The Wary Guerrilla, Part III: Predictions

This project searches for a wary guerrilla using an ultimatum game as a tool. An ultimatum game is an economic dilemma “where one of the players can firmly commit himself in advance under a heavy penalty that he will insist under all conditions upon a certain specified demand (which is called his ultimatum)” (Harsanyi, 1961, 190).

In other words (Nowak, Page, and Sigmund, 2000, 1773):

In the Ultimatum Game, two players are offered a chance to win a certain sum of money. All they must do is divide it. The proposer suggests how to split the sum. The responder can accept or reject the deal. If the deal is rejected, neither player gets anything. The rational solution, suggested by game theory, is for the proposer to offer the smallest possible share and for the responder to accept it. If humans play the game, however, the most frequent outcome is a fair share. In this paper, we develop an evolutionary approach to the Ultimatum Game.

This finding has been repeatedly confirmed as existing even among atypical American populations (Bethwaite & Tompkinson, 1996) and in communities around the globe (Bowles & Gintis, 2000; Gowdy, Iorgulescu, & Onyweiwu, 2003).


In some economic games, income, education, small town origin, and sex (female) increases empathy (Sautter, 2006). Men may be more favorably disposed to cooperators than females (Price, 2006) but also are less empathetic toward punished cheaters (Singer et al., 2006). Players in general are generous to helpless fellows (Oppewal & Tougareva, 1992). Likewise, there are robust distinct player types of altruists, free-riders, and generally cooperative people (Kurzban & Houser, 2005). Players reject small offers rarely but more than would be predicted by game theory (Eckel, Johnson & Wilson, 2002). Along with this, players often give more than should be expected (Thaler, 1989; Fong & Bolton, 1997). The operating assumption is that these behaviors will be exhibited by wary guerrillas, as both wary guerrillaism and these traits appear to be expressions of a pro-social orientation. Thus we propose the the following hypotheses:

1.The Wary Guerrilla is correlated with small town origin

2.The Wary Guerrilla is correlated with income

3.The Wary Guerrilla is correlated with sex

This research further advances the notion that political orientation matters. If anxiety leads one to pay more attention to politics (Wolak & Marcus, 2006), if some people are chemically pre-disposed to care about politics more than others (Carmen, 2006), and if greater partisanship leads one to vote more often (Fowler, 2006), than perhaps political orientation impacts gameplay. A positive finding here would help bridge the gap between politics and psychology. Unlike the remaining hypotheses, absolutism is not taken from a single measure, but rather from a scale calculated as follows: HOrienC = hdanger + hobey – hreward – hcompro + htradit + hwelfar + honevce + hhumnat + hetcode + hpunish. (See Appendix B for variable definitions).

4.The Wary Guerrilla is correlated with absolutism

This research also asserts than an interaction effect with organizations exists. Pre-existing group norms (Henrich, et al., 2005; Kay, Wheeler, Bagh, & Ross, 2004) and group experiences (Henrich, et al., 2001; Gil-White, 2004; Larrick & Blount, 1997) matter, and group membership can provide this. Not all groups will honestly advertise their ideology to their membership (Johnson, 2006). For some learning domains, positive reinforcement is vital (Bruning & Horn, 2000), and organization membership can provide this positive reinforcement. Additionally, insecurity has an interaction with preferences (Huddy, Feldman, & Weber, 2006), and it seems likely that insecurity would also cause people to join family-like organizations. Greek societies, fraternities and sororities, would thus be likely locations of wary guerrillas if wary guerrillaism is a learned behavior.

5.The Wary Guerrilla is correlated with Fraternity or Sorority Membership status

While specific religions are sometimes associated with violence in the minds of people (Abrahamian, 2002; Gerges, 1997), perhaps the real determinant is general religiosity. Ancient religious terror groups were very highly organized (Rapoport, 1984) and their analogues still exist (Rapoport, 1988). Religion has played a major role in both successful and failed liberation struggles against powerful states (Bosch, 1974; Rapoport, 1979; Husband 1988) and has been offered as a possible cause of suicide terrorism (El Sarraj & Butler, 2002). Additionally, among religious traditions where an alternative to faith is eternal damnation, religiosity may be correlated with riskier behavior (Miller, 2000). Logically, religion may indicate non-secular preferences (Euben, 2002) or secular preferences working on religious themes. Religiosity may enable even rational actors to behave in apparently irrational ways (Iannaccone, 1990, 1995, 1997, 1998). The Wary Guerrilla is an obvious candidate for a type that would engage in this behavior.

