This is not a Prisoner’s Dilemma, or is it?

A little bit ago, Cory Doctorow posted a story from Inside Higher Ed about students organizing to beat the curve in a Johns Hopkins computer science class. The professor, Peter Fröhlich, scales grades based on the highest grade1. The students all refused to take the test, making the highest grade a 0. Thus, a 0 was an A, meaning they all got As.

…students in Fröhlich’s…classes decided to test the limits of the policy, and collectively planned to boycott the final. Because they all did, a zero was the highest score in each of the three classes, which, by the rules of Fröhlich’s curve, meant every student received an A…The students waited outside the rooms to make sure that others honored the boycott, and were poised to go in if someone had. – Zack Burdyk, “Dangerous Curves” from Inside Higher Ed

Doctorow labeled this as a solution to the Prisoner’s Dilemma. A brief perusal of the 113 comments on his post will convince you that the internet thinks that this is NOT an example of the Prisoner’s Dilemma. Continue reading “This is not a Prisoner’s Dilemma, or is it?”

Linkonomicon VI

via Maria Popova

via Ashley J Yeager

PDF link – via Cory Doctorow

Linkonomicon II

  1. Risk of death by Russian Roulette in Kentucky is one in a million (per year) – via Tyler Cowen
  2. Rape is rape, Mr. Akin.
  3. Shipping pallets, the sine qua non of the global economy – via Cory Doctorow.
  4. If you are going to pick an arbitrary day to bask in the glory of Singin’ in the Rain (and Donald O’Connor‘s vaudevillian genius), the 100th birthday of Gene Kelly (star & co-director) is as good as any – via Maria Popova.
  5. How to annoy EO Wilson without criticizing group selection by Michelle Nijhuis.
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