Robert Axelrod on Why Being Nice, Forgiving, and Provokable are the Best Strategies for Life (People I (Mostly) Admire, Ep. 47)
The prisoner’s dilemma is a classic game-theory problem. Robert, a political scientist at the University of Michigan, has spent his career studying it — and the ways humans can cooperate, or betray each other, for their own benefit. He and Steve talk about the best way to play it and how it shows up in real world situations, from war zones to Steve’s own life.
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Here’s where you can learn more about the people and ideas in this episode:
- Robert Axelrod, professor of political science and public policy at the University of Michigan.
- “Hallmarks of Cancer: The Next Generation,” by Douglas Hanahan and Robert A. Weinberg (Cell, 2011).
- The Evolution of Cooperation, by Robert Axelrod (1984).
- “The Evolution of Cooperation,” by Robert Axelrod and William D. Hamilton (Science, 1981).
- “Yul Kwon: “Don’t Try to Change Yourself All at Once.” (People I (Mostly) Admire, Ep. 13),” by People I (Mostly) Admire (2021).