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Should you watch public television without pledging?...Exceed the posted speed limit?...Hop a subway turnstile without paying? These questions illustrate the so-called "prisoner's dilemma", a social puzzle that we all face every day. Though the answers may seem simple, their profound implications make the prisoner's dilemma one of the great unifying concepts of science. Watching players bluff in a poker game inspired John von Neumann—father of the modern computer and one of the sharpest minds of the century—to construct game theory, a mathematical study of conflict and deception. Game theory was readily embraced at the RAND Corporation, the archetypical think tank charged with formulating military strategy for the atomic age, and in 1950 two RAND scientists made a momentous discovery. Called the "prisoner's dilemma," it is a disturbing and mind-bending game where two or more people may betray the common good for individual gain. Introduced shortly after the Soviet Union acquired the atomic bomb, the prisoner's dilemma quickly became a popular allegory of the nuclear arms race. Intellectuals such as von Neumann and Bertrand Russell joined military and political leaders in rallying to the "preventive war" movement, which advocated a nuclear first strike against the Soviet Union. Though the Truman administration rejected preventive war the United States entered into an arms race with the Soviets and game theory developed into a controversial tool of public policy—alternately accused of justifying arms races and touted as the only hope of preventing them. A masterful work of science writing, Prisoner's Dilemma weaves together a biography of the brilliant and tragic von Neumann, a history of pivotal phases of the cold war, and an investigation of game theory's far-reaching influence on public policy today. Most important, Prisoner's Dilemma is the incisive story of a revolutionary idea that has been hailed as a landmark of twentieth-century thought.
Offering a fascinating biography of a foundational theory, Amadae reveals not only how the ideological battles of the Cold War shaped ideas but also how those ideas may today be undermining the very notion of individual liberty they were created to defend.
Chance inevitably plays a role in law but it is not often that we consciously try to import an element of randomness into a legal process. Random Justice: On Lotteries and Legal Decision-Making explores the potential for the use of lotteries in social, and particularly legal, decision-makingcontexts. Utilizing a variety of disciplines and materials, Neil Duxbury considers in detail the history, advantages, and drawbacks of deciding issues of social significance by lot and argues that the value of the lottery as a legal decision-making device has generally been underestimated. The very fact that there exists widespread resistance to the use of lotteries for legal decision-making purposesbetrays a commonly held belief that legal processes are generally more important than are legal outcomes. Where,owing to the existence of indeterminacy, the process of reasoning is likely to be excessively protracted and thereasons provided strongly contestable, the most cost-efficient and impartial decision-making strategy may well be recourse to lot. Aversion to this strategy, while generally understandable, is not necessarily rational. Yet in law, as Professor Duxbury demonstrates, reason is generally valued morehighly than is rationality. The lottery is often conceived to be a decision-making device that operates in isolation. Yet lotteries can frequently and profitably be incorporated into other decision-frameworks. The book concludes by controversially considering how lotteries might be so incorporated and also advances the thesisthat it may sometimes be sensible to require that adjudication takes place in the shadow of a lottery.
The thirty chapters of this innovative international study are all devoted to the topic ofthe play within the play. The authors explore the wide range of aesthetic, literary-theoretical and philosophical issues associated with this rhetorical device, not only in terms of its original meta-theatrical setting – from the baroque idea of atheatrum mundi onward to contemporary examples of postmodern self-referential dramaturgy – but also with regard to a variety of different generic applications, e.g. in narrative fiction, musical theatre and film. The authors, internationally recognized specialists in their respective fields, draw on recent debates in such areas as postcolonial studies, game and systems theories, media and performance studies, to analyze the specific qualities and characteristics ofthe play within the play: as ultimate affirmation of the 'self' (the 'Hamlet paradigm'), as a self-reflective agency of meta-theatrical discourse, and as a vehicle of intermedial and intercultural transformation. The challenging study, with its underlying premise of play as a key feature of cultural anthropology and human creativity, breaks new ground by placingthe play within the play at the centre of a number of intersecting scholarly discourses on areas of topical concern to scholars in the humanities.

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