January 3, 2007Aside

Weekday Squib: Geopolitical strategy in popular literature (2)

The Falstaff Scissors, Papers, Stone” edition

This is an archived blog post from The Acorn.

Here’s a nice little story by Falstaff that has game-theory, deterrence and that kind of stuff:

The children are sitting on the stairs, playing Rock Paper Scissors. Suddenly one of them extends his hand, palm upward, fist unclenching in a five-fingered explosion. Bomb!” he cries, his eyes alight with triumph. Bomb beats everything.”

The others argue. He’s wrong. He can’t change the rules like that. It isn’t fair.

But in their heads they are remembering the things they have seen on the late night news, or that they have heard their parents talk about when they are supposed to be asleep. It’s true, the Bomb does beat everything.

In a minute or two they are going to give in to this. In a minute or two they will all be wishing they had thought of it first.

And come the next round they’re all going to use it, this new move, this Bomb. After all, it’s unbeatable, isn’t it? [2X3X7]



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