Game Theory examples.

October 25th, 2016

Stephen den Beste died this week.

he was an early blogger but has been in poor health recently and stopped blogging the past year.

On Islamist terrorism:

The nations and the peoples within the zone of our enemy’s culture are complete failures. Their economies are disasters. They make no contribution to the advance of science or engineering. They make no contribution to art or culture. They have no important diplomatic power. They are not respected. Most of their people are impoverished and miserable and filled with resentment, and those who are not impoverished are living a lie. They hate us.

They hate us because our culture is everything theirs is not. Our culture is vibrant and fecund; our economies are successful. Our achievements are magnificent. Our engineering and science are advancing at breathtaking speed. Our people are fat and happy (relatively speaking). We are influential, we are powerful, we are wealthy. “We” are the western democracies, but in particular “we” are the United States, which is the most successful of the western democracies by a long margin. America is the most successful nation in the history of the world, economically and technologically and militarily and even culturally.

Sadly, our own culture seems to be under attack from within.

His blog post on Game Theory and The Prisoner’s Dilemma is excellent.

The Prisoner’s Dilemma is a classic of Game Theory

It has been endlessly analyzed but Den Beste’s is about the best I know.

There’s been a lot of analysis of this, and it turns out that honesty isn’t the best policy. One guy decided to run a computer tournament; people were permitted to create algorithms in a synthetic language which would have the ability to keep track of previous exchanges and make a decision on each new exchange whether to be honest or to cheat. He challenged them to see who could come up with the one which did the best in a long series of matches against various opponents. It turned out that the best anyone could find, and the best anyone has ever found, was known as “Tit-for-tat”.

On the first round, it plays fair. On each successive round, it does to the other guy what he did the last time.

When Tit-for-tat plays against itself, it plays fair for the entire game and maximizes output. When it plays against anyone who tosses in some cheating, it punishes it by cheating back and reduces the other guys unfair winnings.

No-one has ever found a way of defeating it.

Now let’s analyze two different and even more simplistic approaches; we’ll call them “saint” and “sinner”. The saint plays fair every single round, irrespective of what the other guy does. The sinner always cheats.

When a saint plays against another saint, or against tit-for-tat, the result is optimum but more important is that everyone gets the same result. When a sinner plays against another sinner, or against tit-for-tat, everyone cheats and the result is still even, though less than optimal.

But when a sinner plays against a saint, the sinner wins and the saint loses.

Which brings me back to the point of all this: Is there anything I would rule out in war? Nothing I’d care to admit to my enemies, because ruling out anything is a “saint” tactic. The Tit-for-tat tactic is to be prepared to do anything, but not to do so spontaneously. In other words, if the other guy threatens to use poison gas, you make sure you have some of your own and let him know that you’ll retaliate with it. That means that he has nothing to win by using it, and he won’t. (A war is a sequence game and not a single transaction because each day is a new exchange. If you gassed my guys yesterday, I can gas yours today.)

Unfortunately, this logic has been abandoned by the Ruling Class, which thinks it is more important to signal its virtue than to defend the country.

What if Trump loses ?

October 18th, 2016

The election news is starting to suggest to me that Trump may well lose the election to Hillary. What would that mean?

Hillary Clinton is the most corrupt person to get this close to the presidency since Aaron Burr.

he blamed Hamilton for besmirching him as a candidate, and, eager to defend his honor, challenged Hamilton to a duel. Hamilton accepted, and the face-off took place on the morning of July 11, 1804; it ended when Burr shot Hamilton to death. Though the public cried murder, Burr was let off, and after laying low for a while, he was able to complete his vice-presidential term.

What then?

In 1807, Burr was brought to trial on charges of conspiracy and high misdemeanor, for leading a military charge against Spanish territory and for trying to separate territories from the United States. Chief Justice John Marshall acquitted Burr on the treason charge and eventually revoked his misdemeanor indictment, but the conspiracy scandal left Burr’s political career in ruins.

