Radiolab has a fantastic story about the prisoner’s dilemma called One Good Deed Deserves Another. It was being rebroadcast on the local public radio channel KQED today as part of the episode called The Good Show. Take a listen on their site.
Prisoner’s Dilemma is a classic game theory problem. In it, one tries to figure out whether it is better to cooperate or compete with an opponent when you don’t know (or don’t trust) what the opponent will do.
Try out a prisoner’s dilemma simulation here: http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/bb/pd.html.
On a related note…
Four years ago, Radiolab took their show on the road. I caught a performance in Cupertino. It remains one of my favorite theater experiences ever! Here’s a recording from their Seattle performance.