• Posted by Margus 27.01.2009

    Two hardened criminals are taken to interrogation in separate cells.
    They are offered the usual deal:
      If neither confesses, both get one year probation.
      If both confess, both do 5 years in jail.
      If one confesses, he goes free but the other does 10 years hard time.

    Here's what actually goes through their minds:
    "Okay, if neither of us confesses, we have to go back to the real world. But its so hard there!
    But if I confess, he will kill me when he gets out.. so thats bad...
    If both of us confess, then we can just get back to jail and continue our lives!"

    Note that it shares some similarities with the original...

    Posted by Margus @ 10:44 pm

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    1. Konstantin on 28.01.2009 at 17:31 (Reply)

      I didn't want to spoil the post with the note but I do want to note that it's now the second guest post in this blog, and I find it really cool. In fact, as you must have noted, this is not a personal blog (except for the ``plan'' posts but even those are meant to be a rather generic pseudo-humor perhaps) and therefore I believe it is more than suited for a collective project. Therefore, if you think you have something relevant to contribute here, tell me and I'll gladly make you an account.

    2. Konstantin on 28.01.2009 at 17:33 (Reply)

      As for the post itself, I'd say it differs radically from the original problem. The original has no Nash equilibrium and is thus a "dilemma". This one does have an equilibrium and thus seems like an easy task. Am I misunderstanding?

      1. Margus on 28.01.2009 at 18:00 (Reply)

        You are misunderstanding. It is meant to be the original but with the options reversed - idea being that hardened criminals find it easier to live in the prison

        If both confess, it is +2 for both
        if one confesses, the other doesnt then it is -10 for the confessor and +4 for the other
        If neither confesses, it is -1 to both.
        Therefor, there is actually a pressure not to confess, whilst both would enjoy it more if they both did.

        1. Konstantin on 29.01.2009 at 11:57 (Reply)

          Ah, right. I was blind. Firstly, there is an equilibrium in the original problem too, and in both examples it's a suboptimal solution.
          Secondly, the wording if I confess, he will kill me when he gets out is really confusing. If the other one gets +4, he shouldn't be so angry with the confessor, right?
          The wording would better be:

          ..If I confess, I'll have to go to the cruel real world whilst he will enjoy all the pleasures of the calm life in a cell for twice as long! I'll probably die of jealousy!

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