Friday, September 26, 2008

The Rules of the Game p.5

This is a continuation of a past series P1, P2, P3 and P4 about secular morality. or morality without God, can it happen? and what would it look like.

The Prisoner's Dilemma:

Two suspects are arrested by the police. The police have insufficient evidence for a conviction, and, having separated both prisoners, visit each of them to offer the same deal. If one testifies ("defects") for the prosecution against the other and the other remains silent, the betrayer goes free and the silent accomplice receives the full 20-year sentence. If both remain silent, both prisoners are sentenced to only 1 year in jail for a minor charge. If each betrays the other, each receives a five-year sentence. Each prisoner must choose to betray the other or to remain silent. Each one is assured that the other would not know about the betrayal before the end of the investigation. How should the prisoners act?

To summarize:
If both are good and loyal to each other, Both win modestly.
If one is good and the other is bad and stabs his friend in the back, good loses MUCH, bad wins MUCH.
If both are bad and each to his own (nafsee nafsee), both lose modestly.

If it was you and your best friend in this example, what would you do? ok, what if it wasn't your best friend, a perfect stranger?

I'm assuming that the crime doesn't matter here, you're only concern is to get the minimum sentence and minimize your jail time. Ya3ne assume that you know for certain that neither you or the other person actually did it. But the police don't care about your testimony.

Now assume that this will happen to both of you many times, over and over, every year, they pull both of you to the police station and accuse you of a different crime. (maybe the Police 7a6een 3alaikom, who knows :) deal with it.

Assuming that both of you cooperate the initial few times, and get the small jail time of 1 year, would one of you get tired of it eventually and betray the other in order to go free?

Which of the Rules of the Game will you use (mentioned in the previous parts)?



Anonymous said...

For the first time, I'll go with the Golden Rule. I'll shut up, assuming the other prisoner does too to get out in minimal time.

If the other prisoner betrays me, I'll go with the Silver Rule the second time:)

falantan said...

actually what you're saying is proven to be the most successful behavior when they try to solve this problem with computer simulations. meaning to start in good faith, then if you get betrayed you retaliate, however, they found that after the 1st betrayal, the best way to continue is to not keep a long grudge. meaning if you retaliate for a few times and both of you confess and both get 5/5 years, there's still some incentive to show some good faith again and stay silent, hoping the other side will do the same and get the much less 1/1 year sentence. and they found that if the other side returns the good faith sign and does the same, it becomes very rewarding for both sides.

Anonymous said...

im a most likely a silver rule person!
but i would go first with the golden rule for couple of tries, if that didnt work i will take the silver rule and if i was really pissed of i would use the bronze in really rare cases!

3anooda said...


this is the way of life i guess. u rat people out and screw people over to benefit urself.

falantan said...

I notice you and amethyst like the silver rule, I think silver is not much different from golden. almost the same.

problem is if you stay too much on the golden/silver and almost always do the good thing, and the other side sees that you won't retaliate, then they might REALLY screw you over and keep on confessing. this way you lose the maximum amount. so it would be in your best interest to do a little "wa7da bwa7da" :)

yeah that's true, but this dilemma tries to find out what's the right balance in the long run to get the best benefit :)
if both sides always confess then they both get 5/5 years regularly, which is a sucky deal.

3anooda said...

falantan - exactly which means kil wa7id baybee3 il thani 3ashan ma9la7teh

Smarties said...

1 aw 5 years ahwan mn 20 years!
fa ana i'll go with the Golden rule! 5u9o9an etha kan my friend elli m3aii bl salfa, bs 3adii i go with the silver rule b3d! (since he is my friend, al mafrou9' he understands!)

bs etha he is a perfect stranger, i'll go with the Golden rule, etha shakait ena feha 2enna al salfa, 3adii arou7 7q el bronze rule 3la 6oul!

bs al iron rule, a7essa mu 7q bashar mn adam oo 7awa!!

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