On Sat, Nov 10, 2012 at 03:27:47PM -0800, meekerdb wrote:
> But the definition 

[of rationality]

> seems overly restrictive.  It's well known that
> in competitive games the best strategy may random in some way.  So I
> don't see how you can arbitrarily rule out random choices as
> 'irrational' when they are shown to be optimal by rational analysis.
> Brent

Its not me doing the ruling out. Its the way the term is used in
philosophy and economics.

There are plenty of examples (such as the ones your refer to) where
making random choices is optimal (according to a given utility). But
here you have to go to meta-level to say its the choice to play
randomly that is rational, not the choices themselves being rational.

One can see there are situations where it is rational to be irrational. I
sent you a reference to a paper of mine describing just such a
sitation in the classic theory of the firm (``Emergent Effective
Collusion in an Economy of Perfectly Rational Competitors'').

A classic example where it is rational to be irrational is in chess
where sometimes one might sacifice a queen in order to gain a
competitive advantage.

But if it is rational to be irrational, is it possible to be rational any more?


Prof Russell Standish                  Phone 0425 253119 (mobile)
Principal, High Performance Coders
Visiting Professor of Mathematics      hpco...@hpcoders.com.au
University of New South Wales          http://www.hpcoders.com.au

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