Jan 22, 2011

Book I read: Evolution of Cooperation from Robert Axelrod

This book is about prisoner's dilemma. It's an older book (from year 1984), but this is a subject that will never go old. It's not an entertaining book, but is full of excellent observations about everyday selections between two living creatures or organisations. Writer of this book is respected professor Robert Axelrod best known from this subject.

Prisoner's dilemma is the situation where to guys have been arrested and if ane of the two would confess, he would get out with lighter sentense, but then the other would suffer. This would definetly have an affect on all later interaction between these two. On the other hand, if neither of the guys would confess, they might both get out without sentence. This situation is called prisoner's dilemma. Here's one more post explaining it quite well.

I wouldn't have believed that book about that problem can last for bit less than 200 pages and still be full of valuable information. Reading the book does require interest towards the subject, it's not trying to popularise the dilemma. It explains in very detailed way how the game works, why different strategies work and other's don't.

What was a pleasent surprise was how good real life examples it had to explain how the theory and strategies are visible in the real life. It has stories from world war one, nature and evolution biology and of course from politics.

If you want to understand better how and why co-operation between two or more evolves and if you want to learn why co-operating and being nice has it's benefits on working with others, read it. I warn you that it's not any of these easy reading books there so often nowadays are, but it's full of great content.  

Written by +Henri Hämäläinen

No comments:

Post a Comment

Word is free, please leave your comment here: