AJ Mysterio

The Platonia Dilemma: Results and Discussion

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Read this topic if you do not know what this is about.

RESULTS

No one wins anything. 

A total of 12 members participated, which was, by the way, much more than I expected for an experiment that went on for just 24 hours. Listed below are the choices the participants made:

3 : @Agent P@Echo@Teddykat@Jazlyn@IntegrationNation@Artistical@Quack, @Archie, @Matt. (9)

15: @Master Flap, @David, @Chaos. (3)

So as you can see, as 3 members went for the 15, nobody wins. Don't blame them, though. I would like to thank all the users who participated. I will post more experiments like this one whenever I'm free!

DISCUSSION

The Platonia Dilemma

As per Wikipedia, (read this carefully) "In the platonia dilemma introduced in Douglas Hofstadter's book Metamagical Themas, an eccentric trillionaire gathers 20 people together, and tells them that if one and only one of them sends him a telegram (reverse charges) by noon the next day, that person will receive a billion dollars. If he receives more than one telegram, or none at all, no one will get any money, and cooperation between players is forbidden." 

The experiment that I conducted was a modified version of the original idea of the platonia dilemma, that I got the idea of from something that surfaced on Twitter a long time ago. You already know how the experiment worked, so let's get to the discussion part.

Superrationality

The most logical thing to do in such scenarios would be to be aware of what others are thinking, and for them to be aware of you being aware of that, and for you be to aware of them being aware of you being aware of that, and so on. This can be called "superrationality". A person is called superrational when they have a perfect rationality, and assume that the others have the same rationality too and that hence everyone would come up with the same solution of a problem. 

In the original platonia dilemma, the superrational thing would be to send a telegram with 1/20 probability. For example, (taking this bit from the Vsauce2 video that we will get to, in a minute), all 20 people can roll a 20-faced dice and send the telegram only when a certain number, say 1, comes up. Hence, the probability of sending a telegram would be 1/20, which means only one of them will send a telegram. You could be wondering why they couldn't come up with something more absolute than probability, but remember that no collusion was allowed. Participants had zero contact among them.

But the original dilemma could either have one winner, or none at all. So in the real and practical world, maximum people would send a telegram since they would win nothing even if they didn't, so might as well try it and maybe, just maybe they would be the only one? But when we take the rationality to one level above, we realize that everyone else would believe the same. Keep taking the rationality to more levels and ultimately you reach the stage of superrationality, where you realize that the best path to take is the 1/20 probability path.

Below is a really good video on the subject from Vsauce2. Thank you @Master Flap for letting me know of the video. The video also contains a part about "Luring Lottery", another really interesting game which is related to this subject.

Spoiler

 

The DCC Edition

From this point on, everything I say is a product of my own thinking and not research, so I might be wrong. Feel free to quote me though. Things get a little more complicated in our version of the dilemma. There can either be one big winner, or everyone wins something, unlike the original where it was either one or none at all. The probability path wouldn't work here. Let's take a look on possible levels of "rationality" (if I may, or rather "levels of being woke") in our experiment:

1: Everyone should send a 3 so everyone wins.

2: Everyone believes 1, so i can send a 15 to win 15.

3. I might not be the only one to believe 2, so instead of winning nothing, maybe it's better to send a 3 and hope everyone else believes the same and I win 3 points.

4: Everyone might believe 3, so maybe I can still send a 15 to win 15.

.. and so on.

The superrational thing here would be to send a 3 (or at least, really close to superrational). The probability is absolutely impossible in this case because no one knows how many participants there are, so deciding the probability of sending a 15 is not possible. Besides, there's the easier option of everyone sending a 3. Sure, one can get the "expected number of participants" by checking the recently active members and other possible things, and take the most likely percentage of active users somehow to get a probability. But I still think going for the 3 is a more rational option. However, this is something that I would love to discuss in detail, should someone disagree with me (calling out Shawn)

One could argue that the "superduperrational" thing would be to assume that everyone being superrational will go for the 3, and you can go for the 15. But superrationality (or superduperrationality) is not about being one level above everyone else's rationality. It's about being at the same level. A very important detail of superrationality is assuming everyone else is superrational too, and hence at the same level, and goes for the same solution, which here would be the 3. If we apply the same rule to the "superduperrationality" (which has to be applied), the concept falls apart, as everyone can not go for the 15. Hence, there can be no such thing as "superduperrationality", and superrationality is the highest level of rationality that one can go to. There is not more certain way of winning a 15 than the superrational way of winning a 3.

Or you can screw rationality and still send a 15 just for the hell of it, because life is complicated enough already.

 

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25 minutes ago, Archie said:

So people who sent 3 are smarter ryt

Well, did you think that this was the most certain way of winning anything, weigh alternative options, and expect everyone else to think the same and then send a 3? Then probably

But in our case, there are a lot of variables at play too which we can't all account for. I mostly explained a close-to-ideal experiment where the participants did not know either other and had no clue about what kind of person they were.

But you believe what you wanna believe, so you're allowed to believe you're smarter

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I was betting on the majority sticking to a 3 because everyone here is so nice and wouldn't cuck someone over like that

but I did have a feeling flap was gonna go for the 15. I wasn't confident, but I decided to gamble on an all or nothing scenario.

