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5.0 out of 5 stars A masterwork, Jan. 19 2014
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I was so impressed with this work that I telephoned Axelrod to say so. A humble man who has made one of the most significant contributions to negotiation theory in the past 5 decades. This should be required reading in first year law school for all lawyers and, failing that, it should be handed out at every conference on mediation.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Critically important book, Sept. 27 2013
This book is a classic that anyone concerned with human relations must read. From strategy studies, it emerges that initial cooperation followed by reciprocity is virtually always the best policy. A hopeful lesson.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yes, Life-Changing, and Hyper-Connectable, Feb. 12 2004
By 
R. Williams "code slubber" (Los Angeles, CA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Evolution Of Cooperation (Paperback)
A lot of interesting material is spun up from a simple premise: a two round tournament of programs for playing Prisoner's Dilemma. Game theory is one of the great cross-disciplinary topics. As the web is woven with nodes as distinct as Jean Jacques Rousseau and why the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor (a personal favorite for Socratic historical discussions), somehow it not only all makes sense, but you are left with the impression that the topic and the book combine to achieve the brass ring of writing: repeatedly fetching the proufound while remaining clear and simple. (Ironically, this book makes a good companion to readings on Complexity and Emergence. But that makes some sense since those topics have turned to automata and the realization that complexity is most often a function of simple constituents iterated.)
The read this and pass it on advice from the other reviewer here is good, and apropos, as this is about the infection of cooperative strategies in populations.
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5.0 out of 5 stars learning about co-operation, Feb. 28 2004
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"hegedus20" (São Paulo, São Paulo Brazil) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Evolution Of Cooperation (Paperback)
It is really a fantastic book where you can get a lot about the importance of the inter-relationships among people and companies.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A true classic, Jan. 20 2004
By 
wiredweird "wiredweird" (Earth, or somewhere nearby) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Evolution Of Cooperation (Paperback)
This book has information for military theorists, biologists exploring gene regulation, antitrust policy-makers, and Miss Manners. It is a wonderfully clear explanation of how almost any two entities, interacting over time, develop a mutualism more profitable than greed.
The experimental support for these claims comes from a series of contests. Dozens of authors provided computer programs to play in the Iterated Prisoner's Dilemma - a simple model, but one that describes a surprising number of real-world phenomena. Most importantly, it's a testable model. It almost puts a common aspect of social interaction into a test tube. What came out of that test tube was startling in its clarity and simplicity.
The book is very readable. Axelrod segregates the mathematical and non-mathematical discussions with some care. Math-free readers see the whole set of experiments and conclusions, clearly explained, and need to skip only a few paragraphs during the main discussion. The last few chapters reward math-positive readers with additional precision and rigor. Even then, the math is accessible to someone with good high-school algebra skills.
Axelrod's discussion truly timeless, except for references to the Cold War as current events. I can accept that. Even though that un-war is mostly over, it's a critical part of modern history and it still informs current policy. Any insight into that madness helps, and Axelrod is very helpful.
This book stands above any one category. It's one of very few that I recommend to the bookshelves of every educated person.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Case study of the Prisoner's Dilemma, Jan. 8 2004
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This review is from: The Evolution Of Cooperation (Paperback)
Axelrod discusses the Prisoner's Dilemma (classic case in game theory) in an iterated context. A wonderful read. Thorough, concise, and direct. I read it for fun, and enjoyed it. The book stays focused on an theoretical, academic perspective, but uses a few real-world examples.
Be nice, quick forgiving, but instantly retaliatory, so says the book, but you will need to read the book to understand why.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Quite possibly one of the 5 best books I've ever read., Dec 19 2003
By 
Juan Matosas (Buenos Aires, Capital Federal Argentina) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Evolution Of Cooperation (Paperback)
This book is a must for anyone analyzing the dynamics of persons and groups. I've found most useful when analyzing crime prevention policy, and in particular, when searching for the proper structure of legislation. I believe that anyone in a position to design norms, be that legislators, policy analysts or business managers, would find this book of enormous help. It is basically, the rules that govern the basic structure of interaction between multiple players. If you ever need to design or build a "path of least resistance," this is the book for you.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Life-Changing book for everyone, Nov. 10 2003
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This review is from: The Evolution Of Cooperation (Paperback)
Few books really have an impact on our lives. After reading this one, however, I came to realize how the prisoner's dilemna and the ideas and real world examples of cooperation of this book apply to everything around us. I've applied these ideas to my work, my relationships, my game playing and they have clarified and strengthened all of thse areas. And truly, anyone can read this book. Don't be scared away by "game-theory" and "prisoner's dilemna" and "math." It sounds cheesy but I truly believe that if everyone read this book, the would be a better place. READ THIS BOOK!!!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Book on a Very Short List., Oct. 17 2003
By 
Tim H (New York, NY United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Evolution Of Cooperation (Paperback)
Finally something readable and with real content out of the realm of social "science". Noi pretnse and fantasitically cleqrly written.
As a physicist who has had to suffer through lots of non-sense on this sort of topic, I can say this is an exception. But much more so, I have put in on a short list of only ~3 books I recommend to general audience without qualification.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of the most amazing books I've ever read., Dec 28 2002
By 
Peter Marreck "technophile" (Port Washington, NY USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Evolution Of Cooperation (Paperback)
If you're an intellectual and want to read a book that will change your perception of many facets of the world forever, this is the book for you. It's not a long read, but you will spend a lot of time thinking about all its implications as you read it. I found it applicable to everything from inviting people to parties, to business and personal relationships, to species competition, to wondering whether a theoretical race of super-powerful extraterrestrials would enslave us, to... Well, you just have to check it out!
I'm reading the sequel ("The Complexity of Cooperation") right now, which is also amazing. In it he quotes a letter written to him about EoC by a woman who claims that the principle developed in it helped her with her divorce proceedings! How can you miss a book with such broad applications.
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The Evolution Of Cooperation
The Evolution Of Cooperation by Robert Axelrod (Paperback - Oct. 1 1985)
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