I was out at dinner with some friends the other day when we started talking about Tiger Woods, his recent accident, and admission of “transgressions.” One of my friends wondered why, in these types of “star infidelity” stories, you hear about multiple incidents all at once. There’s almost never just one and they’ve almost always been going on for many months, if not years. In the case of Woods, the tryst with the cocktail waitress Jaimee Grubbs lasted 31 months, that’s two and a half years!

As we were trying to come up with some reasons, my nascent economics brain came up with this theory. It’s your classic Prisoner’s Dilemma. (I had already enjoyed a pint of Guinness and was working on my second when I put together this theory, so my brain was working all cylinders)

Prisoner’s Dilemma

Prisoner’s Dilemma works as follows: Two suspects are arrested by police and interrogated separately. The police don’t have enough to convict either and they need one to turn on the other. If neither turns, they both get six months sentences for a lesser charge. If one confesses, they get no time while the other gets put in the slammer for ten years. If they both confess, they both get five years in jail.

The idea is that the best scenario is for them to keep quiet, both take the six months, though on an individual basis there’s almost no incentive to ever keep quiet. If they understand the idea of the Prisoner’s Dilemma and believe the other person does as well, then they are more likely to keep quiet.

How It Applies

The chances of any star athlete or movie star having just one affair is pretty slim, so chances are the star has multiple partners in several cities. If you read stories of NBA players, you’ll hear tall tales of having a mistress in every NBA city. So you take that idea and the fact that if each one of them keeps quiet, they enjoy a steady paycheck of dinners and gifts (like cars and apartments). This is the equivalent of a prisoner keeping quiet.

If you talk to the press, you kill the golden goose for a quick media fueled payday. That’s why no one ever talks until they see the end of the road. $100,000 and your name smeared in the press for a few years as a home wrecker is hardly appealing. However, when news of potential philandering leaks, everyone’s brain goes to the same place – they see the other side confessing. They see the ten years in jail (end of gifts and attention) and want that payday… so they confess.

Then the rush is on. 🙂

This isn’t another post about how you should be careful about what you say because it could be discovered by your employer (or potential employer) because that would be a case of tunnel vision. Be mindful of what you write in your blog because anyone can potentially find it… future boyfriends/girlfriends, employers, friends, etc.

If you haven’t done this before (and I have) then you’re probably going to in about three seconds, google someone you know. Heck, google yourself and see what happens. If you have a common name like me, then it doesn’t matter because there are a million Jim Wang’s. Even if you were like my friend Chih-Wei Yi, there are a lot more Chih-Wei Yi’s then you’d imagine. (The first site titled Chih-Wei Yi is not him).

But… if you dig a little harder, you will find almost anyone you can think of. With more searching, you’ll probably find that person’s blog and all the information they thought was only being shared with close friends.

So… be careful about the image you project (especially if you like to rant on your blog, like me!) and what your blog says about you.

There’s been a lot of noise over AOL’s recent release of nearly 500 megs of search data (with usernames replaced with numbers) and then their removal of that info from their research pages. Google recently told the DOJ it wouldn’t release search data because it was infringe on their user’s privacy and they were right.

Now check this Minority Report-esq find by Markus of Plentyoffish… check out the search queries of User 17556639 and postulate what this user is trying to find out more about. Looks like AOL opened up the can of worms that was bound to be opened and we’ll have to see how this all shakes out.

Clic here for mirrors to the data and some more info about this… this information is all over the web.

What’s The Big Deal About Emurse.com?

by jim on July 13th, 2006

Think of Emurse.com as a resume clearinghouse. You can upload or manually enter in your resume, track where it goes (if you don’t mind sending a little Big Brother-ish clear GIF along in your emails), and create a webpage for it. If you enter a Word document, it doesn’t get processed and entered in as an Emurse resume, it’s like a separate pariah of a resume that isn’t really in the system. I don’t understand what the big hoopla about this is… or it a case of another app that all the Web 2.0-ish companies out there are just pimping because it’s one of their friends?

Someone please explain why this is so wonderful.

Hugh Hewitt makes an excellent point about how the rail attacks in Madrid, the London subway bombings and the recent Mumbai (Bombay) subway bombings all could easily happen in the United States if not for the effectiveness of our law enforcement and intelligence agencies but that all of this is put into jeapardy by mainstream media hungry to reveal whatever they can in the search for “truth.”

It may take a decade, or a generation, or even longer, but if these papers survive (and there is great doubt on that score at least as regards the Los Angeles Times) a day will come when their editors issue an apology for the fecklessness. It will be too late for some future victims, but like Walter Duranty, Keller and Baquet will eventually be discredited and their papers shamed.

Sometimes people need to step out of their self-righteous role (that they often put upon themselves) and see what should be done for the greater good.

I Hate Stocks

by jim on June 7th, 2006

The stock market is like going to a casino without the free drinks and the cocktail waitresses pretending to like you.

I Have No Clue How Cricket Is Played

by jim on April 28th, 2006

The fact that someone can bat for nine-and-a-half hours probably means the game is a lot longer than it really needs to be.

Reuters India

Oil + Stupid Politicians = Stupid

by jim on April 27th, 2006

California Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer lambasted President Bush and VP Dick Cheney today for the rise in gasoline prices, then jumped in a 18mpg Chrysler LHS to go to her Senate off a block away. New York Democratic Senator Charles Schumer took the one block ride in a Hyundai Elantra.

What a joke.

What is this going to be about?

by jim on April 25th, 2006

I have a blog about grilling, a blog about money, but not one about all the cool things I find and all the things I want to comment about. So… this will be for that. For the etcetera.