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How Game Theory, Strategy and Probability Rule Our Lives

By Dr. Haim Shapira​​

Life is a game. Learn how to play it.

Every day, in every element of our lives, we make decisions. Consciously and unconsciously, big and small, exciting and mundane, all of our actions are borne out of some kind of internal or interactive choice. When you see an attractive person, do you decide to approach them? What are the odds of them rejecting you? Whether it’s husbands and wives or international state leaders, compromise, negotiation, and weighing up the odds are always at play.

In ​Gladiators, Pirates and Games of Trust: How Game Theory, Strategy, and Probability Rule OurLives, Dr. Haim Shapira, author of 7 bestselling books, and holder of two mathematics PhDs, explains the principles, possibilities, and probabilities of life, in a fascinating and understandable way. Game Theory, the mathematical formalisation of interactive decision making, is the key to understanding the many factors and various outcomes of the situations being played out around you. While pure math feels rigid and rational, game theory takes into account the psychology and unpredictability of real people, making it relatable and applicable for everyone. Dr. Shapira doesn’t try to make readers agree with him, but simply encourages them to enjoy thinking.

This book provides humorous anecdotes and insightful examples of how our daily lives are affected by Game Theory. Game Theory assumes that each player’s goal is to maximise their benefit, whatever it may be. Players may be friends, foes, political parties, states, or anyone that behaves interactively, whether as a group or as an individual. Dr. Shapira uses multiple examples to explain what Game Theory is and how the different interactions between decision makers can play out. In this book you will:

  • Meet the Nobel Prize Laureate John F Nash and familiarise yourself with his celebrated equilibrium
  • Learn the basic ideas of the Art of Negotiation
  • Visit the Gladiators’ ring and apply for a coaching position
  • Build an airport and divide inheritance
  • Issue ultimatums and learn to trust

Dr. Shapira’s conclusions and theories are spectacularly thought-provoking. This book explains how moral qualities such as honesty, integrity, trust, and caring are essential for a sound economy and a healthy society, and it encourages us to analyse and reassess our own personal goals and how we achieve them. ​Read this book to discover how you’re playing and how you’re being played.

About the author:

Dr. Haim Shapira is an expert in Game Theory, a writer, and an accomplished concert pianist. He holds two PhDs from Tel Aviv University (Mathematical Genetics and Science Education), is one of Israel’s most in-demand lecturers, and is the author of seven best-selling books. He teaches mathematics, psychology, philosophy, and literature, and fascinates audiences around the world giving lectures at leading venues and events, including Harvard and London’s Jewish Book Week.