much gain as possible. Obviously the programs that would cooperate too much wouldn't gain too much because they would not gain a lot against a program that would defect most of the time eventhough they'd make a fair bit of gain against other programs that would predominantly cooperate. On the other side a program that would defect most of the time would make very little gain if they'd met another program that would defect most of the time. But what program was most effective?

The winner was a surprisingly simple program called 'Tit for Tat'. It would always start with a cooperation. Then every time the other program would cooperate as well the 'Tit for tat' program would reward the other program by cooperating again, but if the other program defected the 'tit for tat program would defect the next time as well as to punish the other program. However, forgiveness was given as soon as the other program would do a round of cooperation again. This way, against a predominantly defecting program, the 'Tit for tat' system would probably perform marginally worse, because of the initial compliance, and against a predominantly cooperating program 'Tit for tat' would perform equally well because both would get a gain of 3 most of the time.

In short, this website presents a list of strategies that were developed. Up until 'Tullock' they are placed in order of effectiveness. In another, bigger study, with more programs 'Tit for tat' came out best once again, despite being one of the simplest programs. Just as surprisingly, 'nasty' programs in general didn't do nearly as well 'nice' programs.

And therefore I plead, Nihilists as government so we get rid of pre-existing ideologies and econometricians and game-theorists as policy makers so that we may find more of these fundamentally fair and highly effective strategies for real life situations.

If you found the talk about 'Tit for tat' interesting, I suggest to you that you watch the 1986 BBC horizon documentary "Nice guys finish first".

2. Looks pretty. Would it work in a society dominated by non-NTs? :p

Basing a government off of nihilism wouldn't work because there are some very broad issues that encompass a great number of people. I think Isaac Asimov was on to something when he 'invented' psychohistory, the idea that a large system of individuals would act differently than a smaller set. Not that I'm saying that the large set of individuals is any more predictable; au contraire, it probably makes them even harder to follow at times. Still, there are majorities and minorities who have political opinions and move together as a wibbly-wobbly force.

But what's this you say? A lack of political parties would mean there would be no need for political opinions? True, but these opinions form either because someone lacks and opinion and just goes with the flow (SPs/SJs >_>). That his how these opinions thrive, but not how they get started. In the gut there'd be this discontentment which leads to agreeing between people.

The issues I find most particular are those having to do with resources, which we all share. Getting modern day economists to make our decisions means they'd work in a system with infinite growth and finite resources, but infinitely (it's a goddamn oxymoron). We only have a finite amount of resources, and thus we can't have constant growth without tumbling into annihilation. So, with regards to those issues, I think we should look for designers and sustainability engineers.

I like the idea of basing our justice system off of game theory, perhaps, but let's let engineers instead of economists do the rest!

3. Econometricians?? Econometrics is one of the worst parts of Economics, either unrealistic when reliable, or unreliable when realistic.
Game Theory, OTOH, is by far the best and most reliable branch of Economics, so I agree with you on that part. Some prominent game theorists have already an influence on some policies, for example, Roth with paired kidney transplants.

4. People cognitively fear potential losses more than they anticipate potential gains. Therefore, human society will never be Pareto-efficient, since this relies on a equal weighing of risks and potential benefits.

Sucks, I know.

5. Originally Posted by onemoretime
People cognitively fear potential losses more than they anticipate potential gains. Therefore, human society will never be Pareto-efficient, since this relies on a equal weighing of risks and potential benefits.

Sucks, I know.
Hot.

6. Originally Posted by onemoretime
People cognitively fear potential losses more than they anticipate potential gains. Therefore, human society will never be Pareto-efficient, since this relies on a equal weighing of risks and potential benefits.

Sucks, I know.
That's BS. The Pareto-Optimum technically depends on the shape of the utility curves (in the game shown by the original poster, by the payoffs of the partecipants- they could be whatever), which could be perfectly compatible with asymmetrical weight of lossess and gains (it's already perfectly compatible with decreasing marginal utility, a good basic widespread example of non-uniform weighing). You're running your mouth a bit.

7. Originally Posted by Kenneth Almighty
Looks pretty. Would it work in a society dominated by non-NTs? :p

Basing a government off of nihilism wouldn't work because there are some very broad issues that encompass a great number of people. I think Isaac Asimov was on to something when he 'invented' psychohistory, the idea that a large system of individuals would act differently than a smaller set. Not that I'm saying that the large set of individuals is any more predictable; au contraire, it probably makes them even harder to follow at times. Still, there are majorities and minorities who have political opinions and move together as a wibbly-wobbly force.

But what's this you say? A lack of political parties would mean there would be no need for political opinions? True, but these opinions form either because someone lacks and opinion and just goes with the flow (SPs/SJs >_>). That his how these opinions thrive, but not how they get started. In the gut there'd be this discontentment which leads to agreeing between people.

The issues I find most particular are those having to do with resources, which we all share. Getting modern day economists to make our decisions means they'd work in a system with infinite growth and finite resources, but infinitely (it's a goddamn oxymoron). We only have a finite amount of resources, and thus we can't have constant growth without tumbling into annihilation. So, with regards to those issues, I think we should look for designers and sustainability engineers.

I like the idea of basing our justice system off of game theory, perhaps, but let's let engineers instead of economists do the rest!
Well, the nihilists would just be the executing part of the politics. Kind of like a dual politica system. One type of people makes up the best system, and nihilists, who wont mess with the good plans, make it work.

And I said, econometricians, not economists.

Originally Posted by onemoretime
People cognitively fear potential losses more than they anticipate potential gains. Therefore, human society will never be Pareto-efficient, since this relies on a equal weighing of risks and potential benefits.

Sucks, I know.
That's why the nihilists should beat these people senseless if they don't do what was anticipated to potentially be beneficial.

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