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Rock, Paper, Scissors: Game Theory in…

Rock, Paper, Scissors: Game Theory in Everyday Life

by Len Fisher

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A fun and fabulous introduction to game theory, this is also an entertaining read for individuals with some mathematical background in the area. I read it soon after taking a course in algorithmic game theory and found it a wonderful way of augmenting my understanding of the math behind game theory with some of the sociological and economic aspects. Game theorists tend to treat people as rational agents. News flash: they aren't--or if they are, they don't tend to use the same definition of rationality as the game theorists. The stories inside do a great job of showing how the mathematics often fall short of capturing real human behaviour. This book does a fantastic job of not only explaining the basics of game theory, but bringing the concepts to life. ( )
  page.fault | Sep 21, 2013 |
One of the best, (albeit only) books ive read on game theory. Did a good job introducing the wide array of types of game theory and the strategies that go along with each game. Is not a book i was able to completely grasp with just one reading. Perhaps i will read it again, or another similar book about game theory and cooperation. I found the notes on each chapter at the end of the book helpful and interesting. ( )
  boes0106 | Jun 29, 2012 |
This book has some really interesting information and offers some clear explanations of game theory concepts and real world examples. I enjoyed the things I learned. What I did not enjoy was the "we can save the world if we all cooporate" mantra. While that may be a true, I don't think this book will be the tool to make it happen. I really apprectiated the theory and smaller scale examples and how they can affect our personal relationships. I would say this book is 50% too long. ( )
  ASBiskey | Nov 6, 2010 |
This is a thorough and informative survey of how game theory can apply to all kinds of interactions. Even better, Fisher shows how using game-theory principles can help us design more winning outcomes. I borrowed this book to read it, and it turned out to be so helpful that it is now on my shopping list. ( )
  RobinJacksonPearson | Jul 24, 2010 |
Not bad, but I don't think it's really sure what it wants to be. It's a little too science and math heavy to be really reader-friendly as a self-help book (which is most often what it tries to be). There is, for instance, a chapter on quantum computing. But it's too goal-oriented and political to be really credible as a popular science book. It's also a little elementary in places. For instance, Fisher spends a few pages simply defining "social norms." Ultimately, I think, it's a very well-meaning physics professor trying to make the world a better, gentler place, where we all get along and no one is trying to blow anyone else up. That's commendable, but it's not always fascinating reading. If you are in a position where you need to broker agreements and build trust between competing parties, and you are unfortunate enough to have no background in the social sciences, this is a worthwhile read, but I imagine there are probably better books on the art and science of cooperation and competition. ( )
  TheBentley | Jun 25, 2010 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0465009387, Paperback)

Praised by Entertainment Weekly as “the man who put the fizz into physics,” Dr. Len Fisher turns his attention to the science of cooperation in his lively and thought-provoking book. Fisher shows how the modern science of game theory has helped biologists to understand the evolution of cooperation in nature, and investigates how we might apply those lessons to our own society. In a series of experiments that take him from the polite confines of an English dinner party to crowded supermarkets, congested Indian roads, and the wilds of outback Australia, not to mention baseball strategies and the intricacies of quantum mechanics, Fisher sheds light on the problem of global cooperation. The outcomes are sometimes hilarious, sometimes alarming, but always revealing. A witty romp through a serious science, Rock, Paper, Scissors will both teach and delight anyone interested in what it what it takes to get people to work together.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:19 -0400)

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The IgNobel Prize-winning author of How to Dunk a Doughnut draws on the science of game theory to explain how human beings cooperate in everyday life.

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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