Game Theory Analysis ofthe Politics of Lies and Leaks

ImperatorImperator Red Chipper Posts: 895 ✭✭✭
edited February 2017 in Off Topic Chat
I am not sure that anyone is interested but I wrote a game theory and signaling theory analysis of Steve Bannon and the use of lies. If I have the time I will do the same with the surprising number of leaks from the current administration.

I will send this analysis as an email if you PM me your email address.

I must warn you of the following: I am a radical leftist. In U.S. politics I am not even on the spectrum. I am not a liberal and I think the likes of Obama and Clinton bear a great amount of the responsibility for creating Trump. The guts of my analysis aspires toward objectivity -- but the rhetoric of my writing can only treat people like Bannon with utter contempt. I don't want to bring too much of my moral politics into this forum... but if anyone is interested in how my study of poker and game theory has influenced my theory of politics I will gladly oblige you with an email.


  • ImperatorImperator Red Chipper Posts: 895 ✭✭✭
    I want to thank those of you who have asked me for this.

    I have only distributed it to my political friends up to this point. Also some of my philosophy of science and philosophy of mathematics correspondents have received it. But there are a few things that feel as if they are a cross-over between my political and philosophical life and my poker life.

    I do want to say that I wrote this in between poker sessions. Now days I do a lot of my political and philosophical writing while taking a break from the poker table. I find that not thinking about poker helps me to think about the rest of the world; and not think about the rest of the world helps me to concentrate on poker.

    So the idea of trying to think about "a game theory of lies" and "signaling games" , honest and dishonest signals etc. was a kind of noodling about poker without having to think about it.
  • ImperatorImperator Red Chipper Posts: 895 ✭✭✭

    Thanks for this Adam....

    I think that some aspects of this piece go along with what I'm saying.

    3. Insisting on an extreme, even outrageous, position can force others to respond in ways that give you an advantage

    I wish I had come up with the idea in Brams piece of the mix strategy of ambiguity and provocation.
  • The MuleThe Mule Red Chipper Posts: 777 ✭✭✭
    Another Trump Game Theory article:

    @Imperator I would advise you don't read the comments, or any of the other articles on the site. Your head might explode...

    And here's a special bonus piece some of you might like (although IMHO it was disappointing):
  • ImperatorImperator Red Chipper Posts: 895 ✭✭✭
    edited February 2017
    There are thousands of examples (I'm not exagerating) of Trump outright lying back to the 1980s when Wayne Barrett started keeping track. My best guess is that there is something in Trump's moral make-up that makes it inevitable that he will lie, lie often and outrageously. He can't prevent himself. Who knows why?

    A recent example:
    "The murder rate in our country is the highest it’s been in 47 years, right?" Trump said. "Did you know that? Forty-seven years. I used to use that -- I’d say that in a speech and everybody was surprised, because the press doesn’t tell it like it is. It wasn’t to their advantage to say that. But the murder rate is the highest it’s been in, I guess, from 45 to 47 years."

    The fact is that in the last few years the murder rate has been lower than at anytime during my life time.

    Trump has been corrected on these things many times. Sometimes he denies, he said it. Then he denies it is a lie. Then he says it again. Every Trump voter I have met, and unlike most New Yorkers, I know many (most of the people from the two towns where I grew up) simply believe this. And no matter what statistics you show them they still believe it

    The thesis of my piece is not that Trump lies ,and has lied outrageously and ridiculously his whole adult life, but how those lies are used by Bannon. I try to create a model of the system and show how the uses of those lies can be understood through a game theory model ... with a little bit of class theory thrown in. I think that Bannon at the moment is indifferent to whether his bluffs are called or not. The distribution of belief and disbelief in the lies is almost beside the point. The point is the signaling game and the distribution of responses to the signals.