Final Years

Burr spent the four years following his trial traveling throughout Europe, attempting unsuccessfully to garner support for revolutionizing Mexico and freeing the Spanish colonies.

Burr was a traitor after having his ambitions thwarted.

We all know Hillary’s story. She was a student radical at Wellesley and her senior thesis was on Saul Alinsky.

The thesis was sympathetic to Alinsky’s critiques of government antipoverty programs, but criticized Alinsky’s methods as largely ineffective, all the while describing Alinsky’s personality as appealing.[4] The thesis sought to fit Alinsky into a line of American social activists, including Eugene V. Debs, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Walt Whitman. Written in formal academic language, the thesis concluded that “[Alinsky’s] power/conflict model is rendered inapplicable by existing social conflicts” and that Alinsky’s model had not expanded nationally due to “the anachronistic nature of small autonomous conflict.”

Her sympathies are clear. What will she be like as president if she wins?

We know she is dishonest by most definitions of the term.

She evaded the law on security when she accepted the position of Secretary of State. Her security detail at State, rebelled at her ignoring security rules, and her personal abusive style. The latter was well known from her time in the White House as First Lady.

During her interview, the agent said Clinton treated agents rudely and with contempt, and was so unpleasant that senior agents typically avoided being on her security detail.

“[Redacted] explained that CLINTON’s treatment of DS agents on her protective detail was so contemptuous that many of them sought reassignment or employment elsewhere,” the interview summary says. “Prior to CLINTON’s tenure, being an agent on the Secretary of State’s protective detail was seen as an honor and privilege reserved for senior agents. However, by the end of CLINTON’s tenure, it was staffed largely with new agents because it was difficult to find senior agents willing to work for her.”

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Trump’s new scandal.

October 7th, 2016

The New York Times and the Democrats have a new Trump story to peddle.

The crude comments are a huge scandal to the new Puritans of the left.

The explosive revelation of his coarse remarks, on the eve of a crucial debate on Sunday against Hillary Clinton, represented a new low for a campaign that had already redefined the standards of political discourse to fit Mr. Trump’s penchant for insults, mocking, threats and demagogic insinuations. A three-minute video clearly capturing Mr. Trump’s voice, and obtained by The Washington Post, ricocheted across social media and cable television and instantly became one of the most powerful weapons yet for Democrats to persuade undecided female voters and others to back Mrs. Clinton.

The Washington Post seems to be the source.

This is the weekend before the second debate and there is obviously a script running here. The recording was made 11 years ago when Trump was unmarried although he married Melania in 2005. I am unaware of any credible allegations of sexual harassment or rape against Trump, although there has been a lawsuit filed and rejected by a 13 year old. alleging rape.

Federal Judge Ronnie Abrams has ordered a December status conference hearing after a woman, who calls herself “Jane Doe,” filed a lawsuit claiming that Trump raped her when she was 13 years old in the 1990s. This is the third attempt the plaintiff has made in filing this particular lawsuit. Last Friday, she filed an amended complaint, with a new “witness” named “Joan Doe.” The plaintiff and witnesses in the case are using pseudonyms, they say, to protect their identities.

Ronnie Abrams was appointed by Barack Obama in 2011.

The plaintiff’s allegation seems to be that she was raped in a setting where Jeffrey Epstein of “Lolita Express” and Bill Clinton fame were present.

I think this is probably a setup by the DNC since the alleged rape occurred in the 1990s and the lawsuit has been previously dismissed.

I think there is a permissive atmosphere where wealthy and popular personalities, like Bill Cosby and Bill Clinton, can be helpful to women in a career. After all, Hillary Clinton owes her career to her husband Bill. She may think she has done it on her own but Bill is a much better politician than she is and that has been obvious since the “Hillarycare” debacle in 1994. I don’t mean to imply that women politicians need men. After all Margaret Thatcher did it on her own with only support from her husband in a personal, non-political way.

