Monday, April 03, 2006

Gamey Technology?

When things get messy in the wake of marriage meltdown, by all means head for the technological solution. Especially when it involves game theory.

It seems to me that if we want to go this route in managing the marital-related area of human relations, it'd be better to employ some version upfront--or even go for a VR test drive, a la The Sims. Unfortunately, the way that computer game l-ei-s-u-r-e-l-y plays out, it's rather antithetical to how things progress, in general, at the start of things, though it's not always so far off the mark in replicating vast tracts of real life otherwise. Bits and bytes are no stand-in for the real-life workings of hormones. OK, now that I think of it, they can be, but I'm not talking about that context.

On the other hand:

The researchers found that, using the software, each party ended up with 70-80% of what they originally wanted, rather than the usual 50-50 split.

Of course:

...[I]t can be employed only if both parties consent to its use, which is unlikely in the most acrimonious cases. “The ones that perhaps need it the most may be the ones most resistant to using it,” he warns.


I like the way that software-enacted game theory reminds So Quoted once again of the book he's been reading, Cryptonomicon. The extended excerpt he offers in response to this whole topic is priceless.

I've been privy to a conversation or two like that one, if not to that degree, in real life--no software or technology required.