Masada Game Theory

I was explaining game theory to a persistent optimist. “If you’re not going to do business with someone again, take him for all he is worth.”
The optimist replied, “Why would you do that?” A very successful person, couldn’t see the point of game theory.
I am seeing a lot of this “game theory” being practiced on employees and customers. After all, it’s a bad economy and we’re probably not going to work with them again, and yadda yadda yadda…
We create much of our own reality, and if we don’t want to continue working with employees and customers, that can be arranged. There’s power and control for ya!
But someone else will. And in this internet leveraged reputation aquarium, the new guys will know what you have done before you ever meet them.
The Sicarii were a sect in Israel that didn’t much like the Romans or the mainstream Jews. They holed up in the Masada Fortress and when the Romans came, the Sicarii killed themselves before the Romans ever got there. Showed them!
I wonder what happens when I act like I am going to win?

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Allen Sheaprd


I love the “reputation aquarium” phrase. It is soo true.

Also – the “Take them for all they are worth” fails because of the “reputation aquarium.” People get a bad reputaion putting both new and old customers off.

If one wants to win they can either assume there will always be a fresh crop of “newbies” to feast upon or treat people well. I’ve found the latter far more successful.

Look at Enron (shaft the employee) v.s. SEARS who keeps those serving on their books so they have a job to return to. Was it CitiBank that just got exposed for forclosing on service members while they where on active duty in a war zone? That will help their reputation.

Dick Davies

Allen, it’s closer than Citibank and Exxon. All of those observations happen in federal work, too. Worst part is, we watch for such a short period we don’t see when it catches up with a person or organization…but it does. *grin*