# Description

The IgNobel Prize-winning author of

*How to Dunk a Doughnut*draws on the science of game theory to explain how human beings cooperate in everyday life.Rock, Paper, Scissors: Game Theory in Everyday Life

- November 4, 2008

Basic Books

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Tracy

Review: Rock, Paper, Scissors: Game Theory in Everyday Life Things I learned from reading this book: always go with paper, never trust your fellow man, and be the first to take the deal. It's a pretty basic explanation of game theory and how it can be seen in everyday interactions.

Nate

Review: Rock, Paper, Scissors: Game Theory in Everyday Life Nice to get acquainted with some of the most important game theory problems. However, the personal anecdotes didn't always fit and sometimes seemed invented.

Nathan

Review: Rock, Paper, Scissors: Game Theory in Everyday Life Awesome book! It took me three check-outs and $2.40 in late fees, but I finally finished it. Well worth the time/money.

Jennifer

Review: Rock, Paper, Scissors: Game Theory in Everyday Life Really interesting pop-science explanation of how game theory relates to everyday life. If you like things like Freakonomics then this might be book for you. A little physics and logic but it's pretty ...

Andrew Kaiser

Review: Rock, Paper, Scissors: Game Theory in Everyday Life No stars don't mean a bad book; it just means a bad system for rating one. Fisher's approach to game theory was scientific, but without its esotericism. The subject is no longer overwhelming, and I ...

User reviews

Tracy

Goodreads

Review: Rock, Paper, Scissors: Game Theory in Everyday Life Things I learned from reading this book: always go with paper, never trust your fellow man, and be the first to take the deal. It's a pretty basic explanation of game theory and how it can be seen in everyday interactions.

Nate

Goodreads

Review: Rock, Paper, Scissors: Game Theory in Everyday Life Nice to get acquainted with some of the most important game theory problems. However, the personal anecdotes didn't always fit and sometimes seemed invented.

Nathan

Goodreads

Review: Rock, Paper, Scissors: Game Theory in Everyday Life Awesome book! It took me three check-outs and $2.40 in late fees, but I finally finished it. Well worth the time/money.

Jennifer

Goodreads

Review: Rock, Paper, Scissors: Game Theory in Everyday Life Really interesting pop-science explanation of how game theory relates to everyday life. If you like things like Freakonomics then this might be book for you. A little physics and logic but it's pretty ...

Andrew Kaiser

Goodreads

Review: Rock, Paper, Scissors: Game Theory in Everyday Life No stars don't mean a bad book; it just means a bad system for rating one. Fisher's approach to game theory was scientific, but without its esotericism. The subject is no longer overwhelming, and I ...

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288

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English

ISBN

9780786726936

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Flag as inappropriate One of the greatest discoveries of recent times is that the complex patterns we find in life are often produced when all of the individuals in a group follow the same simple rule. This process of “self-organization” reveals itself in the inanimate worlds of crystals and seashells, but as Len Fisher shows, it is also evident in living organisms, from fish to ants to human beings. The coordinated movements of fish in shoals, for example, arise from the simple rule: “Follow the fish in front.” Traffic flow arises from simple rules: “Keep your distance” and “Keep to the right.”

Now, in his new book, Fisher shows how we can manage our complex social lives in an ever more chaotic world. His investigation encompasses topics ranging from “swarm intelligence” to the science of parties and the best ways to start a fad. Finally, Fisher sheds light on the beauty and utility of complexity theory. An entertaining journey into the science of everyday life, The Perfect Swarm will delight anyone who wants to understand the complex situations in which we so often find ourselves.

Why do certain civilizations, societies, and ecosystems collapse? How does the domino effect relate to the credit crunch? When can mathematics help explain marriage? And how on earth do toads predict earthquakes? The future is uncertain. But science can help foretell what lies ahead.

Drawing on ecology and biology, math and physics, Crashes, Crises, and Calamities offers four fundamental tools that scientists and engineers use to forecast the likelihood of sudden change: stability, catastrophe, complexity, and game theories. In accessible prose, Len Fisher demonstrates how we can foresee and manage events that might otherwise catch us by surprise.

At the cutting edge of science, Fisher helps us find ways to act before a full-fledged catastrophe is upon us. Crashes, Crises, and Calamities is a witty and informative exploration of the chaos, complexity, and patterns of our daily lives.