We will hear a lot about this story for the next two days and it will be important for Trump to deflate this particular balloon next Sunday. Maybe Hillary will her child actress ask him a question about it.

I assume he anticipated this campaign of vilification but even Trump might be distressed at the levels of hate, especially from Republicans.

Why we are losing America.

October 7th, 2016


This painting, of a young Marine just home from the war, shows us how much we have lost. I remember when the guys were coming home from the war. My parents had parties for them. My father had enlisted in the Navy in World War I even though he was only 15.


He looks older but was only 15 and, after the war ended a few months later, admitted his age and came home. He had no intention of being a peacetime sailor.


Here is one of the parties after the war. Our house had a basement party room with a fireplace (that smoked) and a full bar plus a juke box and, at one time, a penny slot machine that I wish I had now. Sid White, sitting in the front, was a B 17 crewman who was shot down and spent several years in a POW camp.

Standing at the far right is my uncle Tom and his wife Mavis. He had spent the war in Europe. Standing to the left of Sid is Bud Gonya who was a Seabee in the Pacific. He is wearing a vest over a white shirt. My father is standing behind the bar directly behind Sid. Next to him is Chuck Quinn, a neighbor and friend of Bud Kerrison, my cousin who is to the right of them. Bud is behind Mavis and was a B 17 bombardier in North Africa. Next to Bud and perhaps sitting on his lap is Pat Neary who would marry a friend of Bud’s from the North African campaign named Frank Flanagan. Sitting next to Sid with her arms on his shoulders is Ellen Smith who would marry him. Her brother Jimmy was in the POW camp with Sid.

Most of these girls were friends of Bud’s sisters Ruth and Marian and quite a few of them married friends of Bud from the war. I was only 7 years old at the time and had a lot of fun meeting and getting to know these people.

There has been criticism of this “Greatest Generation” who probably spoiled their children, “The Baby Boomers” who have gone to destroy their parents’ world. I think this group had grown up in the Depression and gave considerable credit to the government, credit we now believe to have been excessive. On the other hand, Roosevelt had done a credible job of running the war.

Everyone was happy it was over and the country had a period of prosperity that continued until the 1965 Johnson Administration set off an inflationary spiral that has brought us down, perhaps forever. The 1960s also introduced the violent and anarchic Baby Boomers who wrecked the social institutions over the next 40 years.

Rockwell would not recognize the country we have become.

Are We Lucky Enough ?

October 1st, 2016

Another good insight from Richard Fernandez.

Otto von Bismarck said, There is a Providence that protects idiots, drunkards, children and the United States of America.

Is it true? I think we may find out, especially if Hillary Clinton, in spite of all her crimes and corruption, is elected President.

Shimon Peres said, I said, “America will win no matter what you do.”

“Why?” he asked.

“Because they are lucky, and you are not.”

Is that true ? I wonder.

The last eight years have been one unending liberal search for the Great Man of history, the belief that “history can be largely explained by the impact of ‘great men’, or heroes … who, due to either their personal charisma, intelligence, wisdom, or political skill utilized their power in a way that had a decisive historical impact.”

Liberals thought they had it in Obama 2008. They think they have it in the historic First Woman, Hillary in 2016. They may even think they have it in Kerry. Steve Clemons of the Atlantic asked America’s top diplomat in the context of his diplomatic record: what exactly is the “John Kerry secret sauce?” And Kerry patiently explained that it was coming to an agreement with rival negotiators. “You have to figure out whether you can find in the adversaries a meeting of the minds on any of the interests and/or values.”

This, I assume, is why they think negotiation can solve all differences.

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Jim Kilroy died today at 94.

September 30th, 2016


Jim Kilroy spent 40 years sailing his maxi-boats and setting records.

At 66, Kilroy’s wavy hair is snow white, but he is tall, lean, energetic and well established in style through 32 years of campaigning the Kialoas. At Long Beach, an onlooker was startled to see the 79-foot aluminum sloop leave the dock without him.

