Extra Fox – A blog by Christopher Taylor

The Traveler’s Dilemma: What dilemma?

Posted in Uncategorized by extrafox on June 1, 2007

In the June issue of Scientific American, there was an interesting article about game theory [The Traveler’s Dilemma]. I often times read the Letters section of the magazine, but I have never sent one in myself. Today, however, I wrote the following letter.

From: Christopher Taylor
Sent: Friday, June 01, 2007 10:26 AM
To: ‘editors@sciam.com’
Subject: What Dilemma?

Dear Editors,

With Lucy and Pete standing beside each other and facing the airline manager across the counter, “The Traveler’s Dilemma”, by Kaushik Basu, frames the question as one of Lucy vs. Pete; each traveler trying to get more than the other. What Mr. Basu seems to overlook is that Lucy and Pete are each more likely to identify with the other than either of them is to identify with the airline manager. Framed this way, the competition is not one pitting Lucy against Pete, but pitting the travelers against the airline manager. With this shift in perspective, the only “logical” choice is for both travelers to ask for $100.

Christopher Taylor
Software Engineer

It would be quite cool if the magazine publishes the letter. But, if not, at least I can still put it on my weblog.