ehowton (ehowton) wrote,
ehowton
ehowton

Game Theory


I apply, or attempt to apply, the Nash Equilibrium to my everyday life, in every interaction. Its become a sort of philosophy for me. "Altruistic objectivism" if you will, as I don't subscribe wholly to any singular thread of philosophical debate - I don't have to - the best of many in an ever evolving comprehension of life far outweighs the limits imposed upon any single ideal.

Hiroshi Mikitani, CEO of Rakuten Inc. recently posted,

There is no such thing as common sense.

In fact, the only real truth in business is that all ideas are relative. Every manner of thinking has some strong points and some weak points. Nothing is ever set in stone. This is the nature of our world.

What’s important, therefore, is to progress forward while constantly adapting to new situations...Nothing is ever finished or fixed. Therefore, no one can ever declare his or her idea absolutely right. There is no absolute. Only the evolution of ideas.

Be suspicious of common sense and those who cite it to convince you to avoid progress. Do not fear going against common sense. Ideas evolve while being constantly adapted.



It dawned on me quite suddenly that Nash's equilibrium is, in essence, a practical application of Lawrence Kohlberg's third-tier of his Development of Moral Reasoning. Simply pointing out that learning to balance your own needs along with the needs of others as a postconventional value can be seemingly elusive and without form, but when coupled with making one's best response to the actions of the other players who are also [rationally] vested in a holistic solution both individually and collectively, then you have a workable, teachable, repeatable theory.

Adam Smith said the best result comes from everyone in the group doing what's best for himself, right? That's what he said, right? Incomplete. Incomplete! Because the best result would come from everyone in the group doing what's best for himself AND the group. Governing dynamics, gentlemen, governing dynamics. Adam Smith, was wrong!

The vernacular used here gave me pause to additionally consider the practical application of postconventional values in accordance with integrative bargaining over compromise; which at first glance utilizes the Nash principle, leading me to believe all conflict can be resolved through those who practice postconventional behavior. Again, rationality is stressed, for any sub-optimal decision by a "player" ends up hurting everyone, including themselves, in order to "win." When winning in the game of life is perceived as everyone finishing in first place over any single individual, our own personal accomplishment will mean that much more, and that's an ideology I can support. Fulfillment can only be reached by giving of oneself. It will never, ever come, by individual "winning."

Concisely, the Nash Equilibrium is a practical application of Kohlberg's postconventional values in the Development of Moral Reasoning which is integral to conflict resolution.
Tags: behavior, kolhberg, nash, philosophy, theory, values
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