Tug of Cooperation

I used to imagine that when two people are trying to act in their own self-interest, the result is a kind of tug-of-war: In other words, there’s a loser and there’s a winner, and the winner is the one who pulls harder to get their own way. These days, however, I find it helpful to … More Tug of Cooperation

Contracts with myself

This semester, I’m upping my exercise regimen to include strength training at the University of Minnesota gym. I’m really enjoying feeling satisfyingly exhausted, but I do always wonder why, if I go to the gym to get stronger and have more energy, it makes me feel so weak and drained afterward? By now (I’ve been … More Contracts with myself

The problem with real-life experiments: followup

Previously, I talked about a problem I perceive with doing experiments in real life:¬†what’s good for you to do¬†might be bad when everyone does it. In order to tell, you have to tally up the benefit to you minus to the total detriment to everyone else, which is hard since those negative consequences are may … More The problem with real-life experiments: followup

Immovable giants

I’m often amused by the way small children who are learning to walk will use an adult’s leg for support just as readily as a piece of furniture. To a young child’s eyes, we grown-up giants must seem so strong and immovable that, if we are doing what they want, it’s because they’ve convinced us … More Immovable giants