Later, on the 45-foot tender, Kilroy explained: “I never take over the boat until the sails are up. Allan takes the boat out and Allan takes the boat in.”

Allan is Allan Pryor, a New Zealander whose job it is to take care of Kilroy’s boat, wherever in the world it is.

“It’s Allan’s boat when we’re not racing,” Kilroy said.

His New Zealand crews were famous in ocean racing for many years. I was in a bar in Mazatlan in 1976, the first time I heard the Kilroy crew chant for good competitors. No, it wasn’t for me but I was there and heard it.

I knew him casually in sailing. Once, when he was building one of his yachts, he sailed in the Ensenada Race with Alan Puckett, who was the president of Hughes Aircraft Company and who owned Blackbird, an Ericson 46.

The Ericson 46 was not an easy boat to sail, especially if the wind was up, but Kilroy would rather crew for someone else than stay on the beach. Puckett, himself, was a well known sailor in an era when none of us were professionals.

Allen was an avid yacht racer and cruising sailor. Over the years, he raced on 4 boats of his own, including a Lapworth 36 “Alsuna,” a Cal 40 “Alsuna 2,” an Ericson 46 “Blackbird” and finally a Farr 55 “Amazing Grace.” When he was not skippering his own boats, he was also a highly sought-after master navigator, in the days when a sextant, compass, wristwatch, and paper charts were primary, and sometimes only, equipment used. When the first portable personal computers became available, Puckett was one of the first to develop software to assist in navigation and sailing performance analysis.

Vale, Jim Kilroy and Alan Puckett. Smooth seas and fair winds.

Does Hillary Clinton have Parkinson’s Disease?

September 18th, 2016

The Hillary collpase last Sunday has prompted a lot of speculation on her condition. Early on I was inclined to blame her neurological condition on her history of concussion and cerebral vein thrombosis.

That seemed logical, given her history. However, it does not explain her quick recovery. It also has nothing to do with pneumonia.

This video has now convinced me that she has Parkinson’s Disease, and it is fairly advanced. In the video, the physician mentions Apomorphine, which is not morphine but an alpha adrenergic drug used in Parkinson’s Disease.

Currently, apomorphine is used in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease.

What use does it have in Parkinson’s? It is used for “Non-motor symptoms.”

What does that mean ? Parkinson’s Disease is characterized by a serious of motor disabilities.

The cardinal symptoms of Parkinson’s disease are resting tremor, slowness of movement (bradykinesia) and rigidity. Many people also experience balance problems (postural instability). These symptoms, which often appear gradually and with increasing severity over time, are usually what first bring patients to a neurologist for help. Typically, symptoms begin on one side of the body and migrate over time to the other side.

These symptoms are typically controlled with Dopamine like drugs, such as L-Dopa. There are other symptoms less easily controlled.

For example, in advanced cases, difficulty swallowing can cause Parkinson’s patients to aspirate food into the lungs, leading to pneumonia or other pulmonary conditions. Loss of balance can cause falls that result in serious injuries or death. The seriousness of these incidents depends greatly on the patient’s age, overall health and disease stage.


There are also side effects of L Dopa.

L-DOPA therapy is further complicated by the development of movement disorders called dyskinesias after 5 – 10 years of use in most cases.

Dyskinesias are movement disorders in which neurological discoordination results in uncontrollable, involuntary movements. This discoordination can also affect the autonomic nervous system, resulting in, for example, respiratory irregularities (Rice 2002). Dyskinesia is the result of L-DOPA-induced synaptic dysfunction and inappropriate signaling between areas of the brain that normally coordinate movement, namely the motor cortex and the striatum (Jenner 2008).

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Alaska in September.

September 17th, 2016

We spent ten days in Alaska this month. The weather was almost perfect with only one rainy day which coincided with an 8 hour train trip.


We stayed at the Hilton, where I stayed when I was there 23 years ago. We had dinner the first night at Simon and Seaforts, which I considered the best sea food restaurant I had ever visited. For some reason the food was not as good as I remembered but it was still full on Thursday night.

