Paul- I had to giggle a little at your claim that a utilitarian would pull the trigger- I read it as an unintentional critique that utilitarianism is inhumane- content-wise, your analysis is too simple- there are a myriad of other possibilities (Joker kills all anyway, bomb is disarmed, stealth evacuation), that the calculations ironically become null and void and the functional reasoning becomes ethical after all (the moral choice is not to kill 500, as proven by the actual movie outcome)


I want the wine list from Weinerei. The incentives are perfect. They want to find the wine with the best possible value (on a taste to price comparison). The worst thing they could do would be serve up an expensive wine that tasted poorly.

Jacques René Giguère

To #26: the trust hormone is oxytocine, genrated at giving birth.breast feeding and orgasm.


OK clearly everyone here needs to read more Batman. They are not dealing with the moralistic cops of the prisoner's dilemma, they are dealing with the Joker. There is a very good chance that whoever pulled the trigger would set off the explosives rigged to their own boat, or even blow up both boats in the process.

From an economic standpoint, this is what the Joker has to gain:

If the civilians blow up the prisoners, Joker wins.

If the prisoners blow up the civilians, no point is proven since they are expected to.

If the civilians blow themselves up, no point is proven because it looks like the prisoners did it.

If the prisoners blow themselves up, the Joker wins because it looks like the civilians did it.

If neither blows up, the Joker loses but supposedly kills everyone anyway (unless Batman saves them)

So what the Joker should have theoretically done was rig both detonators to the prisoner's boat, that way the only way he'd lose would be in the unlikely event that both boats are virtuous, which they were.



Thank you for putting link to the article about the wine bars in Berlin;) I could not imagine that New York Times is writing about Weinerei;)


Something I was thinking about: Is it possible that the women CEO's in Vietnam and their companies do so much better because in order for the company to consider hiring a female CEO in the first place she has to be leaps and bounds above any plausible male candidates? If so, it would be natural that their companies do better, since they were better employees to begin with.

Black Political Analysis

I'm not sure that I agree with the researchers' assertion that certain tennis points are more valuable than others. Certainly, I appreciate how a match can turn on any game point, break point, or set point. However, the points earned to get to game point, break point, or set point matter too.

Take golf: If you're putting on the 18th hole for birdie and the win, that putt matters. But, it wouldn't matter at all if you duffed your iron on the 11th fairway and triple bogeyed.

When it is struck, each shot matters the most. But once struck, the next shot matters the most, etc...


Claire- Solid insight into the Jokers decision making... you're not by chance Heath now are you...?


The whole ship scenario was the fakest thing I've ever seen in a superhero movie (yeah, I know). The movie probably would have been twice as good without it.

From how I interpreted the scene, the situation was either the people in both ships die or you push the button and the other people die and you survive. Maybe, I didn't listen correctly or something, but with that situation nobody would be stupid enough not to press the button.

So, even it was a me or them type of thing, it would still be ridiculous. The peaceful vote that ensued on the citizen boat? Lmao, gimme a break. That was faker than the criminal throwing the detonator out of the ship, which was in turn faker than two-face's CGI.


Re: Dark Night Prisoner Dilemma

It seems that most people feel the only correct thing to do is to NOT pull the trigger. In the given situation, your choices are: kill 500 to save yourself and 499 OR don't pull the trigger. In not pulling the trigger, there is a chance 1,000 die or 500 die (each including yourself). I have two comments on this:

One, (if we assume that the threat is real and there is no Batman to save us) wouldn't the utilitarian thing to do be to pull the trigger? Pulling the trigger ensures the survival of 500 people whereas not doing so would kill 500 or even possibly 1000. Pulling the trigger minimizes the expected value of the number of deaths.

Two, what if the situation was the same choice, but presented differently? What if both ships were given detanators to their OWN ships and told that if one did not make the sacrifice, they would all die. It's still choosing between 500 dead for sure vs. possibly 500 dead or 1,000 dead, but who's going to pull a trigger to kill themselves?

I think the greatest psychological insight in this experiment isn't compassion for a fellow human being but it being much easier to rationalize something one DIDN'T do than one DID.