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Category: Miscellaneous

Cooperation and Defection in the SSC Prisoner’s Dilemma

Cooperation and Defection in the SSC Prisoner’s Dilemma

In this year’s Slate Star Codex annual survey Scott Alexander tabled a prisoner’s dilemma exercise with a difference: there was real money at stake. Two of the several thousand people who take the survey would be randomly selected to ‘play’ the game, using the answers they had submitted, with the outcome being that they would win between $100 and $1000. Scott, in fact, set three different, closely related prisoner’s dilemma type exercises, presumably to see whether results differed. They were:…

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2019: Year in Review

2019: Year in Review

2019 was a bit of a crazy year on all fronts. A lot of things happened that weren’t predicted and where I ended up at the end was, in many areas, very different from where I started. Personal We had a lot of ups and downs with the health of our youngest (daughter, 1). Around Easter we found out definitively that her health problems would be likely to be ongoing for years, not months, and throughout we had a large…

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On selling sandwiches

On selling sandwiches

One of the things that sandwich shops – the sort where you get to choose your own fillings from a variety on display – occasionally fall down on is when they don’t have a sensible way of pricing non-standard combinations. If I’m in one I don’t know I always end up scrutinising the boards carefully, lest I accidentally be charged £8 for a ham and cheese sandwich, but it’s usually not clear. This is usually because of overly strict categorisation….

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On Leaving the Civil Service

On Leaving the Civil Service

Almost a year ago today I formally left the civil service. Handing in my notice was one of the hardest things I’ve voluntarily done. I’d joined the civil service immediately after leaving university and loved it. I’d done incredibly exciting things, from meeting ministers, working on policy as it was formed, going to No. 10 and to the House of Commons and even working overseas in the Philippines. The work was meaningful, enjoyable and interesting; I’d worked with some of…

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Five Questions Meme

Five Questions Meme

With thanks to liv for posting the meme and for setting me the questions below. For those not familiar, the way it works is that anyone who would like questions can ask for them; they then get set five questions – potentially about anything at all – that the original poster thinks they would find interesting to answer and others would find interesting to read. So without further ado, the questions I was set: 1. Would you rather be notable…

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