Life Lessons from the Prisoner’s Dilemma

“​Axelrod attributed the success of TFT [Tit For Tat] to four properties. It is nice, meaning that it is never the first to defect. The eight nice entries in Axelrod’s tournament were the eight highest ranking strategies. It is retaliatory, making it difficult for it to be exploited by the rules that were not nice. It is forgiving, in the sense of being willing to cooperate even with those who have defected against it (provided their defection wasn’t in the immediately preceding round). An unforgiving rule is incapable of ever getting the reward payoff after its opponent has defected once. And it is clear, presumably making it easier for other strategies to predict its behavior so as to facilitate mutually beneficial interaction.”

The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. s.v., “Prisoner’s Dilemma.”

How to Deal With Psychic Vampires

“Psychic vampires, also known as energy vampires, are emotionally immature individuals who drain the time and energy from those around them. They are usually highly self-interested and lack empathy. The relationships they form are largely self serving. You can deal with psychic vampires by identifying psychic vampires in your life, setting firm boundaries with these people, and working on your own sense of self esteem and self worth.”

How to Deal With Psychic Vampires. wikiHow. 

Understanding the basic concept is important if you have a psychic vampire in your life. However, the advice is much too passive. Identify them and cut them out. 

Dying Isn’t the End of the World

“‘Dying isn’t the end of the world,’ my mom liked to joke, after she was diagnosed as terminal. I didn’t really understand it until, suddenly, I did—when my breast cancer became metastatic and incurable. There are so many things that are worse than death: old grudges; a loveless life; insufficient self-awareness; severe constipation; a lack of curiosity; no sense of humor; this grim parking lot.”

—Riggs, Nina. “The Crematorium.”  Catapult. August 8, 2016

Nina Riggs died last month.

Home is a Cup of Tea 

“Home is the aggregate of our journeys, a collection of people and places, memories and experiences, each home building on the last.

It’s the same beauty found in icicles, honeycombs and pearls.

But this doesn’t happen overnight — like José himself said, in our equation for home, and like Zyah and I would always wait, letting our chai steep in the yurt.

Just like a cup of tea, home takes time.”

—Rardon, Candace Rose. “Home is a Cup of Tea.” Longreads.com. July 2017.

Sweet story. The illustrations make it so much better, worth clicking the link to read the piece in its entirety.

Snippets from Saga, vol. 3.

“Life is mostly just learning how to lose…There are two kinds of people left  in this world, consumers and destroyers. We used to have creators, but they all ran away…All good children stories are the same: young creature breaks rules, has incredible adventure, then returns home with the knowledge that the aforementioned rules are there for a reason…Of course, the actual message to the careful reader is: break rules as often as you can, because who the hell doesn’t want to have an adventure?…There’s always money in conflict….It’s the stories with no sides that worry them.”

—Vaughan, Brian K. and Staples, Fiona. Saga, v. 3. Image Comics. 2012.