One of the best-known illustrations is the prisoner’s dilemma: two criminals in separate prison cells face the same offer from the public prosecutor.
If they both confess to a bloody murder, they each face three months in jail.
In a Nash equilibrium, every person in a group makes the best decision for himself, based on what he thinks the others will do. In this supermarket any man and woman who pair up get 0 to split between them.
And this inevitably ends up being a bad decision for the collective. Suppose 20 men and 20 women show up at the supermarket, it’s pretty clear that all the men and women will pair up and split the 0 gain about equally: ,.
I met a lot of great guys; in fact, I’m still good platonic friends with one of the first men I met on Match. Like the burger in the fast food commercial rarely resembles the thing you get in the drive-through.
It’s the same burger, same condiments, same bun, but it’s never going to be tweaked and fussed over as much as it does when it’s being presented to potential buyers.
When I signed up for at age 38, I thought it was going to be a piece of cake. I was on it for a year and never met anyone I clicked with romantically.
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If one stays quiet while the other confesses, then the snitch will get to go free, while the one who stayed quiet will face a whole year in jail.
And if both hold their tongue, then they each face a minor charge, and only a month in jail.