The next morning, we got up early and caught a bus at the Convention Center, called the Eagan Convention Center. There followed a six hour bus ride, broken by a short stop at McKinley Wilderness Lodge, about opposite Mount McKinley (Denali now).


The view from the Lodge is terrific. We were still a long way from our destination, however.

The bus finally dropped us off at The Denali Cabins, which are right outside the park on The Parks Highway.

There we were picked up by another bus, this one to take us to the The Denali Backcountry Lodge, another 92 miles into the park.

The Backcountry Lodge is a private company that occupies (with some passive resistance by the Park Service) some old gold mining claims. It was not there when I visited the Park 23 years ago although the gold claims go back to before the park existed. There is another lodge back there called The Kantishna Roadhouse, and the whole area is a community called Kantishna, although some old prints show that the name was originally Kantshitna. You can’t find a link to the old name but it was there on a photo of an ancient poster.

We left the Denali Cabins at 1 PM and arrived at the Backcountry Lodge at 7:45 PM, a trip of seven hours. Part of that is the 92 miles, of which the last 72 are gravel. Part of the time was spent looking at animals we encountered in the park.


This was the first bear we saw on the way. We also saw caribou.

Caribou single

Here are two about 100 yards away. When I was there before, 23 years ago, we saw caribous cross the road just ahead of us but not this time.

Finally, we arrived at the lodge just in time for dinner, which they had delayed about 45 minutes for us. There were about 30 people staying there and our table mates remained as such the next few days.

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The video guy.

September 14th, 2016


Now there is a guy I would not sell life insurance to.

Hillary Clinton and cavernous sinus thrombosis.

September 13th, 2016

The episode of Hillary Clinton’s collapse at the 9/11 Memorial Sunday has raised some interesting questions. Several years ago, she had a series of neurological events.

Getting a true picture of the events requires that we go to British newspaper sites, as the US media has shielded her for ten years.

1998 Blood Clot
Clinton’s first known blood clot occurred in 1998, while she was still first lady.
Clinton experienced symptoms while attending a fundraiser for Sen. Charles Schumer of New York, who would soon become her Senate home-state colleague. Her right foot swelled up to the point where she couldn’t put on her shoe.
Clinton got quietly taken to the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda for treatment at the time. She was found to have ‘a big clot’ blood clot behind her knee, Clinton wrote in her memoir, ‘Living History.’
She called it ‘the most significant health scare I’ve ever had,’ the Washington Post noted.
According to her physician, Mt. Kisco physician, Lisa Bardack, Clinton was advised at the time to take Lovenox, described as a short-acting blood thinner, when she took flights. The meds were discontinued when she went on Coumadin.

That history has not been discussed, to my knowledge in light of her recent problems.

2009 Blood Clot
Clinton had a second blood clot incident in 2009. The episode was described by her doctor in a 2015 letter.
The doctor didn’t provide a detailed description of the event. Rather, she wrote that Clinton’s ‘past medical history is notable for a deep vein thrombosis in 1998, 2009 and a concussion in 2012.

Her extensive air travel might be a factor in the DVT episodes. This has been referred to as Economy Class Syndrome, and was first described by physicians at London’s Heathrow Airport. There are other factors involved.

In recent years, the association between air travel and the incidence of deep-vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism has become clearer. Epidemiologic studies reveal an increased relative risk of thromboembolism after flights of more than 8 hours and especially in subjects at higher risk for this disease, due, for example, to congenital thrombophilia or the use of oral contraceptives. However, the absolute risk of deep-vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism after prolonged air travel is very small. Studies have shown that a combination of factors present during prolonged air travel may account for increased activation of coagulation. There is no definitive proof that elastic stockings are effective in reducing the incidence of clinically relevant thromboembolism during air travel. Acetylsalicylic acid is not effective in the prevention of thrombosis during air travel and may be dangerous.

