Home > Uncategorized > Nash paranoia: a schizophrenic mind

Nash paranoia: a schizophrenic mind

In one of her last articles, Sonia was commenting on the prisoner’s dilemma, game theory and Nash equilibrium,all developed by John Nash.

When he did that, John Nash was an undiagnosed schizophrenic working at RAND Corporation. First experiments on his theory were made using Rand’s own secretaries, whom decided to collaborate with themselves instead of betraying each other.
Those results were not satisfactory for Nash. They showed that ‘prisoners’ were more susceptible to collaborate and spend the lesser time at jail. So, he blamed the secretaries for not being apt subjects, because they did not followed the rules… and continued ‘experimenting’, encouraged by the voices inside his brain, until he got to the perfect results.

One of the peculiarities of paranoid schizophrenia is, eventually, paranoia: a distorted thinking process characterized by anxiety, fear, delirium and non-existent plots against oneself.

Nash equilibrium is nothing more than the equilibrium reached by two paranoid schizophrenic prisoners whom were thinking that everyone in the world is against them and, so, choose betrayal. Is that the logic option? Yes, if we follow the thinking line of a paranoid.

The bad luck of all this is that Nash paranoid equilibrium controlled all the Cold War process, creating a series of sons which yet live today, even in the military (the fact that a nuclear war did not started was said to be the proof of existence of this equilibrium), but also in civil field, specially in economy. The final result is that, if you base human existence on everyone plotting against you, seeding permanent suspicion, you get things like security theatre, the war on terror and ‘anything goes’ economy.

Anything coming out of a schizophrenic mind will be equally schizophrenic and thus won’t be good for anybody..

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  1. July 2, 2010 at 12:29 pm

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