DECISIONS, DECISIONS: Game Theory and You by Robert & John Coplans Bell


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A new wrinkle in the overworked self-help genre, based on game theory and cybernetics. The idea is to analyze your confused feelings about everyday conflicts--whether to marry or divorce, to change jobs or lifestyles--mathematically with hierarchical lists, maps, grids and probability ratios. The authors provide specific models for each progressive lesson, whereby hang some peculiar tales: the case of who gave whom a dose of clap, for instance. Then there's Irving, paralyzed in an auto accident, who has to ask his father to chart the graph which would illustrate the odds on his chance for recovery. ""Irving,"" protests Dad, ""this isn't a puzzle."" But it is, of course, as is a standard power shift in which party A or B gets ousted, a gas-station price war or the medical malpractice quandary in which everyone loses but the insurance company. We have not seen all the maps of the games, and frankly don't know what to make of the ones in which the outcome depends on a coin toss or the shortest straw--that's a decision?

Pub Date: Jan. 26th, 1975
Publisher: Norton