Saturday, April 18, 2009

Rock, Paper, Scissors

I started reading this interesting book by Len Fisher a few weeks ago. It is subtitled "Game Theory in Everyday Life." It takes different facets of game theory (Nash's equilibrium, the prisoners' dilemma, etc) and shows how every day we make decisions that show game theory to be true.

What I really find interesting though, is that--even though Fisher makes it a point to say that religious authority hasn't been sufficient for changing behavior--I find it interesting that applying the teachings of Jesus would throw game theory "win-lose" or "lose-lose" situations out the window. This is the subversive teachings of Jesus--make yourself a servant. Take care of others first. Do what's best for your neighbor. We too much make these out to be not doing the negative version, e.g. when we say we love our neighbor what we really usually mean is that we don't hate our neighbor. Instead of looking out for others good, we try not to have a negative impact on others while looking out for our own good.

But following Jesus demands the positive, proactive version of actually loving and serving.

Back to the book though, it's worth the read. I thought it had some challenging mathematical concepts, and was taking the time to read it well to hopefully understand it.

Then my 14 year old genius son read it in 2 days and we had some great conversations.

1 comment:

pablo said...

That Stephen of yours is already putting us all to shame.