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8-02-2010 @ 6:44AM
For what it's worth the original post actually misstates the Prisoner's Dilemma.The point of the Prisoner's Dilemma isn't that in trying to screw your opponent you screw yourself, it's that in trying to secure what is best for yourself, you screw your opponent.It doesn't matter *what* you assume your opponent will do, defecting on the deal is always the right solution. The only way out of the dilemma is to actually *genuinely* value the other person's comfort *more than your own*.Same goes for undercutting the glyph market. People don't undercut each other in order to make their competitors make *less* money, they undercut in order that they, themselves, can make *more* money. Now the whole thing winds up being a lot more complicated than the classic dilemma but the same principle applies.These sorts of situations actually do come up all the time in real life (tragedies of the commons are even more common).
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