Thailand was tragically flooded last year. The number of surprise alligators in the region also likely increased. As home to much of the world’s production capacity for hard drives, the shutdown of facilities caused the cost per gigabyte stored on magnetic hard drives to balloon to prices not seen since the middle of the last decade. Demand dropped for hard drives. Value-driven consumers may have opted for alternatives such as more expensive solid state drives (SSDs) or removable media like DVDs. Other purchases may have been deferred, playing catch-as-catch-can with hard drives already owned until prices begin to have some semblance of normalcy. The obvious. But none of this would have merited such a… cache-y blog post title.
Continue reading “Cache-as-cache-can”
But it’s so simple. All I have to do is divine from what I know of you: are you the sort of man who would put the poison into his own goblet or his enemy’s? Now, a clever man would put the poison into his own goblet, because he would know that only a great fool would reach for what he was given. I am not a great fool, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of you. But you must have known I was not a great fool, you would have counted on it, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of me. – Vizzini (The Princess Bride)
Contrary to initial expectations, we’ve found that a perfectly rational player ought not to defect in a game described in Part I. So what? How does that apply to the real world? Game theory is useful for modeling decision making processes where abstractions reduce the variables to be considered. Examples in real life of situations modeled by a tragedy of the commons dilemma are readily available.
Continue reading “Tragedy of the Commons: Part IV — In the World”
In Part III of the Tragedy of the Commons 4-part series, I give my analysis of the game played in class. You should at least read Tragedy of the Commons: Part I — The Setup for a description of the game before reading this section.
Continue reading “Tragedy of the Commons: Part III — The Debeakered Take”
In Part II of the Tragedy of the Commons 4-part series, I rehash the professor’s analysis of the game played in class. You should read Tragedy of the Commons: Part I — The Setup for a description of the game before reading this section.
Continue reading “Tragedy of the Commons: Part II — The Professorial Take”
Back in 2006, I took the undergraduate course Individual and Organizational Behaviour offered to students in the commerce programme at the University of Toronto. One of the highest quality lectures I have attended was given in this class by a guest speaker, a professor in the Rotman School of Management. During this lecture, students were put into groups and pitted against each other in a friendly competition. We faced off in what seemed to be a tragedy of the commons scenario and our gameplay was analysed by the speaker. However, I argue that what we were playing was not actually a tragedy of the commons scenario and that the analysis given in class was incorrect. Apparently, what I thought was extremely obvious was not. Or perhaps I’m just wrong; I’m no game theoretician.
Continue reading “Tragedy of the Commons: Part I — The Setup”