||03-24-2009 10:46 PM
Originally Posted by brokenknee
Sorry, I don't get it?
"a group of people act to obtain short-term individual gains[a gun makes a person safer relative to unarmed people], which in the long run leads to a loss for the group as a whole" [gunfights can kill people and injure bystanders; fistfights don't usually have these drawbacks].
This is also called Tragedy of the Commons.
In an arms race, everyone is the same relative to each other [they are equally heavily armed] but both societies are worse off.
The situation in reverse: a guy with a six-shooter holds 20 people hostage.
As a group they'd be better off rushing the guy (a group benefit) but, as individuals, the first six get shot (a bad outcome for those six).
More Game Theory: having a gun is a Dominant Strategy. Whether your opponent is armed or not, you're in better shape. You don't have to use a gun but it is there if you need it.
"In game theory, dominance (also called strategic dominance) occurs when one strategy is better than another strategy for one player, no matter how that player's opponents may play."
Cheating and lying may be dominant strategies, but some games are probably set up so that they are not dominant. And politicians change their tune when they are under oath.