Date: January 25th 2011

Conservative Resources by J.P. Travis at

The power of words

Getting vaccinated against swine flu isnít rational, and I can prove it with your favorite television cop show. Whatís more, I donít even need to know which one is your favorite.

No, Iím not Carnac the Magnificent, and this isnít a magic trick. All cop shows rely on a classic problem from the branch of applied mathematics called Game Theory. The math problem is called The Prisonerís Dilemma and works like this: the cops take a suspect into a room and offer him a deal if he rats on his buddy.

Simple as that.

Doesnít sound like math is involved, I know, but in fact mathematicians go nuts over this problem. Doctoral theses have been written, computer algorithms designed, Nobel prizes won, Martian invasions thwarted, you name it...

(read the rest here:

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