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Recent Posts
 Test Your Intuition about the AlonTarsi Conjecture
 Thilo Weinert: Transfinite Ramsey Numbers
 Timothy Chow Launched Polymath12 on Rota Basis Conjecture and Other News
 Proof By Lice!
 The seventeen camels riddle, and Noga Alon’s camel proof and algorithms
 Edmund Landau and the Early Days of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem
 Boolean Functions: Influence, Threshold, and Noise
 Laci Babai Visits Israel!
 Polymath10 conclusion
Top Posts & Pages
 Answer: Lord Kelvin, The Age of the Earth, and the Age of the Sun
 A Breakthrough by Maryna Viazovska Leading to the Long Awaited Solutions for the Densest Packing Problem in Dimensions 8 and 24
 Extremal Combinatorics IV: Shifting
 Polymath 10 Emergency Post 5: The ErdosSzemeredi Sunflower Conjecture is Now Proven.
 Greg Kuperberg: It is in NP to Tell if a Knot is Knotted! (under GRH!)
 Test Your Intuition about the AlonTarsi Conjecture
 Can Category Theory Serve as the Foundation of Mathematics?
 Polymath10, Post 2: Homological Approach
 Extremal Combinatorics III: Some Basic Theorems
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Category Archives: Rationality
The Mystery Beeping Riddle
We came back from the airport with our daughter who has just landed after a fourmonth trip to India. The car was making a strange beep every so often. Maybe it is an indicator signal that should have … Continue reading
Posted in Mathematics to the rescue, Rationality, Riddles
12 Comments
Which Coalition to Form (2)?
Yair Tauman (This post is a continuation of this previous post.) Aumann and Myerson proposed that if political and ideological matters are put aside, the party forming the coalition would (or should) prefer to form the coalition in which its own power (according … Continue reading
Which Coalition?
The problem. OK, we had an election and have a new parliament with 120 members. The president has asked the leader of one party to form a coalition. (This has not happened yet in the Israeli election but it will happen soon.) Such … Continue reading
Basic Open Research and Failed Institutions – Imagine
Imagine if in the last ten years before the collapse, the huge failed financial and insurance institutions had had independent research units devoted to doing basic, open, and critical research on matters of relevance to the business, ethics, and future of these institutions. Might it have made a small … Continue reading
Majority Rules! – The Story of Achnai’s Oven
It is election day in Israel, and an opportunity to tell the beautiful and moving story of Achnai’s oven. Towards the end of the first century, a few decades after the big Jewish rebellion against the Romans, the sages of the … Continue reading
Posted in Rationality
12 Comments
The Retaliation Game
We have two players playing in turns. Each player can decide to stop in which case the game is stopped and the two players can go on with their lives, or to act. The player that acts gains and … Continue reading
Debates
Debates are fascinating human activities that are a mixture of logic, strategy, and show. Not everybody shares this fascination. The German author Emil Ludwig considered debates to be the death of conversation. Jonathan Swift regarded debates as the worst … Continue reading
Thomas Bayes and Probability
How can we assign probabilities in cases of uncertainty? And what is the nature of probabilities, to start with? And what is the rational mechanism for making a choice under uncertainty? Thomas Bayes lived in the eighteenth century. Bayes’ famous … Continue reading
Would you decide the election if you could?
One mental experiment I am fond of asking people (usually before elections) is this: Suppose that just a minute before the votes are counted you can change the outcome of the election (say, the identity of the winner, or even … Continue reading
Posted in Rationality
12 Comments
The Prisoner’s Dilemma, Sympathy, and Yaari’s Challenge
Correlation and Cooperation In our spring school devoted to Arrow’s economics, Menahem Yaari gave a talk entitled “correlation and cooperation.” It was about games as a model of people’s behavior, and Yaari made the following points: It is an empirical fact … Continue reading
Posted in Economics, Games, Philosophy, Rationality
Tagged Cooperation, Correlation, Prisoner dilemma
2 Comments