Economic Systems exhibit complex dynamics evidenced by large-amplitude and aperiodic fluctuations in economic variables, such as foreign exchange rates and stock market prices, indicating that these systems are driven far from the equilibrium. Characterization of the complex behavior of economic cycles, by identifying regular and irregular patterns and regime switching in economic time series, is the key for pattern recognition and forecasting of economic cycles. Statistical analysis of stock markets and foreign exchange markets has demonstrated the intermittent nature of economic time series. A nonlinear model of business cycles is able to simulate intermittency arising from order-chaos and chaos-chaos transitions. This monograph introduces new concepts of unstable periodic orbits and chaotic saddles which are unstable structures embedded in a chaotic attractor, responsible for economic intermittency.

Thesubjectofthisbookisthemodelingofcomplex systemsinthelife sciences constituted by a large number of interacting entities called active particles. Their physical state includes, in addition to geometrical and mechanical variables, a variable called the activity, which characterizes the speci?c living system to be modeled. Interactions among particles not only modify the microscopic state, but may generate proliferative and/or destructive phenomena. The aim of the book is to develop mathematical methods and tools, even a new mathematics, for the modeling of living systems. The background idea is that the modeling of living systems requires technically complex mathematical methods, which may be s- stantially di?erent from those used to deal with inert matter. The?rstpart ofthe bookdiscussesmethodological issues, namely the derivation of various general mathematical frameworks suitable to model particular systems of interest in the applied sciences. The second part presents the various models and applications. The mathematical approach used in the book is based on mathema- cal kinetic theoryfor active particles, whichleads tothederivation of evo- tion equations for a one-particle distribution function over the microscopic state. Two types of equations, to be regarded as a general mathematical framework for deriving the models, are derived corresponding to short and long range interactions.

Stochastic optimization problems arise in decision-making problems under uncertainty, and find various applications in economics and finance. On the other hand, problems in finance have recently led to new developments in the theory of stochastic control.

This volume provides a systematic treatment of stochastic optimization problems applied to finance by presenting the different existing methods: dynamic programming, viscosity solutions, backward stochastic differential equations, and martingale duality methods. The theory is discussed in the context of recent developments in this field, with complete and detailed proofs, and is illustrated by means of concrete examples from the world of finance: portfolio allocation, option hedging, real options, optimal investment, etc.

This book is directed towards graduate students and researchers in mathematical finance, and will also benefit applied mathematicians interested in financial applications and practitioners wishing to know more about the use of stochastic optimization methods in finance.

"The book is a compendium of the state of knowledge about viability...Mathematically, the book should be accessible to anyone who has had basic graduate courses in modern analysis and functional analysis...The concepts are defined and many proofs of the requisite results are reproduced here, making the present book essentially self-contained." —Bulletin of the AMS

"Because of the wide scope, the book is an ideal reference for people encountering problems related to viability theory in their research...It gives a very thorough mathematical presentation. Very useful for anybody confronted with viability constraints." —Mededelingen van het Wiskundig Genootschap

When we contemplate phenomena as diverse as electrochemical deposition or the spatial patterns of urban development, it is natural to assume that they havenothing incommon. Afterall,therearemanylevelsinthehierarchythat builds up from atoms to human society, and the rules that govern atoms are quite di?erent from those that govern the geographical emergence of a city. The common view among many, if not most, biologists and social scientists is that the devil is entirely in the details. This school of thought asserts that social science and biology have little or nothing in common, and indeed many biologists claim that even di?erent ?elds of biology have little in common. If they are right, then science can only proceed by recording vast lists of details that no common principles will ever link together. Physics, in contrast, has achieved a parsimonious description for a broad range of phenomena based on only a few general principles. The phenomena that physics addresses are unquestionably much simpler than those of biology or social science, and on the surface appear entirely dissimilar. A cell is far more complicated than a pendulum or an atom, and human society, being builtoutofagreatmanycells,isfarmorecomplicatedstill. Cellsandsocieties have many layers of hierarchical organization, with complex functional and computational properties; they have identities, idiosyncracies stemming from an accumulation of historical contingency that makes them impossible to characterize in simple mathematical terms. Their complexity is far beyond that of the simple systems usually studied in physics.