  • ImperatorImperator Red Chipper Posts: 895 ✭✭✭
    @colldav , funny, about the chess and checkers analogy. My piece has an opposite conclusion: I quote myself of course:
    Political Checkers
    Proconsul Steve Bannon doesn't play chess. He plays checkers. He has no need for the sophisticated strategy of higher level games. Bannon's one brilliant idea is that he wants to win. He knows he can't win with everybody so he must rely on the confusion and stupidity of his enemies. Bannon is lucky in that his officially designated opponents do not even know the name of the game. To grab a quote from dangerous times,"There is the game of checkers and there is also the game of losers-win." We can learn a lot about the state of U.S. politics from the fact that "the Chief Strategist" "play(s) checkers and his opponents play to lose. The strategy of his enemies compensated for anything his own strategy lacks."
  • Adam WheelerAdam Wheeler Red Chipper Posts: 2,636 ✭✭✭✭
    edited February 2017

    Maybe "Trust me, I'm lying(confessions of a media manipulator)" from Ryan Holiday could be a lecture that interest you.

    Coming from the media field, it's a book that had a major impact on me.

    Holiday state that once the first impression(the message) is set in the media(whatever media it is), no matter what you do after, even stating that you were wrong doesn't change the initial impact of the wrong infos on the listener. They want to believe that they were not "trumped".

    As the good old Mark Twain saying goes "It's easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled"
  • ImperatorImperator Red Chipper Posts: 895 ✭✭✭

    Maybe "Trust me, I'm lying(confessions of a media manipulator)" from Ryan Holiday could be a lecture that interest you.

    Holiday state that once the first impression(the message) is set in the media(whatever media it is), no matter what you do after, even stating that you were wrong doesn't change the initial impact of the wrong infos on the listener. They want to believe that they were not "trumped".

    Some of this discussions belongs in the behavioral economics thread.

    There are easy ways to discover that a person shouldn't be believed. If a person constantly says "believe me" or "trust me"; keep a hold of your wallet and run.

    But what people from Madison Avenue, Hollywood, and the PR industry miss is the following:

    Education is brings thought. But most education is a form of indoctrination. There are cognitive biases that are common to all human beings. But there are cognitive biases that are emphasized and expanded upon by our education. Habits of mind become mostly bad habits.

    I know a man who looks at the world "racially". He looks at sports through a racial lens. He looks at crime through a racial lens. Violence, sex, intelligence, all the same. Everything he sees everywhere confirms him in his point-of-view. This is beyond confirmation bias. He also insists that he is not a racist, because he actually likes people from other races. This is a habit of mind that cannot be broken through developing other habits of thought.

    To break a habit of mind you need a different kind of education. All education is collective. But what most people don't understand is that all education is also experiential. It is experiential and it must take place in solidarity with others.

    You cannot "out-think" a person who is frozen in ideological dogmatism. Only experience and hard experience in solidarity and sympathy with others can change a mind.

    When people organize with others into solidaristic organizations, and those organizations test themselves in the world, those organizations can change minds. Organizing and working for what you believe with others is education. And it is the only kind of education that truly changes you.

    We need ideology to live and understand our world. And some ideological choices make us smarter than we would be otherwise. Most make us dumber. On the left, in the 70s there used to be a joke: "As soon as a person joins a Maoist party their I.Q. drops by ten points." (The same thing can be said of true believers in neo-classical economics.)

    I adopted through contact with others two ideologies in my life: One might be called the scientific world view; the other was an idea of a struggle against oppression that I think most people would call Marxism. (But for me it came from so many places and people that a simple label doesn't seem to account for it. My poetry group and studying Shelley; talking about John Steinbeck with friends when I was in 8th grade; a confirmed atheists myself working with Catholic human rights groups in El Salvador; working as a union organizer.)

    With both of my ideological assumptions I find (even though I think they have helped me to become more intelligent overall) I often have to unlearn certain habits of mind. For example: My own political prejudice against the dismal science, I have found is, at least, half-wrong and playing poker, and being with other poker players and trying to understand how they think, has helped me unlearn some of those habits of mind that have hindered me from seeing clearly. .

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