Thursday, February 25, 2010

Game theory

"Losers" implies a certain game theory. A fairly new one.

Once upon a time, common people used to think you should know your place. And stay there. "Ambition" used to be a dirty word. Basically, God placed you on your rung on life's ladder and you should accept it. The original idea of a villain was someone common and low-bred trying to rise above his station. A villein trying to act like a Lord.

Upper mobility is a core American idea. I.e.: God wants you to climb that ladder. In terms of game theory, America's common people didn't always consider themselves losers because (A) Horatio Alger-types thought the game was fair and they were still climbing. (B)They were stuck -- because the game was rigged. If the other guy is cheating, you're not a loser.

So, at the time of the original Progressive movement -- our old pal William Jennings with his "cross of gold" and all that -- the core perception was that east coast monied interests were allied against farmers, rural America and the Midwest and had rigged the economic game in their favor.

3 comments:

Team LW said...

I want to follow your blog, but only seem able to follow your blog comments. I'm sure very interesting, still....Could you check out putting a RSS link on or something? Thanks!!!

Marty Fugate said...

Dang this technology anyway! It sucks to be a futurist when you're behind the times. I'll see if I can figure it out ...

Team LW said...

Good job techie! I'm subscribed.