Game Theory and Divorce
The Nobel Prize For Game Theory, And Why We Should Care
Funny thing: I recently (2005) met K.C. Cole, a writer I have long admired, and bought her book "The Universe and the Teacup: the Mathematics of Truth and Beauty." In her elegant way, K.C. explains game theory for the layman, and I am shocked to discover it has been around for over 50 years. Heartened to discover that the Nobel prize just awarded was for this research!
In it, many scientists have done research with groups of people in situations where there is less of something than existing demand, and modeled the way people deal with this (common) scenario.
They have come up with ways to assign differing values, to, say, the house in a divorce case, so that the non dollar values (which we all know are the real drivers in most cases) are dealt with.
They have also shown that adversarial methods work badly, if at all. NO one is satisfied. (Duh. We knew that. But this is scientific data which prove it!) In other methods which they have tested, a much higher level of satisfaction is achieved by more players.
Figures. I have known for a LONG time that Family Law was based on fundamental premises that were invalid. "you hurt me and I hurt you" played out at great cost and to the detriment of the children-- it seemed so obvious to me.
But now I find out that science-- yes, science, math, research-- have demonstrated that there are better ways.
God forbid anyone pays attention.
But FYI... "game theory" will, some day, change the ghastly way we do elections (Guess what got Lani Geunier fired by Bill Clinton, right after she got hired-- her math research about sex ed gored his sacred cow!) and divorce cases. You heard it here first.