1016: Valentine Dilemma
Title text: The worst resolution to the Valentine Prisoner's Dilemma when YOU decide not to give your partner a present but your PARTNER decides to testify against you in the armed robbery case.
This comic brings to everyone's attention that Valentine's Day is tomorrow! Don't forget to get your cards/flowers/dinner reservations for that special someone. On to the comic. Both Megan and Cueball are agonizing over what to get each other for Valentine's Day. Both panic and do weird things.
The prisoner's dilemma is a canonical example of a game analyzed in game theory that shows why two individuals might not cooperate, even if it appears that it is in their best interest to do so. Wikipedia has a great example of prisoner's dilemma, which illustrates it very well:
- Two men are arrested, but the police do not possess enough information for a conviction. Following the separation of the two men, the police offer both a similar deal—if one testifies against his partner (defects/betrays), and the other remains silent (cooperates/assists), the betrayer goes free and the cooperator receives the full one-year sentence. If both remain silent, both are sentenced to only one month in jail for a minor charge. If each 'rats out' the other, each receives a three-month sentence. Each prisoner must choose either to betray or remain silent; the decision of each is kept quiet. What should they do?
In this way, both Cueball and Megan are kept separate, each not knowing what the other is going to do for Valentine's Day in the Valentine Dilemma as it is named in the title of this comic. And both do weird things for Valentine's Day, which ends up being the perfect result to the Valentine Dilemma as both end up with the same level of weirdness and one doesn't go for the grand gesture, while the other does something small.
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