Is strategic interaction Machiavellian?

One objection I've come across in arguing for a strategic view of human interaction is that "humans aren't so Machiavellian." My understanding of this objection is that it is founded in phenomenology—a feeling from those objecting that their conscious experience is only occasionally marked by a scheming, instrumental attitude toward their fellow interactants. (There is… Continue reading Is strategic interaction Machiavellian?

Epistemic Strategies pt. 1

This is the first of a two-part essay on strategic manipulations of other agents' epistemic states. Part One lays the groundwork by tying together theories of metonyms, expression games, and signals vs. cues. Part Two will lay out the epistemic axes of legibility vs. illegibility, commitment vs. flexibility, and ignorance vs. knowingness, and the situations… Continue reading Epistemic Strategies pt. 1

Pfeilstorch Progress: Games, Dialectic, Spirit

This was written for a pending grant application, to give an overview of the work we've been doing in the inexact sciences with the Pfeilstorch group. Sharing it to give a sense of what I've been up to and working on the past 12 months. Most of our publications have revolved around representation, communication, and… Continue reading Pfeilstorch Progress: Games, Dialectic, Spirit

Letter to Tamler Sommers and David Pizarro

“In each part of the poem, the goddess of cancer orders the evolving entities to compete, but the goddess of everything else recasts it as a two-layer competition where cooperation of the internal layer helps win the competition on the external layer.”    — A Sextant Colder Honor culture isn't dead, just mutated. Alternate titles: The… Continue reading Letter to Tamler Sommers and David Pizarro

The surrogation matrix

The “thing in itself” (which is precisely what the pure truth, apart from any of its consequences, would be) is likewise something quite incomprehensible to the creator of language and something not in the least worth striving for. This creator only designates the relations of things to men, and for expressing these relations he lays… Continue reading The surrogation matrix

From measurement to degeneration

There is no characteristic that is common to everything that we call games... It is a family-likeness term. Think of ball-games alone: some, like tennis, have a complicated system of rules; but there is a game which consists just in throwing the ball as high as one can, or the game which children play of… Continue reading From measurement to degeneration

Economics thinking

Mistakes in business or in science are costly and deplorable, but mistakes in the conduct of life are usually dangerous to life itself. To the tack of illuminating man's progress toward a better understanding of human nature, this book is dedicated. —Alfred Adler (1927) Everybody gets something out of every transaction. —House of Games 1.… Continue reading Economics thinking

The Dark Miracle of Optics

Epistemic status: no idea how original any of this is; it just connects a lot of nodes in my brain. I’ve been told there’s a real debt to Robert Trivers, which I hope to educate myself on shortly. I may just be reinventing signal theory. Alternate titles: The Public-Private Information Gap Rules Everything Around Me… Continue reading The Dark Miracle of Optics