Martyn McLeish quantum masterclass handout


The Danger of Compromise: The Round Table Meeting when the Claimant wants to settle

The Claimant’s Dilemma
In 1950 a US mathematician called A. W. Tucker invented “a two person, non co-operative, no-zero-sum game” he called “The Prisoner’s Dilemma”. The problem continues to exert considerable influence and provides a useful analytical tool for social scientists and political philosophers alike. Two prisoners are confronted with the following situation: if they both confess, they will both receive reduced sentences; if one confesses and the other does not, the confessor is released and the other goes to jail for the maximum period of time; if neither confesses they are both sentenced for a lesser offence. The game theory posits that in balancing the risks the most rational thing for each to do is to confess as the reduced sentence is guaranteed: “the dominant alternative achieves a stable equilibrium”.

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