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Rock, Paper, Scissors: Game Theory in Everyday Life: Strategies for Co-operation [Paperback]

Len Fisher
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
RRP: 8.99
Price: 7.24 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

3 May 2010
Game Theory is the study of co-operation and the underlying strategies that shape human behaviour. In Rock, Paper, Scissors, Len Fisher unearths the wide-ranging applications for this science, and the ways we can use its discoveries to find effective means to co-operate in daily life. Whether we want to understand where a shared supply of teaspoons disappears to, or why countries take themselves to the brink of nuclear war, Game Theory reveals the decision-making process. Len Fisher's writing brings this science of interaction to life with anecdotes and applications that are sure to spark the imagination and give you pause for thought. Dealing with collaboration, co-operation, completion and confrontation, Rock, Paper, Scissors is essential reading for anyone interest in what it takes to get people to work together.

Frequently Bought Together

Rock, Paper, Scissors: Game Theory in Everyday Life: Strategies for Co-operation + Game Theory: A Nontechnical Introduction (Dover Books on Mathematics) + The Complete Idiot's Guide to Game Theory (Complete Idiot's Guides (Lifestyle Paperback))
Price For All Three: 27.86

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Hay House UK (3 May 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848502028
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848502024
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 115,549 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"Through a combination of real-world examples...and philosophical problems, Fisher shows us that we're more cooperative than we sometimes think we are, while at the same time startlingly more selfish than we out to be...the writing is lively, the scientific discourse clear and accessible, and the ideas challenging and exciting." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

Game theory is an extraordinarily powerful tool – invented by Nobel Prize winning mathematicians. For the first time ever it is explained here so that everyone can use it in everyday life, at work, at home and to stay out of trouble. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good enough introduction 8 Mar 2014
As a complete beginner wanting to understand strategic decision making from the point of view of one of the best mathematical models forwarded, this non-mathematical deconstruction seemed by its cover and a casual flip-through as an apt introduction. In many ways, it is. I usually steer clear of reading mathematical or quantum physical/mechanical theories of human behaviour and social theories, as they all seem smart at describing past events, but as explanations and as tools for future, they are positively ill-equipped. After creating a set of assumptions and axioms, they have a way to erect elaborate structures that douse you in illusion that they are explanations for humanity. Motivations behind human decisions are a result of a complex web of socio-economic, psychological and emotional decisions and seeing them reduced to 4x4 grid of co-operation and defection after a point seemed like intellectual masturbation for the sake of it. Granted, that in today's world, where we sometimes lead whole groups, institutions and countries, stalemates, our "advisers" might suggest a solution putting intentions into cost-benefit algorithms but I doubt if we'd be any closer at solving the world's problems which are beset by egos, layers of agendas of those in power, historical grievances, etc etc etc.

So what does the book offer for a skeptic like me? I'd say it very lucidly spells out the basic Prisoner's Dilemma, although then it goes about padding it with seven more deadly (sic) social dilemmas modelled on these, and while these sported different names, they did the right opposite of the original Prisoner's Dilemma: that of complicating reality by adding a new layer of assumptions and pat solutions.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
As a newcomer to game theory I found "Rock, Paper, Scissors" a particularly interesting and compelling read. This is a book I can thoroughly recommend to anyone with an interest in the topic.
I had previously believed game theory to be an obscure field of mathematics with limited relevance to my everyday life and had therefore been hesitant about engaging with the topic; this book shattered that nave assumption!
In "Rock, Paper, Scissors" Len Fisher sets out a very readable account of how game theory can provide ways of understanding and getting more out of many aspects of everyday life. The book starts with the basic nature of the Nash equilibrium, moves on to use game theory to examine how different social dilemmas arise, provides strategies for cooperation and finishes with an insightful chapter summarising how a more cooperative approach can be achieved. Finally the very comprehensive notes, sensibly positioned at the end of the text, greatly enhance the reader's understanding of the topic as well as providing a springboard for further research into specific areas of interest.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun game theory guide 23 Nov 2009
By Rolf Dobelli TOP 500 REVIEWER
Len Fisher, an award-winning author of popular science books, has written an entertaining, enlightening and practical guide to the abstruse discipline of game theory. Fisher shows how game theory explains phenomena as mundane as why spoons go missing from a coffee break room, as ingenious as rabbinical problem solving in the Talmud and as fateful as global warming. getAbstract finds that his lively writing invites a wide audience. Fisher engages lay readers by elucidating an intensively mathematical subject without heavy reliance on equations or jargon. His treatment of the subject makes game theory appear only slightly more complicated than child's play. In fact, he often uses children's games to illustrate the role of game theory in daily life.
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