I wish I knew game theory

I wish I knew game theory.

Here is the problem:

There are conventional companies, secret intelligence agencies, and countries.

companies belong to one country, and companies can use secret intelligence agencies to spy on any other company, and the country has the ability to regulate how it’s companies can use it’s secret intelligence agencies to spy (as in, how much spying it allows it’s company to use.)

The players are countries and the reward is the net corporate fitness. What is the equilibrium state of this system?

Here are the factors to consider. If the companies do not spy, it will obviously fail to anticipate other companies products and pricing, and therefore will fail to compete effectively.

If all the company does is to spy, then it loses the ability to be productive and create original products or form independent product lines. When the company loses enough capability as it spends more and more time copying and coping with competitors, then it dies.

Here are some other possibilities: What if the company only spied on foreign companies? Or the country directs the spying activities to manipulate which company succeeds and which one doesn’t?

What are the optimal strategies for countries?

What if companies can chose to accept spying offered by the country or not, what would be their optimal strategies?

…. damn it, wish I paid more attention in my game theory class in college.


The 6-2-10 system–How to Deal with the Chinese Population Problem

Star Trek VII is on Hulu right now… I got very excited… watched for a while at work, and remembered that I hate Star Trek. For some reason, through four decades of the franchise, there have never been a Chinese person on the show. Given that the population is a quarter of humanity now, …, sigh, …, maybe the sci-fi writers of Star Trek decided that WW III wiped the Chinese out?

And the Chinese space program continues separately from the “International Effort”…. sad..

Anyways, back to my main point. In my youth, while I was still dreaming of a peaceful, advanced future where human can face all challenges because of our ingenuity and humanity…, I once had an idea.

So, China is “over populated” and most people are forced to retire around age of 50… just when they have accumulated experience.

So, a fairly naive idea is to take the day, split it into three 8 hour segments.


and have people put into phased days. Some people have living schedule such that they work 6-2, others 2-10, and a few 10pm to 6 am. Let’s refer this as the 6-2-10 system, as compared to 9-5 system.

(And this goes for universities, most companies, manufacturing… the only thing that it wouldn’t work for is probably farmers…, which, well, that’s for a separate blog)

They would have to build office space (and possible living quarters) such that people can share the same office space, during the three phases.  But once this is done, the only thing is to coordinate traffic so that people commuting to work and from work can pass freely. And this should also be easy because people going from home to work and from work to home will be less this way than a 9-5 system. And when they share roads, the roads will be utilized better because both to and from work will be used simultaneously, instead of all going to work and all coming from work.

And Japan, and Korea, any where there is dense large populations, this system can be applied, and suddenly, we lessen the crowd, and people will be allowed to work past their retirement age in China.

Also, in the 6-2-10 system, there won’t be a need for day light saving time. The entire day light will be used. Granted, some extra resources will be consumed to light offices and schools to allow them to see from 6-8ish, and from 6ish pm – 10pm. But that is a solvable problem.

I guess, grudgingly, I should credit the show Star Trek for making me aware of this possibility. There was actually one episode where they switch from a 3-cycle day to a 4-cycle day to increase the efficiency of those working. (because they work shorter but more intensely) Even though they don’t like the Chinese, they may have inadvertently solved a problem for them.

What are some problems with the 6-2-10 system?

I guess one obvious one is that the society will be segregated into three segments. The effect on society is unfathomable.

Also, how would you either assign or choose which period you worked in? (What would be fair? What would work well?)

How would you deal with the extra resources (electricity) needed to make this happen? How would you transition into this system from a standard 9-5 system?

When would you collect the garbage if an office space is occupied 24 hours a day?

We don’t have this problem in America of course… But Asia certainly face this problem.

 And, I’d like to claim that the 6-2-10 system is far superior to the 1-child policy as a means to deal with the “Chinese Populaiton Problem”.

That foreign concept of prioritization

In my earlier youth, I once heard my childhood friend mention to me that he knows the solution to all my problems:

“You have to learn to prioritize, Huan!”

he said, full of confidence…. I heard this for the first time in my life. He speaks of my not having a gf in college. He’s much more westernized than I am, dating multiple women at once, clubbing with a different one every night…

“What’s important in your life? You have to prioritize your life.”

Later, I start to realize that prioritization should not be so foreign to me… Even if he is more westernized in his womenizing ways, he has firmer grasp of the Chinese culture than I. The Chinese culture is full of hiearchies and prioritizations.

One obvious one is this list of things one is to do in sequence:

…修身 齐家 治国 平天下…

from 《礼记·大学》. It says, one is to excercise the body, get a wife, serve the country, and bring the peace to the world–in that order. The ancient scholars beleived that that was the right approach to life, and that each preceding action is a prerequisite for each action following it. i.e. You must have a good body in order to get a wife, and you must have a wife before you can serve the country.

Of course, one can microscopically argue that this is not exactly true. But, in the large, this statement of dependency and life style is what people (western or easter) actually live.

… What made me realize this today was when I explained to co-workers how Chinese men will take their wife home on Chinese new years eve, then goto her home the next day, then goto other relatives home in order of age in the following fifteen days to bid them new year wishes of fortune and health…

It suddenly dawned on me. I think this way very explicitly… despite my not having realized the fact explicitly…

Of course, I’m not arguing that this is for the best or not. My childhood friend is doing well in life, better than myself. But ultimately, I guess, self awareness is what I have gained.