Whether sociology can ever become a full-fledged "science" (a description of a class of events predictable on the basis of deductions from a constant rationale) depends on whether the terms which sociologists employ to describe events can be analyzed into quantifiable observables.— Anatol Rapoport
The most charming Anatol Rapoport quotes that are new and everybody is talking about
To gain knowledge, we must learn to ask the right questions;
and to get answers, we must act, not wait for answers to occur to us.
Do you know that all great spurts in.
..progress came just after some unorthodox ideas or exotic impressions had penetrated into a closed system?
A thorough understanding of game theory, should dim these greedy hopes.
Knowledge of game theory does not make one a better card player, businessman or military strategist.
The moral development of a civilization is measured by the breadth of its sense of community.
A theorem is a proposition which is a strict logical consequence of certain definitions and other propositions.
The outcome of a non-constant-sum game may be dictated by the individual rationality of the respective players without satisfying a criterion of collective rationality.
It is the shortcomings of game theory (as originally formulated) which force the consideration of the role of ethics, of the dynamics of social structure, and of social structure and of individual psychology in situations of conflict.
Centralization of society's vital services in giant computer centers, reservoirs, nuclear power plants, air- traffic control centers, 100-story skyscrapers, and government compounds increases its vulnerability. ... choosing his targets, today's saboteur could pollute a city's water supply, dynamite power transmission towers, cripple an airport control center, destroy a corporate or government computer center.
It is misleading in a crucial way to view information as something that can be poured into an empty vessel, like a fluid or even energy.
Although the drama of games of strategy is strongly linked with the psychological aspects of the conflict, game theory is not concerned with these aspects. Game theory, so to speak, plays the board. It is concerned only with the logical aspects of strategy.
(Game theory is) essentially a structural theory.
It uncovers the logical structure of a great variety of conflict situations and describes this structure in mathematical terms. Sometimes the logical structure of a conflict situation admits rational decisions; sometimes it does not.
The transition from the concept of information in the technical (communication engineering) sense to the semantic (theory of meaning) sense was indeed difficult, if not impossible.
The "flow of information" through human communication channels is enormous.
So far no theory exists, to our knowledge, which attributes any sort of unambiguous measure to this "flow".
The military forces of the revolutionary adversary are diffuse.
One is never sure whether one has destroyed them unless one is ready to destroy a large portion of the population, and this usually conflicts with the political aim of the war and hence also violates a fundamental Clausewitzian principle.
In the US. Infantry Manual published during World War II, the soldier was told what to do if a live grenade fell into the trench where he and others were sitting: to wrap himself around the grenade so as to at least save the others. (If no one "volunteered," all would be killed, and there were only a few seconds to decide who would be the hero.)
On the question of whether a behavioral science can in principle be constructed, we shall take no sides. That some kinds of human behavior can be described and even predicted in terms of objectively verifiable and quantifiable data seems to us to have been established.
One cannot play chess if one becomes aware of the pieces as living souls and of the fact that the Whites and the Blacks have more in common with each other than with the players. Suddenly one loses all interest in who will be champion.
Cooperate on move one; thereafter, do whatever the other player did the previous move.
The purpose of formulating [a] conflict as a game is not that of resolving the conflict by 'solving the game.' It is that of displaying the structure of the conflict and thereby exposing features of it that may be concealed by rhetoric. In particular, appreciation of the peculiar structure of some of the so-called mixed - motive conflicts represented nonzero-sum games may change the conflicting parties' perception of their situation.
[It is a] well-known fact that the likely contacts of two individuals who are closely acquainted tend to be more overlapping than those of two arbitrarily selected individuals.
The outstanding feature of behavior is that it is often quite easy to recognize but extremely difficult or impossible to describe with precision.
Whether game theory leads to clear-cut solutions, to vague solutions, or to impasses, it does achieve one thing. In bringing techniques of logical and mathematical analysis gives men an opportunity to bring conflicts up from the level of fights, where the intellect is beclouded by passions, to the level of games, where the intellect has a chance to operate.
The usefulness of the models in constructing a testable theory of the process is severely limited by the quickly increasing number of parameters which must be estimated in order to compare the predictions of the models with empirical results.
It is one thing to say that the dwelling has symbolic and cosmological aspects.
.. and another to say that it has been erected for ritual purposes and is neither shelter nor dwelling but a temple.