The Great Game Theory Guide: #1 — Information, Problem-Solving, and Decision Science
Q. Lewis, what is the importance of factual information in game theory?
Before I answer this question it may be of value for you to get a basic introduction/simple explanation of the basics of game theory. Below is an article (a 6 minutes read) as well as a more in-depth video. Both were created so they would be understood by a 12-year-old.
The Best Introduction to Game Theory, Simple and Easy to Understand — Written for a 12-Year-Old
Q. Lewis, what is the meaning of game theory?
A. As you begin your exploration of game-based thinking, game theory, and gamer psychology the one element that you must always keep in mind I this; “It is essential that you have access to, and the ability to verify the accuracy of all information if you intend to make effective, efficient, precise, and productive choices”.
It is not always easy to do this. We live in a world where groups of data (sets) are incredibly large and complex. With this challenge, we are likely to often find that traditional mechanical and even computerized processing applications are inadequate to know what and what is not so. Challenges in dealing with this level of data include analysis, capture, data creation, search, sharing, storage, transfer, visualization, and information privacy.
There is just so much information in the world and everyone in the world has some information. The effective decision-maker must develop and apply unique skills for using isolating and using it all to make the best choices.
Many of us may not even realize that though the science of information gathering has existed since the beginning of human history, it is only recently that it has been formerly and effectively organized as a defined discipline. The person most responsible for this is Paul Marie Ghislain Otlet (August 23, 1868 — December 10, 1944). Otlet was an author, entrepreneur, visionary, lawyer, and peace activist; he is one of several people who are considered the father of information science, a field he called “documentation”. Otlet created the Universal Decimal Classification. In 1895, Otlet and Henri La Fontaine (who later won the Nobel Prize) began the creation of a collection of index cards, meant to catalog facts. This collection came to be known as the “Repertoire Bibliographique Universel” (RBU), or the “Universal Bibliographic Repertory”. By the end of 1895, it had grown to 400,000 entries; later it would reach a peak of over 15 million.
Otlet was responsible for the widespread adoption in Europe of the standard American 3x5 inch index card used until recently in most library catalogs around the world (by now largely displaced by the advent of computer-based online access catalogs (OPAC).
After the Second World War Otlet’s ideas went out of fashion and he was largely forgotten. This all changed in the 1980s especially after the advent of the World Wide Web. By the early 1990s, a new interest arose in Otlet’s speculations and theories about the organization of knowledge, the use of information technologies, and globalization.
Otlet’s writings, along with those of Claude Shannon (April 30, 1916 — February 24, 2001) the American mathematician, electrical engineer, and cryptographer known as “the father of information theory”, have sometimes been called prescient of the current World Wide Web. Still, it was Otlet, who is barely remembered today, who first had the vision of a great network of knowledge. A network of ideas that accurately described what is now known as hyperlinks, search engines, and social networks.
Within my work in HAGT (Harrison’s Applied Game Theory), information is considered one of the most important tools for making wise decisions. Aside from offering us data points, information can also be leveraged and traded for access to power and influence.
Information, aside from influence and cash, is one of the only human resources that can provide us with specificity and urgency concerning things that are essential when strategizing. In a win/lose (zero-sum) game information will help us to prevail in competitive situations. When needed, for instance, we can sell information for cash.
One of the ways we can connect to others in a positive way is to have information that others want or need, and vice versa. People also feel a sense of connection when we know something about them they want to share or have something that might improve their lives. Having access to information is an effective way to create this type of rapport.
If we are going to be effective, then we need to develop a system for gathering information. If we want to become economically independent, we will also need a system for organizing, packaging, and marketing information.
All information will have some value to someone, somewhere. The test of the information one is seeking is quite basic. Can it be applied in such a manner as to achieve the desired result? This is the guideline for any endeavor, whether it is a profession, skill, or general activity. No matter how well-developed one’s knowledge is, and how many hours have been dedicated to a particular area of study, the ability to apply that knowledge can be the defining factor concerning whether we succeed or fail. If the knowledge cannot be applied, then it cannot create the desired results.
To be effective in organizing information, we must explore what information is actually available. Then we must collect it, store it, and separate what seems valuable from the useless, and what seems true from the false. If we have a specific goal or vision to fulfill, we can regularly explore the data we have in storage using what is needed and storing the rest for future use. When this is done systematically, we can use specific information to create psychological clarity, conservation and balance, and other important tools for making effective choices.
Information can often be leveraged against other resources. Knowledge is power and the more effective we are at gathering essential information and trading it for other key resources such as time, space, and influence, etc. the more likely we are to win in the game of life. Luckily, if we lack the necessary skills to gather and leverage information, we can hire someone who has those skills and delegate this to them. The inability or unwillingness to develop solid information gathering skills is the cause of a multitude of personal and social obstacles. Life, for the most part, is largely trial and error. The greater our level of applied knowledge, the greater our chance of success! The greater our level of applied knowledge the greater our ability will be to reduce the chance of unnecessary risk.
Of course with all things, there is a “dark side” and information science is no exception. Information, both accurate and inaccurate spreads quicker than we might ever have been imagined. This is especially so on the social network. This is just something a skilled game-based thinker needs to deal with every step of the way.
We live in a world of opposites thus anything a game theorist deems to be positive also has a side that can be experienced as negative.
Every game-based thinker and game theory strategist needs to keep in mind, that one of the benefits of technology is that we have access to more information than ever before. The dark side of this is that much of this information is unintentionally incorrect, or specifically designed to manipulate and mislead us. We live in a society ever more dependent on information that is designed more than ever to feed off of disinformation. Any game theory strategist that does not keep this in mind is bound to fail.
Do you know how to use information for power and influence? If not, how would you make the world a better place with this skill?
I invite you to read, my regular “AskLewis” blogs on game theory, and lifehacking and follow my posts and vlogs throughout the social network:
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§ General Podcast: Tips for Success www.youtube.com/watch?v=4lzIPU0DSiU
§ Contact me at LewisCoaches@gmail.com (I promise to respond to you personally).
§ We offer a customized and personalize Course in Holistic Applied Game Theory: Become more effective, efficient, productive, innovative, and self-aware.
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Study Holistic Applied Game Theory A-Z and Beyond…2.2. Read the information below