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 The Prisoner's Dilemma 
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Dragon Tamer
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Two men are arrested, but the police do not have enough information for a conviction. The police separate the two men, and offer both the same deal: if one testifies against his partner (defects/betrays), and the other remains silent (cooperates with/assists his partner), the betrayer goes free and the one that remains silent gets a one-year sentence. If both remain silent, both are sentenced to only one month in jail on a minor charge. If each 'rats out' the other, each receives a three-month sentence. Each prisoner must choose either to betray or remain silent; the decision of each is kept secret from his partner. What should they do?

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Sun Sep 23, 2012 6:17 pm
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The dominant strategy of each prisoner is to confess, since for both of them they will be worse off if the other guy decides to not confess - even though, in the end, the dominant strategy doesn't produce the most favorable outcome in the end.

I learned about all this in a micro-economics class when discussing oligopoly, so I already knew the answer to this one. =P

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Sun Sep 23, 2012 9:05 pm
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DNA wrote:
The dominant strategy of each prisoner is to confess, since for both of them they will be worse off if the other guy decides to not confess - even though, in the end, the dominant strategy doesn't produce the most favorable outcome in the end.

I learned about all this in a micro-economics class when discussing oligopoly, so I already knew the answer to this one. =P

But snitches get stitches, man. They should shut they mouths, f'reals.

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Mon Sep 24, 2012 5:43 am
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Ah, but if you knew you could stab your buddy to get yourself a lighter sentence, wouldn't you go for it?

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Mon Sep 24, 2012 1:05 pm
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This game show is built around the concept of the prisoner's dilemma (friend/friend splits the money, foe/foe means nobody gets money, friend/foe means foe gets everything). I miss it. Too many people went foe to make it worthwhile though.

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Tue Sep 25, 2012 11:06 pm
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Frost wrote:
This game show is built around the concept of the prisoner's dilemma (friend/friend splits the money, foe/foe means nobody gets money, friend/foe means foe gets everything). I miss it. Too many people went foe to make it worthwhile though.


I miss old game shows like that which were totally amazing yet for whatever reason no longer exist...kinda like Paul Daniels on Wipeout. (It's a show that started in the US, but the UK version is basically identical.) I grew up with that game show.

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Wed Sep 26, 2012 12:19 pm
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If they each rat each other out, they get either 3 months or 0 months in prison. The only thing they shouldn't do is remain silent.

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Mon Oct 01, 2012 9:12 pm
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In reality, if friends were common accomplices and leaned on frequently, neither would take the bait. The fact that they're offered a contingency by confession means the police have little to go on and are grasping for straws. Given this scenario, you'd be an idiot to rat either person out, because they're obviously looking for a confession to close the case.

You'd be a moron by a criminal aspect to tattle. Both suspects would have far better odds and sentencing in the court system by playing dumb. Criminals are smarter than you think. The debate solely exists assuming one party will take a stance and the other won't, or they both will take the same regardless, barring an innocence judgment. 95% of the time, criminals will place their judgement at the mercy of a jury.

It's also important to note that contingencies grant a good portion of false confessions. It's like torture, except you're given benefits rather than punishments.


Sat Oct 13, 2012 8:39 pm
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It's also what the Ambidex Game in Zero Escape was based off of.

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Tue Nov 13, 2012 3:56 pm
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I first discovered it in a Psychology magazine. It's very interesting to me-- but I see a couple courses of action. To simplify my answer, let's say someone else and I were conspiring to commit a crime. Before we did it, I'd make sure that we had an understanding that we were to keep our mouths shut. If one of us neglected to mention this, then I'd snitch snitch snitch.

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Wed Nov 14, 2012 6:37 pm
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Yeah, you don't need to think much: "The other guy is probably gonna rat me. So I get a year. Chances of him remaining silent are low. Three months are much less than a year. Nothing is even better. So I rat him!"

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Last edited by ChillBill on Tue Nov 20, 2012 11:19 am, edited 1 time in total.



Thu Nov 15, 2012 8:20 am
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Actually, let me add a stipulation to my previous statement: if the crime was Mafia-related, there's no way I'd say a thing.

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Thu Nov 15, 2012 3:39 pm
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That's a different thing. Omerta is something above dilemmas.

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Last edited by ChillBill on Tue Nov 20, 2012 11:17 am, edited 1 time in total.



Fri Nov 16, 2012 5:21 am
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To simplify my answer, let's say someone else and I were conspiring to commit a crime. Before we did it, I'd make sure that we had an understanding that we were to keep our mouths shut.

I think one of the stipulations of the prisoner's dilemma is that there is zero conspiring between the two criminals, which makes things a bit trickier...maybe.

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Tue Nov 20, 2012 10:20 am
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DNA wrote:
Quote:
To simplify my answer, let's say someone else and I were conspiring to commit a crime. Before we did it, I'd make sure that we had an understanding that we were to keep our mouths shut.

I think one of the stipulations of the prisoner's dilemma is that there is zero conspiring between the two criminals, which makes things a bit trickier...maybe.

If that's true, then I'd base my answer on something else. If my partner-in-crime was a close friend or if the crime was Mafia-related, I'd keep my mouth shut. Otherwise I'd blab.


Actually, I think I remember seeing a resolution to this dilemma in a psychology magazine the other week. If I can find it I'll edit my post to include it.

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Tue Nov 20, 2012 6:13 pm
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Yeah, your right. I would save a friend and I would not get myself killed. Any other way I would speak. I believe it's the best thing one can do.

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Thu Nov 22, 2012 12:03 pm
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