27 votes

Nash equilibrium and why the GOP nominee always ends up in the center

As told in the parable of the hot dog wars (4 minutes).


If that was interesting, see here also: Positioning: How Ted Cruz is trying to outmaneuver Rand Paul

In game theory, the Nash equilibrium is a solution concept of a non-cooperative game involving two or more players, in which each player is assumed to know the equilibrium strategies of the other players, and no player has anything to gain by changing only their own strategy. If each player has chosen a strategy and no player can benefit by changing strategies while the other players keep theirs unchanged, then the current set of strategy choices and the corresponding payoffs constitute a Nash equilibrium.

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The GOP and Democratic

The GOP and Democratic candidates tend to move towards the center because that is what (at least what they believe) wins. It is as simple as that.

If Rand Paul ran as a full-on libertarian, he'd get maybe 20% of the popular vote.

Plan for eliminating the national debt in 10-20 years:

Overview: http://rolexian.wordpress.com/2010/09/12/my-plan-for-reducin...

Specific cuts; defense spending: http://rolexian.wordpress.com/2011/01/03/more-detailed-look-a

Nice metaphor, but shouldn't it be koolaid

instead of ice cream?

Leges sine moribus vanae

Cyril's picture

You beat me to it by 10 days, Michael.

You beat me to it by 10 days, Michael.

I swear I had missed your post (shame on me! :) before posting mine yesterday.

I had the idea behind it after stumbling on the 2005 article I linked.

My intuition tells me we're likely surrounded by natural and beneficial Nash Equilibriums in nature and/or society's economies, and yet to be recognized as such.

I think it might be a nice exercise for liberty to try to find them and show how they benefited mankind. :)

"Cyril" pronounced "see real". I code stuff.


"To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous." -- Confucius

Rand Paul will Campaign NeoCon leaning in Primary

He will campaign civil libertarian leaning in the GENERAL election,

and he'll be our first libertarian policy making president (fingers crossed)

Yes, please BUY this wonderful libertarian BOOK! We all must know the History of Freedom! Buy it today!

"The System of Liberty: Themes in the History of Classical Liberalism" ...by author George Smith --
Buy it Here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/05211820

What about quality?

The competition model presented in the video only works under the pretense that both vendors are selling products of comparable quality. However, if one ice cream stand sells much better ice cream than the other, but the two are positioned in the same area, word will spread and some people will walk the extra distance to the better ice cream seller. That is, unless the bad ice cream is subsidized and a minion of the bad ice cream seller goes around the beach spreading lies about the good ice cream before potential customers have a chance to try it for themselves.

Although Nash equilibrium is

Although Nash equilibrium is a real factor, lets not let the gov off the hook completely here. clumping of like businesses isn't the best outcome sometimes but it happens anyway BC of zoning by local gov.

I have a business where im only allowed to sell wholesale. If I want to sell retail I have to get another building next to other retailers including my competition.

- Grow Mushrooms at Home

it also works for picking up chicks...


Pandas can't drive.

what crap is this....

You know who gets the girl? Whoever the girl chooses. The girl is not some automaton to be manipulated. The girl has values and feelings. If she doesn't like you, it doesn't matter how many other dudes are talking to her, she will not sleep with you. If she does like you, and you don't eff it up, it does't matter how many other dudes talk to her, she will still like you.

You wanna pick up chicks? Treat each one as an individual and a unique person. This is not enough, of course, but it's where you need to start.

“With laws shall our land be built up, but with lawlessness laid waste.”
-Njal Thorgeirsson

SaveThePandas's picture

For optimal money making purposes

and power, eventually Teddy and his cousin should create a merger and maybe call the new ice cream company Cousin Ted's.

This could be applied on a larger scale for politics in general. The positioning of most politicians regardless of party is just that; positioning.

The Dems have one side of the beach, the Republicans have the other, they move all over the beach (or they constantly change where they stand on positions Dems are supposedly anti war and Republicans are supposedly fiscally conservative, but clearly that's not how that has worked out), they trick their customers into thinking they are actually choosing from a different product line, when at the end of the day all the money and the power goes to the same company so it doesn't matter who you buy ice cream from because the product is the same even if it is marketed and packaged differently.

To make matters worse, what the poor beach goers don't realize is that Cousin Ted's ice cream vending services was secretly sold to a large undercover special interest group that wants to experiment with gmo's and chemicals additives. For big bucks the cousins sold their souls (or humble little ice cream carts) and agreed to secrecy so they could actually go live on an island on a beach somewhere instead of having to work the beach.

But....if people started bringing their own home made ice cream in a cooler they wouldn't have to support Cousin Ted's tyrannical beach ice cream take over.

but the gop didnt put up centrist nominees

Mccain, and Romney are very left. Lots and lots of right wingers refused to vote for them. And every election it seems that there are less people voting at all out of sheer disgust.

Its almost like they want to get the election to where no one votes cause there's no point.

why not walk the cart up and down the beach?

That's what I would do and that's what actual vendors in real-life do on beaches (usually illegally , since the State does not allow vendors on beaches).

I am personally not a fan of equilibrium analysis in economics. As for practical applications of game theory, check this out:


In any case, an interesting video. Thanks for posting.

“With laws shall our land be built up, but with lawlessness laid waste.”
-Njal Thorgeirsson

Michael Nystrom's picture

Because then you end up sounding like Mitt Romney

All over the beach!

At any rate, it is not a perfect analogy, but something to keep in mind.

Here is an example of Rand moving his hot dog cart:

Rand Paul warns Putin over Ukraine: ‘If he’s going to act like a rogue nation, he will be isolated’

- - -

That was an interesting article. But game theory must have some practical application.

Doesn't it?

Rand still

Needs to win over the Neo-cons portion of the beach. Maybe Rand still believes the Neo-cons have too strong a hold on the Party.
Putin now would say Rand who? But Putin is not a customer and not on the beach.

oh, I see what you did there

So would Ron Paul be like the guy that only sells ice cream from milk that comes from pastured, organic cows, and which costs three times as much?

“With laws shall our land be built up, but with lawlessness laid waste.”
-Njal Thorgeirsson

Michael Nystrom's picture


And as a result, he has an extremely limited, but also fiercely loyal customer base.

Because where else are you going to get that milk?

Nobody else sells it. Not even Rand.

Rand's ice cream is 75% organic

It's our best chance to get the majority to finally eat organic food.

“With laws shall our land be built up, but with lawlessness laid waste.”
-Njal Thorgeirsson

Michael Nystrom's picture

Ha - good one

I guess you take what you can get.

Which is why Cruz is setting up his ice cream shop nearby: 75% Organic! With a bonus muscular foreign policy.

More like 99%.

More like 99%.

Cyril to weigh in in 3... 2... 1...


Pandas can't drive.