Jane Austen, Game Theorist
Although whiffs of game theory have been discerned in writings as old as Plato, its conventional history begins with the 1944 publication of von Neumann’s seminal “Theory of Games and Economic Behavior.” The techniques gained prominence as a means of anticipating attacks and counterattacks among superpowers during the Cold War, and they played a role in determining the quantity and positioning of U.S. nuclear warheads.
“Austen’s novels are game theory textbooks. She’s trying to get readers to use their higher thinking skills and to think strategically.”
In many cases, by making tough choices and predicting how others will respond, Austen’s young (often financially deprived) heroines triumph over seemingly stronger forces, including well-to-do men and older women of higher status, he argues. In so doing, they find happiness and — just as importantly in an era with limited employment and inheritance possibilities for women — financial security.
“They build a theory of strategic thinking, not to better chase a Soviet submarine, but to survive.”
Starring Russell Crowe as Jane Austen.
In my ongoing quest for the perfect framework for understanding haters, I created The Disapproval Matrix**. (With a deep bow to its inspiration.) This is one way to separate haterade from productive feedback. Here’s how the quadrants break down:
Critics: These are smart people who know something about your field. They are taking a hard look at your work and are not loving it. You’ll probably want to listen to what they have to say, and make some adjustments to your work based on their thoughtful comments.
Lovers: These people are invested in you and are also giving you negative but rational feedback because they want you to improve. Listen to them, too.
Frenemies: Ooooh, this quadrant is tricky. These people really know how to hurt you, because they know you personally or know your work pretty well. But at the end of the day, their criticism is not actually about your work—it’s about you personally. And they aren’t actually interested in a productive conversation that will result in you becoming better at what you do. They just wanna undermine you. Dishonorable mention goes to The Hater Within, aka the irrational voice inside you that says you suck, which usually falls into this quadrant. Tell all of these fools to sit down and shut up.
Haters: This is your garden-variety, often anonymous troll who wants to tear down everything about you for no rational reason. Folks in this quadrant are easy to write off because they’re counterproductive and you don’t even know them. Ignore! Engaging won’t make you any better at what you do. And then rest easy, because having haters is proof your work is finding a wide audience and is sparking conversation. Own it.
This is amazing.
"You don’t fuck with Boston, because Boston fucks back."
I’m from Boston. Covering the news today was surreal. I wrote some thoughts on the incident on Medium.
The earliest aerial photograph of an American city, titled “Boston, as the Eagle and the Wild Goose See It” - Taken from a hot air balloon in October 1860
“I remember making my first ink. It was a frustrating, difficult thing, but in the end there wasn’t a sense of relief, but more a sense of loss that I didn’t have to work on that anymore.”
This video is beautiful.
In 1984, the average U.S. household spent 16.8 percent of its annual post-tax income on food. By 2011, Americans spent only 11.2 percent. The U.S. devotes less of its income to food than any other country—half as mu ch as households in France and one-fourth of those in India.
Read more at Bloomberg Businessweek
After their eponymous commission failed to get a deal to cut the deficit, Simpson and Bowles hit the road to sound the alarm. America’s response? Crickets.
Read this week’s cover story and let us know what you think!
There’s a reason that wherever Joshua Green goes, I will go.
The look of the Simpsons’ neighborhood transitions wildly when new neighbors discover a forgotten Neutra, triggering a renovation craze. Their project is so successful that it’s featured on the cover of Dwell.
The Simpsons meet ‘Dwell’ [via, well, Dwell]
This tumblr is still the best project I’ve ever worked on.