6.The Wary Guerrilla is correlated with religious feeling


The Wary Guerrilla, a tdaxp series
1. Abstract
2. Terrorism
3. Predictions
4. An Experiment
5. Results
6. Absolute Guerrilla
7. Those Who Cause Less Pain
8. Future Research
9. Political Implications
10. Bibliography

The Fascist Right

At a time when a Center Right-Center Left coalition government may be in the works, where President Bush and Speaker Pelosi concentrate on victory in Iraq, immigration reform, minimum wage reform, tax relief, and other important issues, elements of the blogosphereic right continue to come unhinged.

The latest rabid right suggestion? A draft. Yup, it’s not just for the party of slavery anymore.


Fascism and Liberty in the American Right

Mark Krikorian, writing at The Corner:

But I still think there would be enormous social benefits to universal (male) military service. I’ve long thought the way to reconcile this would be to have one-year mandatory service in the National Guard (or the reserves or the militia, which some states still have) — this would be separate from the active-duty military and could in fact serve as a recruiting vehicle for regular service. Essentially, this would amount to one year (say, July to July after graduation from high school) of basic training and emergency assistance (floods and the like), after which you either try to get in to the regular military or go on with your life.

Mario Loyla posted a technical rejection of the idea, against which Mark held on to his call for state-imposition of a militarized populace, As far as I can tell, no one on the blog has criticized him for his view’s authoritarianism.

Update: More on the rabid right from Mark of ZenPundit.

Update 2: The Corner‘s Andrew Stuttaford steps up:

Well, Mark, it may be ‘libertarian cowflap’ to you, but the argument that the state has no right to kidnap its young people has considerable moral force. In fact, it’s unanswerable. As for a draft being a device to inculcate patriotism, that rather depends on the type of patriotism you are trying to teach. If it’s an American patriotism, it won’t wash. The fundamental Anglo-American notion of liberty as it has evolved since at least the late 17th Century includes the idea that the state should not have the right to compel its citizens’ labor in this way. Thus the British naval press gangs of the 18th Century are still remembered with disgust and thus the fact that male conscription was only introduced in the UK two years into the First World War. It’s no coincidence that the one time in recent British history where we saw a peacetime draft (‘national service’ was the preferred euphemism) was between 1945 and 1960, an era when collectivist ideas prevailed, ideas, incidentally, that were reinforced and spread by the conscription process. Yes, a draft might produce a docile citizenry fit to delight a Rodham, a Blair, or a big government conservative, but other than in a profound national emergency (and compelling youngsters to dig ditches or whatever does not seem to fall into that category) it ought to have no part in a America still run according to the ideals of its founders. Is encouraging patriotism and a pride in this country a good thing? Absolutely. But is a draft the way to do it? No.

It’s worth adding that, beyond the moral and political objections, there are, of course, the practical ones. Militarily, conscription would misallocate resources away from the creation of the specialist, technically advanced and highly trained armed services that are needed today, while the creation of non-military ‘national service’ would simply mean that government would delegate some of the functions it now performs incompetently, inadequately or, usually, both, to a force of underpaid, discontented and untrained conscripts who would make even more of a mess of it. That is not the way to go.

Thank God that the rabid right hasn’t taken over all of the blogosphere.

Open Thread II

On December 7, 2004, the first day of this blog’s existence, I complained about the terrible, centralized nature of US public schools.

On December 7, 2005, the first anniversary of this blog’s life, I bragged about my readership. Since then, things have along gotten better. The worst month I’ve had since then is better than the best month until then.

On December 7, 2006, tdaxp‘s second anniversary, I created an open thread, to correct the centralized (that is, written by me) authorship of this blog.

The open thread was a very successful experiment. Nineteen comments were left, on the subjects of depopulation, Pinochet’s death, forums v. blogs, and some light theology.

So to keep the conversation open, this is Open Thread II. Post whatever you want, any question you have for others or any comment you want the world to hear.

Enjoy!