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# The Predictioneer's Game: Using the Logic of Brazen Self-Interest to See and Shape the Future

by

Bruce Bueno de Mesquita is a master of game theory, which is a fancy label for a simple idea: People compete, and they always do what they think is in their own best interest. Bueno de Mesquita uses game theory and its insights into human behavior to predict and even engineer political, financial, and personal events. His forecasts, which have been employed by everyone fro
...more

## Get A Copy

Hardcover, 272 pages

Published
September 29th 2009
by Random House
(first published January 1st 2009)

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## Community Reviews

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Start your review of The Predictioneer's Game: Using the Logic of Brazen Self-Interest to See and Shape the Future

**Rational Self-Interest!***

This guy declares that everyone is an egotist. Nothing very earth shattering there. Then he sets about proving it by name dropping all the important people who have seen fit to pay him money to solve problems.

One gets the feeling that he's missed out on the cottage industry of pop prognostication that has sprung up in recent years (he even mentions how Nate Silver is the son of an old friend) and is desperately trying to get some street cred. It's as if the dad from

*Leav*...more

Nov 12, 2009
Richard
rated it
liked it

Recommended to Richard by:
New York Times

Shelves:
cognition,
nonfiction

De Mesquita's book is on the whole quite interesting, but ultimately very frustrating as well.

The essential idea is that he has created a computer model that simulates the interactions of multiple agents to predict the likelihood and form of an outcome. The basic form of the simulation is an iterated and evolving game. The inputs to the model are, apparently, purely quantitative representations of various attributes of those agents, including influence, salience and preferred outcome; the logic ...more

The essential idea is that he has created a computer model that simulates the interactions of multiple agents to predict the likelihood and form of an outcome. The basic form of the simulation is an iterated and evolving game. The inputs to the model are, apparently, purely quantitative representations of various attributes of those agents, including influence, salience and preferred outcome; the logic ...more

Kenneth Arrow, Stanford University

Organized thought applied to problems can illuminate and help solve them. This easy and enjoyable read is, in many ways, a how-to book for that very ...more

This is the third book of the same author who wrote The Logic of Political Survival, The Dictator's Handbook, and this one. I'm going to read The Logic of Political Survival soon. ...more

Aug 18, 2009
Bethany
marked it as to-read

I don't know that I'll ever actually read this, but there was an interesting article about this guy in the NYT about using game theory to predict whether (or when, actually) Iran will build an atomic bomb.
...more

(today's topic) how you should buy a car, how corporate look at litigation cases, accounting scandals, North Korea nuclear problem, Iraq and Iran, Pakistan, and global warming!

(historic topic): Catholic church, WWI and ...more

However. If techno-utopianism and Silicon-Valley type "the algorithm is God" optimism irritates you, this is going to as well. The author is not as smart as he likes to think he is and is regularly guilty of blurring the lines between the mathematical predictions of his model and the interpretation of the numbers (which is often better with hindsight). An inter ...more

Sep 17, 2015
Devyn Duffy
rated it
really liked it

Recommends it for:
readers interested in basic game theory, political history, and/or forecasting

Recommended to Devyn by:
found it at the library

The Predictioneer's Game is an intriguing book about how political scientist and consultant Bruce Bueno de Mesquita has used game theory to build proprietary computer models to predict and even engineer events.

The book starts accessibly with an introduction to game theory and an example of how the author applies it to buying a car. The rest of the book is three threads woven together. One is stories of how Bueno de Mesquita used his models to help a corporation's executives get out of severe cr ...more

The book starts accessibly with an introduction to game theory and an example of how the author applies it to buying a car. The rest of the book is three threads woven together. One is stories of how Bueno de Mesquita used his models to help a corporation's executives get out of severe cr ...more

Given (some of) the (extraordinarily) lengthy (long-winded...) reviews on this book (which scared me away from reading the book for a while), I'm going to forego any real recap of the book. If you haven't bothered to read any of the more verbose reviews, m ...more

Several researches has shown that general population in developed countries do not behave entirely according to the game theory and they also conclude that the more level of country development is the less pure self-interests affect people behavior.

Well, apparently complex selfishness behavior is not a true case at all for large category of people and especially it is not true for politicians and businessmen. You probably always suspected ...more

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**Bruce Bueno de Mesquita**is a political scientist, professor at New York University, and senior fellow at the Hoover Institution. He specializes in international relations, foreign policy, and nation building. He is also one of the authors of the selectorate theory.

He has founded a company, Mesquita & Roundell, that specializes in making political and foreign-policy forecasts using a computer model ...more

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