Game Theory

Links:  John Nash’s presentation on Game Theory

Agree with the calculation that the optimum solution is the one which benefits others, and the groups, environment etc . . . Not just seeking benefit to oneself.

This theory was discussed in the movie “A Beautiful Mind”




One of my favorite sites:

There’s so many notable ideas, innovations, explorations of color, shape, light, and more in this site,  it’s difficult to pick. . .

For example, here’s one to start with:

Problem Solving – Cat Poison

Some of the elements in the Bole city problem-solving scenario work, other elements not so much:
  • Putting stray cats to work, instead of eating or euthanizing them: WIN
  • Effective method for controlling rat population outbreak:  WIN
  • Combo use of rat poison with release of cats into the rat area: FAIL
The common types of poison which kill or disable rats will also poison the animals that eat the poisoned rats.  So the most productive of the cats will die horrible internal bleeding deaths.
just sayin’
Re: Associated Press

Stray cat ‘army’ battles west China rodent plague

BEIJING (AP) — Stray cats rounded up in a remote west China city are being used to catch rodents that have infested surrounding pasture lands.

Some 150 strays — dubbed by Chinese media as the “cat army” — were turned loose on the range lands outside Bole city in May to fight what the government calls a plague of rats. The state-run Xinhua News Agency says that the cats were brought in, along with tons of poisonous rat pellets.

The Bole government said in late June that rat holes had decreased by more than half. The Xinhua report on Friday quoted a Bole official as saying the cats were proving valuable.

Rodents and other pests have grown more troublesome on the vast grasslands as a result of overgrazing and killing off traditional predators like foxes.

What would happen if . . . penalty charges . . .

What would happen if penalty charges on mortgages and credit card payments were:

  1. prorated – with any partial payment received by the due date the penalty would be reduced by a prorated percentage
  2. reasonable – as in never greater than the scheduled payment – ideally capped at less than half the scheduled payment

With a fixed (non-prorated) penalty there is a definite disincentive to make any payment that month given a situation where choices must be made about which bills to pay first among several bills to pay.  Especially with a large penalty, such as on a mortgage payment – why make a partial payment and still be hit with a full penalty during a month that a cash flow shortage is causing multiple other bills to also be hit with a penalty if they’re not paid first that month?

With a non-reasonable penalty, such as $39. on a $20 payment, there’s a strong disincentive to do business with that merchant – the credit card itself becomes a reminder of being hit with outrageous fees reminiscent of parking tickets.  The former causes some people to have negative associations come up with anything associated with that merchant’s brand, the latter causes some people to avoid an entire street or neighborhood when choosing where to shop.

What would happen to debtor/creditor relations if . . .

Thinking about the consumer debt crisis, mortgage defaults, US debt ceiling:

What would happen if  . . .

Any payment made – on a credit card, mortgage, or other debt –  would have a cap on the % going to interest – for example, be split 50% to principal, 50% of the payment going to any accumulated interest or fees.

With 50% of each payment going to principal, the lender’s return on investment would still average at least  50 -100%.

Assuming new purchases on open credit cards, and/or a large mortgage debt, or a corporate or country debt in the millions or more, the unpaid principal would continue to accrue interest, with any remaining unpaid interest and fees paid off at the end of the loan and/or whenever the remaining principal on revolving debt totalled less than half the payment.

A large benefit of this would be to avoid the “trapping syndrome” where a consumer or debtor is led to feel that their only ways out of the debt are to either walk away from the debt, or remain in the unhappy drudgery of an indentured slave trapped with continual payments for life.