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Dramatic Simplicity™ & The Prisoner's Dilemma

davis-dramatic-simplicity-prisoners-dilemma

Via the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Two criminals are arrested for robbing a bank and placed in separate isolation cells. Both care more about their personal freedom than the welfare of their accomplice. A clever prosecutor makes the following offer to each: “You may choose to confess or remain silent. If you confess and your accomplice remains silent, I will drop all charges against you and use your testimony to ensure that your accomplice does serious time. Likewise, if your accomplice confesses while you remain silent, they will go free while you do the time. If you both confess, I’ll see to it that you both get early parole. But if you both remain silent, I’ll have to settle for token sentences on firearms possession charges. If you wish to confess, you must leave a note with the jailor before I return tomorrow morning.” Clearly, they should just make the logo bigger.


Kuhn, Steven, "Prisoner's Dilemma", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Spring 2017 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), Retrieved from https://plato.stanford.edu/archives/spr2017/entries/prisoner-dilemma/