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ChristianKl comments on Politics is hard mode - Less Wrong

28 Post author: RobbBB 21 July 2014 10:14PM

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Comment author: ChristianKl 23 July 2014 07:36:41PM -2 points [-]

Game theory is an extremely influential and toxic idea that had a huge influence on policy making in the last decades. If you know German http://alternativlos.org/29/ is a long podcast between two influential people from the Chaos Computer Club and co-publisher of one of the biggest German newspapers that goes more into the details.

Alan Greenwich confession about his mistake was partly about his mistake to assume that corporations act in their own self interest.

Yes, there might be issues like abortion that are very far from the area that game theory is about where the idea of game theory doesn't have much effect but that doesn't mean that it had no effect on the general political discourse.

Comment author: Sarunas 25 July 2014 12:27:46PM 0 points [-]

I feel that I should read more about the influence of game theory on politics to say anything productive about the topic. I might have underestimated how much of an influence game theory has on policymaking. It seems plausible that some people, who had success of using it in one situation, might be inclined to use it more, potentially even in situations where it cannot (or is not enough to) capture some relevant and important features of reality (of course, in some situations the opposite might be true and game theory might be underutilized, it is probably difficult to tell these cases apart a priori). However, things like these might depend on a country in question, I might have generalized from one country and most visible parts of politics in other ones (e.g. I do not remember seeing a single instance of any politician (or any other public figure) publicly using game theory based arguments for any political issue in my country (of course, it's possible that I do not follow politics close enough. It is also possible that they simplify their arguments when speaking to the media)). Public choice theory is related but seems to be somewhat distinct. I might have to ask an actual political scientist about this before saying anything else. Sadly, I do not speak German (although it is one of the languages I would like to learn some day).

Anyway, I would like to withdraw from this discussion about influence of game theory on politics because I feel that I lack necessary knowledge to say anything substantial. In my original comment I mentioned game theory only as one possible example.

P.S. On a totally unrelated note, thank you for replying to my first ever Lesswrong comment!