Hillary Clinton certainly does not travel “coach class.” What about the concussion?

2012 Blood Clot and Concussion
Clinton got a bad stomach bug and fainted at her home in Washington in 2012, an event that led her to get a concussion. Information about what exactly had happened emerged only slowly over time.
As her doctor put it, ‘In December 2012, Mrs. Clinton suffered a stomach virus after traveling, became dehydrated, fainted and sustained a concussion.’
The then-secretary of state wasn’t seen in public between Dec. 7th and when she left the hospital in New York January 2, 2013.
Clinton experienced ‘double vision for a period of time and benefited from wearing glasses with a Fresnel Prism,’ a special corrective lens, her doctor wrote in a letter voluntarily released to the media in 2015 as part of Clinton’s presidential campaign. Her concussion ‘resolved within two months,’ Bardack wrote.

That is a very severe concussion and would disqualify anyone with that history from the US military. The whole story is suspicious.

Clinton was diagnosed with a blood clot in the brain, transverse sinus venous thrombosis, and began anticoagulation therapy, her doctor wrote.
Clinton had to work from home and postpone planned testimony before a House Benghazi committee.

That is NOT part of a concussion and suggests a much more severe condition.

Cerebral venous and sinus thrombosis (CVST) can present with a variety of clinical symptoms ranging from isolated headache to deep coma. Prognosis is better than previously thought and prospective studies have reported an independent survival of more than 80% of patients. Although it may be difficult to predict recovery in an individual patient, clinical presentation on hospital admission and the results of neuroimaging investigations are–apart from the underlying condition–the most important prognostic factors. Comatose patients with intracranial haemorrhage (ICH) on admission brain scan carry the highest risk of a fatal outcome. Available treatment data from controlled trials favour the use of anticoagulation (AC) as the first-line therapy of CVST because it may reduce the risk of a fatal outcome and severe disability and does not promote ICH. A few patients deteriorate despise adequate AC which may warrant the use of more aggressive treatment modalities such as local thrombolysis. The risk of recurrence is low (< 10%) and most relapses occur within the first 12 months. Analogous to patients with extracerebral venous thrombosis, oral AC is usually continued for 3 months after idiopathic CVST and for 6-12 months in patients with inherited or acquired thrombophilia but controlled data proving the benefit of long-term AC in patients with CVST are not available.

What are the possible consequences of CVST ? A comment in the Wall Street Journal today suggests one.

“The clot does not dissolve or disappear as Clinton camp has inferred. About 1/2 of patients will continue to have a blocked vein, & half will have partial reopening of the vein, but either way, there will always be some insufficiency in drainage…. It is not a question of whether the intracranial pressure increases. It is a question of how severe and how bad are the symptoms that follow…I have treated numerous patients for this very issue—the consequences can lead to significant disability. It deeply concerns me that one of the 2 leading presidential candidates may have such serious health issues…Hillary [must release] her full & unaltered medical records.”

I have seen epidural and subdural hematomas from trauma, sometimes rather trivial trauma, but I have no experience with cavernous sinus thrombosis from trauma. That is usually a consequence of local infection, such as sinus or ear infection.

The next subject is her blue sunglasses, which are often prescribed for seizures. They can be used to treat Photosensitive Epilepsy.

Hmmm… Could those blue sunglasses be cross polarized lenses ?

One of our patients had clinical seizures that were inadequately suppressed with moderate doses of valproate (VPA) but completely suppressed with blue cross-polarized lenses. The second patient’s photoparoxysmal response was suppressed by both parallel-polarized and blue cross-polarized glasses, whereas the third patient’s photoparoxysmal response was not suppressed by either.
These preliminary data suggest that blue cross-polarized lenses may be useful in the treatment of photosensitive epilepsies and that their efficacy can be predicted in the EEG laboratory.

Maybe Hillary needs to release her EEG results.

My brief review of the medical literature shows that cerebral venous thrombosis is rare and I can find no reports of association with trauma or concussion. Something else is going on.