Apr. 27th, 2003

greyine: (Default)
A ponderance:
On the poly community, the opinion was recently brought up that in order for polyamory to work, there has to be a sense of the other person's happiness outweighing your own, with the understanding that your happiness will outweigh their own. Now, I've come to believe this isn't a good thing in general, polyamorousness or not, and my SO agrees: it fosters codependence, and you can't love someone else fully before you love yourself. That aside, the concept of each person acting sub-optimally for themselves in order to make the situation as a whole come out optimally is at the heart of popular gaming theory. A common gaming problem is this: if neither of us talks, we'll each get 1 year in prison. If one turns in the other, the turn-coat gets off scott-free and the other gets 3 years. If we both turn in each other, we both get 3 years. The best solution is for us both to take our one year in prison and resist the temptation to make a deal for a better offer. This very rarely occurs in practice, though, because of the greedy nature of human beings. So, gaming theory does indeed foster an atmosphere of codependence - you are dependent on your partner or teammates for an optimal result. Where, then, are the core incompatibilities in applying game theory to happiness in relationships, if codependence is necessary for one and (IMO) unhealthy for the other? Perhaps the difference is in the definition of "optimal" solution, as it is difficult to quantify an optimal solution in a relationship as simply as outlined in the gaming example above. Hm. I wonder how one would go about quantifying an optimal solution for a polyamorous relationship?

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greyine

May 2003

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