Re: virus: reverberant doubt

David McFadzean (
Mon, 02 Dec 1996 09:19:00 -0700

At 07:00 AM 27/11/96 -0700, Duane Hewitt wrote:
>Now this is a situation which at first glance the solution seems obvious.
>But there is room for doubt regarding the rationality of your fellow
>classmates. It is suggested that "A bunch of amiable slowpokes" would
>arrive at a better outcome than "razor-sharp logicians who all think
>perversely recursively reverberantly".

This seems to suggest that the "amiable slowpokes" would not push
the button and therefore get the $1000 each whereas the "razor-sharp
logicians" will all push the button and get $100. I think it would
be hard to round up a real group of people that would act like the
slowpokes. They would have to be *really* slow, to the point where
they didn't understand the exercise.

I think it comes down to how you model your peers. Most people don't trust
their peers to act with enough intelligence and foresight to avoid hitting
the button. If I was given the opportunity, even I would hit the button
unless a) I had a chance to discuss this exact situation with the other
players beforehand, or b) the higher intellectual ground was worth more
the $100 to me.

David McFadzean       
Memetic Engineer      
Church of Virus