Can you say “Prisoner's Dilemma”


The game,

Two individuals are charged with conspiring in the same crime. They are taken into custody and placed in separate rooms.

Each of the prisoner’s is presented the same situation.

If both prisoners remain silent they get twenty years.

If one prisoner talks (offers evidence on the crime) and the other one doesn’t then the prisoner who gives information goes free while the prisoner who does not gets a long prison term (in this case let’s say forty years).

If both prisoners talk they get a reduced sentence (let’s say ten years).

So you have four possibilities. Both remain silent, both talk, A betrays B or B betrays A. There is no overlap (which is why it’s a dilemma.)

Each prisoner must make their decision based on what they think the other prisoner will do.

There are certain conditions that need to be met.

Both prisoners need to have the same information universe. That is each prisoner needs to know exactly what the other prisoner knows.

Okay, there are some interesting twists to this. Rick Gates is a younger man than Manafort. One may think the other has been secretly offered a pardon. Manafort is bigger but Gates was closer to the campaign for longer. Even if Manafort believes he will get a pardon if Gates provides evidence he knows he may get indicted in New York State on Gates’ information.

Whew, it’s going to be a helluva negotiation. I hope somebody takes notes.