One of the major contemporary challenges in both physical and social sciences is modeling, analyzing, and understanding the self-organization, evolution, behavior, and eventual decay of complex dynamical systems ranging from cell assemblies to the human brain to animal societies. The multi-faceted problems in this domain require a wide range of methods from various scienti?c disciplines. There is no question that the inclusion of time delays in complex system models considerably enriches the challenges presented by the problems. Although this inclusion often becomes inevitable as real-world applications demand more and more realistic m- els, the role of time delays in the context of complex systems so far has not attracted the interest it deserves. The present volume is an attempt toward ?lling this gap. There exist various useful tools for the study of complex time-delay systems. At the forefront is the mathematical theory of delay equations, a relatively mature ?eld in many aspects, which provides some powerful techniques for analytical inquiries, along with some other tools from statistical physics, graph theory, computer science, dynamical systems theory, probability theory, simulation and optimization software, and so on. Nevertheless, the use of these methods requires a certain synergy to address complex systems problems, especially in the presence of time delays.

When I wrote the book Quantitative Sociodynamics, it was an early attempt to make methods from statistical physics and complex systems theory fruitful for the modeling and understanding of social phenomena. Unfortunately, the ?rst edition appeared at a quite prohibitive price. This was one reason to make these chapters available again by a new edition. The other reason is that, in the meantime, many of the methods discussed in this book are more and more used in a variety of different ?elds. Among the ideas worked out in this book are: 1 • a statistical theory of binary social interactions, • a mathematical formulation of social ?eld theory, which is the basis of social 2 force models, • a microscopic foundation of evolutionary game theory, based on what is known today as ‘proportional imitation rule’, a stochastic treatment of interactions in evolutionary game theory, and a model for the self-organization of behavioral 3 conventions in a coordination game. It, therefore, appeared reasonable to make this book available again, but at a more affordable price. To keep its original character, the translation of this book, which 1 D. Helbing, Interrelations between stochastic equations for systems with pair interactions. Ph- icaA 181, 29–52 (1992); D. Helbing, Boltzmann-like and Boltzmann-Fokker-Planck equations as a foundation of behavioral models. PhysicaA 196, 546–573 (1993). 2 D. Helbing, Boltzmann-like and Boltzmann-Fokker-Planck equations as a foundation of beh- ioral models. PhysicaA 196, 546–573 (1993); D.

Why do certain civilizations, societies, and ecosystems collapse? How does the domino effect relate to the credit crunch? When can mathematics help explain marriage? And how on earth do toads predict earthquakes? The future is uncertain. But science can help foretell what lies ahead.

Drawing on ecology and biology, math and physics, Crashes, Crises, and Calamities offers four fundamental tools that scientists and engineers use to forecast the likelihood of sudden change: stability, catastrophe, complexity, and game theories. In accessible prose, Len Fisher demonstrates how we can foresee and manage events that might otherwise catch us by surprise.

At the cutting edge of science, Fisher helps us find ways to act before a full-fledged catastrophe is upon us. Crashes, Crises, and Calamities is a witty and informative exploration of the chaos, complexity, and patterns of our daily lives.

One of the greatest discoveries of recent times is that the complex patterns we find in life are often produced when all of the individuals in a group follow the same simple rule. This process of “self-organization” reveals itself in the inanimate worlds of crystals and seashells, but as Len Fisher shows, it is also evident in living organisms, from fish to ants to human beings. The coordinated movements of fish in shoals, for example, arise from the simple rule: “Follow the fish in front.” Traffic flow arises from simple rules: “Keep your distance” and “Keep to the right.”

Now, in his new book, Fisher shows how we can manage our complex social lives in an ever more chaotic world. His investigation encompasses topics ranging from “swarm intelligence” to the science of parties and the best ways to start a fad. Finally, Fisher sheds light on the beauty and utility of complexity theory. An entertaining journey into the science of everyday life, The Perfect Swarm will delight anyone who wants to understand the complex situations in which we so often find ourselves.

