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Meta-Game Theory

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Meta-Game Theory is the idea that the world can be described as an ongoing process of multiple "games" (See Game Theory), and that the result of one game becomes the rules of the next one (determines future "payoff matrices"). It also becomes neccesary to model multi-player (more than two) and multi-round games. Lacking such models, I will put forth all the two-player pairs as seperate games.

An Example (July 2005 Anarchist March in Palo Alto, CA):

Player 1: The Anarchist Collective (organizers of the march)

Player 2: The attendees of the march.

Player 3: The onlookers (Palo Alto residents)

Player 4: The city of Palo Alto

Players 1 and 4 are more active in this game, in the sense that they have planned ahead, whereas players 2 and 3 are mostly reacting.

Game 1: Player 1 vs. Player 2 (Cooperative) Passive vs Confrontational Demonstration

The goal of this cooperative game is to have attendees and organizers feel good about the outcome of the demonstration (i.e: organizers will want to plan another action, attendees will want to come back). The choice here is whether the demonstration should be confrontational (trying to get arrested, push through police lines, refuse to move when ordered) or passive (keep moving, stay out of guarded areas, disperse when asked). In each cell of the payoff matrix, the first symbol is for Player 1 (organizers), and the second is for player 2 (attendees)

                   Player 2 
                           Confront    Passive    Goes Home in face of Confrontation
          Passive         (1) -/=    (2) +/+           (3) +/+
Player 1
          Confrontational (4) +/+    (5) =/-           (6) -/-

Outcomes: Game 1

(1) Organizers want a peaceful march, particpants engage in confrontation.

(2) Both organizers and participants are passive, everyone is happy.

(3) Both organizers and participants are passive, everyone is happy.

(4) Organizers effectively plan for and participants engage in confrontation.

(5) Organizers try to confront, participants refuse, but stay.

(6) Organizers try to confront, particpants go home.


Game 2: Player 1 vs Player 4 (Competitive) "Effectiveness" of Demonstration

                   Player 4 
                           Retreat    Protect     Repress    
          Passive         (1) +/-     (2) +/=      (3) -/+
Player 1
          Confrontational (4) +/-     (5) =/+      (6) +/-

The premise of this game is that the organizers want to portray the movement positively and the government as repressive and unjustified. The city of Palo Alto wants to portray itself as fair and inclusive, and the demonstration as radical and without support.

The same model could be used for each individual demonstrator, so the police have the option of responding to individuals by arresting them, as opposed to responding to the group.

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