Friday, July 26, 2013

It Explains Everything--Except Prisoners!

They Finally Tested The 'Prisoner's Dilemma' On Actual Prisoners — And The Results Were Not What You Would Expect | Business Insider Australia: So it turns out that prisoners are more trusting and have more 'social capital' than college undergraduates?

Of course, like any good social scientist, I will not allow a few inconvenient facts to get in the way of such an elegant theory. Perhaps criminal enterprises, which by their nature have to rely on informal enforcement of contracts without recourse to formal, publicly enforced rules, develops or selects for personal loyalty in a way that more above board enterprises do not. Perhaps pre-modern, non-bureaucratic man is more trustworthy on an individual level because he has to be in order to function in his world. In a way, that is consistent with the Prisoner's Dilemma.

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