From the man who "puts the fizz in physics" (Entertainment Weekly), an entertaining and thought-provoking foray into the science of the bizarre, the peculiar, and the downright nutty! Winner of the IgNobel Prize in physics and the 2004 American Institute of Physics Science Writing Award, Len Fisher showed just how much fun science can be in his enthusiastically praised debut, How to Dunk a Doughnut. In this new work, he reveals that science sometimes takes a path through the ridiculous and the bizarre to discover that Nature often simply does not follow common sense. One experiment, involving a bed, platform scales, and a dying man, seemed to prove that the soul weighed the same as a slice of bread. But other, no less fanciful experiments and ideas led to the fundamentals of our understanding of movement, heat, light, and energy, and such things as the discovery of electricity, and the structure of DNA; improved engines; and the invention of computers. As in his previous book, Fisher uses personal stories and examples from everyday life, as well as humor, to make the science accessible. He touches on topics from lightning to corsets and from alchemy to Frankenstein and water babies, but he may not claim the last word on the weight of the soul!

Scientists are in the business of trying to understand the world. Exploring commonplace phenomena, they have uncovered some of nature’s deepest laws. We can in turn apply these laws to our own lives, to better grasp and enhance our performance in daily activities as varied as cooking, home improvement, sports—even dunking a doughnut! This book makes the science of the familiar a key to opening the door for those who want to know what scientists do, why they do it, and how they go about it.

Following the routine of a normal day, from coffee and breakfast to shopping, household chores, sports, a drink, supper, and a bath, we see how the seemingly mundane can provide insight into the most profound scientific questions. Some of the topics included are the art and science of dunking; how to boil an egg; how to tally a supermarket bill; the science behind hand tools; catching a ball or throwing a boomerang; the secrets of haute cuisine, bath (or beer) foam; and the physics of sex. Fisher writes with great authority and a light touch, giving us an entertaining and accessible look at the science behind our daily activities.

Following the routine of a normal day, from coffee and breakfast to shopping, household chores, sports, a drink, supper, and a bath, we see how the seemingly mundane can provide insight into the most profound scientific questions. Some of the topics included are the art and science of dunking; how to boil an egg; how to tally a supermarket bill; the science behind hand tools; catching a ball or throwing a boomerang; the secrets of haute cuisine, bath (or beer) foam; and the physics of sex. Fisher writes with great authority and a light touch, giving us an entertaining and accessible look at the science behind our daily activities.

Winner of the IgNobel Prize in physics and the 2004 American Institute of Physics Science Writing Award, Len Fisher showed just how much fun science can be in his enthusiastically praised debut, How to Dunk a Doughnut. In this new work, he reveals that science sometimes takes a path through the ridiculous and the bizarre to discover that Nature often simply does not follow common sense.

One experiment, involving a bed, platform scales, and a dying man, seemed to prove that the soul weighed the same as a slice of bread. But other, no less fanciful experiments and ideas led to the fundamentals of our understanding of movement, heat, light, and energy, and such things as the discovery of electricity, and the structure of DNA; improved engines; and the invention of computers. As in his previous book, Fisher uses personal stories and examples from everyday life, as well as humor, to make the science accessible. He touches on topics from lightning to corsets and from alchemy to Frankenstein and water babies, but he may not claim the last word on the weight of the soul!

El autor de Cómo mojar una galleta vuelve a deleitarnos con algunos de los episodios más fascinantes y descabellados de la historia de la ciencia.

¿Cuánto pesa el alma? es un libro de ciencia escrito en clave humorística y divulgativa, que aborda, en ocho capítulos de sugerente título, algunos de los episodios más fascinantes y descabellados de la historia de la ciencia. Desde la historia de un doctor americano que intentó pesar el alma y su paralelismo con los numerosos intentos científcos de pesar el calor, hasta el episodio de la señora a la que un rayo hizo perder su ropa interior, o la invención del pararrayos por Benjamín Franklin.

¿Cuánto pesa el alma? es un libro de ciencia escrito en clave humorística y divulgativa, que aborda, en ocho capítulos de sugerente título, algunos de los episodios más fascinantes y descabellados de la historia de la ciencia. Desde la historia de un doctor americano que intentó pesar el alma y su paralelismo con los numerosos intentos científcos de pesar el calor, hasta el episodio de la señora a la que un rayo hizo perder su ropa interior, o la invención del pararrayos por Benjamín Franklin.

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