Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Learnt something very interesting about mathematics, politics and war..

Why genuises are so impersonable? It's like God gives them an incredible boon with a bane for counter balance.. A bunch of math and economics nerds from Coe College (including me ;)) went up to University of Northern Iowa to see John Nash speak about his current research. He has long since moved past two player game theory (which won him the Nobel Prize in Economics) and showcased some of his three-player systems. He is a brilliant man with obvious shortcomings apart from the ones epitomized by A Beautiful Mind (Movie, Book). He is a bad lecturer as in he mumbles way too much, and can't seem hold a train of thought unless it is about his research. That may be a cause and effect of old age since he is 89 after all. He never answered any of questions posed accurately and went off course tangentially every time. I must say that the dumbest question that was asked was if Schizophrenia was viral or not. Apart from dozing off several time from the monotone, it was extremely humorous to watch his wife fall asleep too. I did take quite a few long exposures again to entertain myself before the talk began.

Now, to the part where I actually learnt about game theory. It was in class today and it substituted for Set theory and topology as Cal indulged our curiosity by giving us a great introduction to the topic. He talked about zero and non zero sum games, including the famous Prisoner's Dilemma (PD) and the Chicken game (or Hawk-Dove). What interested me the most was the application of PD to military thinking, more specifically arms race. The reason that interested me the most was to see the best course of action for India Pakistan nuclear weapons race. Looks like both accumalating arms is the best thing to do if war is in the backdrop of thought processes involved, which in this case is true.

So, we (India) should keep developing nuclear weapons and testing them too. After all, it's a mathematically logical path. Right?

Tags: Politics, Science, Life, Doodles

[Listening to: Never Be The Same - Ingram Hill - June's Picture Show (4:16)]

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