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The evolution of cooperation by Robert M.…

The evolution of cooperation (original 1984; edition 1984)

by Robert M. Axelrod

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7531212,333 (4.19)9
Title:The evolution of cooperation
Authors:Robert M. Axelrod
Info:New York: Basic Books, c1984. x, 241 p. : ill. ; 22 cm.
Collections:Your library
Tags:cooperation, strategy

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The Evolution of Cooperation by Robert Axelrod (1984)


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This widely praised and much-discussed book explores how cooperation can emerge in a world of self-seeking egoists—whether superpowers, businesses, or individuals—when there is no central authority to police their actions.
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:06 -0400) ( )
  SRUResourcelibrary | Oct 10, 2016 |
I read this while I was in rehab from a motorcycle accident; and even under the influence of painkillers & other meds I found it understandable. Fascinating. ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 6, 2016 |
theoretically just on the cooperation side of game theory, as Dixon's "Our Own Worst Enemy" (http://www.librarything.com/work/2441546/book/99872734), it is well beyond that

contains interesting remarks on WWI (yes, akin to the "pipes of peace" episode) that clearly show how attrition (where the end is nowhere in sight, as seen from the ground, and its seems more of the same) can and does influence competitive behavior and turns it into a potentially a kind of "collusive by consensus" environment

useful lessons for both business and politics (and wannabe social reformers)

maybe to be complemented by "The Starfish and the Spider" (http://www.librarything.com/work/1496794/book/82389992), "Barbarians to Bureaucrats" (http://www.librarything.com/work/1138710/book/79826297), and, if you speak Italian and are interested in an analysis on how an institutional reform can evolve across decades, and how a centuries old cultural environment can influence your best last strategies, "Allegro ma non troppo" (http://www.librarything.com/work/806842/book/79486621) and "Making Democracy Work" (http://www.librarything.com/work/69269/book/110907194) ( )
  aleph123 | Aug 8, 2014 |
Nice book on how cooperation can emerge even in a world of egoists -- based on simple computer models! I love this stuff. Axelrod is very entertaining and accessible, and succinctly expresses the implications of all his academic findings in daily life.

Turns out that when cooperation benefits everyone but is hard to ensure, the secret of your own success can be found in these axioms: Be nice. Don't be envious. Be provocable, but forgive if the other apologizes meaningfully. Be clear. A tit-for-tat strategy that is initially cooperative and then automatically echoes whatever the other person did in the last round is one of the best strategies you can use (more successful than the Golden Rule) -- even though you may never beat your partner, it is still the way to do the best for yourself, and improves society simultaneously.

Though the biology chapter reads like picked-and-chosen evidence and the book is a bit repetitious (all the better for assigning to university students), this book gets a thumbs up from me. ( )
  pammab | Dec 24, 2011 |
This book might be a bit dated but it still offers interesting in what makes cooperation between individuals work (or not) by interpreting results coming from a computer experiment in game theory. Axelrod begins by describing the famous "Prisoner's dilemma" and discussing which computer algorithms are the most efficient in solving it. He then shows how many real-life situations can be modeled as "prisoner's dilemma" and how individuals tend to react just as the abstract computer algorithms do. By drawing upon his observations, both in game theory and in real-life examples, the author concludes by giving some tips on how to foster cooperation in a given environment, or how to provide an environment favorable to cooperation. Backed by such simple, rational theory, his advice appear much sounder than most of what can be found in all the business-success-self-help-mumbo-jumbo literature... ( )
1 vote timtom | Jan 26, 2011 |
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This project began with a simple question: When should a person cooperate,and when should a person be selfish, in an ongoing interaction with another person.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0465021212, Paperback)

This widely praised and much-discussed book explores how cooperation can emerge in a world of self-seeking egoists—whether superpowers, businesses, or individuals—when there is no central authority to police their actions.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:06 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

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