1 hour ago, Archie said:

So people who sent 3 are smarter ryt

wow how self absorbed 

@mods add angry reactions so I can angry react to this post

 

and all other posts

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Of course, Chaos was going to go for 15. No doubt about that XD

 

Yeah my reasons for going for 15 are more or less the same as Chaos'. I was kinda hoping no one would else would go for 15... I mean I have nothing to lose. If I went with 15, and no one else did, I'd win. But if someone else did, I'd be preventing them from ruining the ones who went with 3.

I guess it's because I'm a mild sociopath. Now someone tell Shane Dawson to do a docu-series on me.

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10 minutes ago, Master Flap said:

But if someone else did, I'd be preventing them from ruining the ones who went with 3.

Weren't you doing the same, though? :P By sending a 15 you already ruined everyone who went with 3. Not trying to antagonize anyone or anything like that, of course, it's just a game.

40 minutes ago, Chaos said:

I was betting on the majority sticking to a 3 because everyone here is so nice and wouldn't cuck someone over like that

I actually thought the same. Candy and I had a little conversation about everyone being nice on here so the chances of everyone sending a 3 or one member sending a 15 weren't that low.

Btw I should mention that among those who send a 15, there were users who would've sent a 15 but were confused and just sent a 3. I think I was wrong about thinking everyone's too nice here for there to be a lot of 15s. Well there are only three 15s, but there could've been more.

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I find it interesting that the three members who sent the fifteens are extroverted people, whereas most of the threes are more introverted people.

I probably would have sent a 15.

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I suck at decision making, as much as I'm selfish, I still didn't want to ruin it for the others. :P 

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34 minutes ago, Jazlyn said:

I suck at decision making, as much as I'm selfish, I still didn't want to ruin it for the others. :P 

Same lol

I actually sent a 15 first, but then felt kinda bad

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41 minutes ago, Gramps said:

I find it interesting that the three members who sent the fifteens are extroverted people, whereas most of the threes are more introverted people.

I probably would have sent a 15.

That is a VERY interesting observation. I'm not sure if every one of those is an extrovert, but for the sake of this argument let's assume they are. I'm pretty much right between extrovert and introvert, although I'm an ENTP so there's that. I probably would've sent a 15 too.

I guess it has to do with the fact that extroverts are more willing to take risks, and I've observed might be more ambitious too. This is in line with what Flap and Chaos have said about their reasons for going 15.

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57 minutes ago, Gramps said:

I find it interesting that the three members who sent the fifteens are extroverted people, whereas most of the threes are more introverted people.

I probably would have sent a 15.

extrovert???? I've left my house four times this year??

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my reasoning for going with 3 : I feel like if people are going to send 15 then there are going to be more than one person anyway so I don't want to be one of them, in the slight chance that only one person sends a 15 then atleast let them get 15 rather than nobody getting anything, and ofc there's that chance that everyone would have a similar rationale and vote for 3

basically i'm too nice for my own profit

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5 minutes ago, Agent P said:

my reasoning for going with 3 : I feel like if people are going to send 15 then there are going to be more than one person anyway so I don't want to be one of them, in the slight chance that only one person sends a 15 then atleast let them get 15 rather than nobody getting anything, and ofc there's that chance that everyone would have a similar rationale and vote for 3

basically i'm too nice for my own profit

See I have the opposite mindset. Even if I knew multiple people were going to pick 15, I might as well be one of them. If I don't win regardless, I don't care that I'm ruining another 15's chances. It also establishes me as dominant and someone who takes risks; even if I don't win, I have made my decision based on my ethos.

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11 minutes ago, Gramps said:

See I have the opposite mindset. Even if I knew multiple people were going to pick 15, I might as well be one of them. If I don't win regardless, I don't care that I'm ruining another 15's chances. It also establishes me as dominant and someone who takes risks; even if I don't win, I have made my decision based on my ethos.

This is really close to what I would've thought if I was a participant. Man at this point It's not even worth pointing out the similarities in the way we think 😛 

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5 hours ago, AJ Mysterio said:

Weren't you doing the same, though? :P By sending a 15 you already ruined everyone who went with 3.

Yeah, I was explaining why I went with that choice lol :P 

4 hours ago, Gramps said:

I find it interesting that the three members who sent the fifteens are extroverted people, whereas most of the threes are more introverted people.

Idk why 16PF test says I'm extroverted. I'm not. I struggle to talk to people IRL

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5 hours ago, AJ Mysterio said:

Not trying to antagonize anyone or anything like that, of course, it's just a game.

stop-attackanizing-me-attackanizing-4064

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8 hours ago, AJ Mysterio said:

 

Below is a really good video on the subject from Vsauce2. Thank you @Master Flap for letting me know of the video. The video also contains a part about "Luring Lottery", another really interesting game which is related to this subject.

  Hide contents

 

 

On that note, everyone subscribe to MrBeast and PewDiePie! 

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I was under the impression the people on this site were much too reserved or kind hearted to pick a 15, and for the most part I was right. (Seeing as there were only 3 votes for 15) So the chance of a 15 winning on this site felt significantly greater than in another friend circle.

Beyond that, I feel morally inclined not to allow someone else who would cheat the other 3's out of there reward to win, even if that does pose me as a hypocrite. Therefore, I win if I'm the only 15, or I stop someone who shouldn't be winning if I'm not.

It's interesting how the mind perceives itself as an exception for rules it'll freely place on others.

 

 

@GrampsI agree with Chaos can we please get "Love" and "Angry" emotes? xD

Edited by David
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