The Futility of Game Theory: A Murder Mystery

An economics professor at the University of Pennsylvania is charged with brutally murdering his wife. The University only says that somebody else will teach his course. I have no idea whether he is guilty or not, but the press reports seem to have convicted him.

I found the story interesting for 2 reasons. First, the Times reports: “Robb was an expert in game theory, a complex melding of psychology, human behavior and economics — all aimed at determining what one’s adversary will do next. With that background, police say, Robb may have thought he could outsmart them.” Although the police claim that his efforts to outwit them were amateurish.

How could anyone expect a game theorist to have any expertise in the game of murder?

Second, in light of the strong punishment for Ward Churchill’s evil misdeeds, the university gives this man the benefit of the doubt, just saying that someone else will teach the class.

I wonder how much outrage there would have been if he had been an outspoken leftist.


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