[FOUNTAIN]Games, lies and stem cells

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[FOUNTAIN]Games, lies and stem cells

The constitution of Israel absolutely bans negotiating with hijackers. It has eliminated the possibility of negotiation from the very beginning. Terrorists have no actual profit even if they do succeed in hijacking a plane. Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph von Schelling, the Nobel Prize winner in economics, advised that one should never negotiate even if it means sacrificing the hostage. The firm attitude gives an advantage to the proponent.
Actually after this law took force, no more Israeli aircraft were hijacked. It examplifies a case of becoming a winner in a hostile game by raising the threat of retaliation.
John F. Nash, a Nobel Prize laureate in economics in 1994, is the hero of the movie “A Beautiful Mind.” When he was 21, he had a psychological war with his friends over a blonde in a bar in front of Princeton University. Everyone was trying to have the beautiful blonde all to himself, but he insisted, “You can achieve the best effect when no one tries to win the beautiful woman.” On that day, he started to write a 27-page thesis, scribbling his thoughts on the library windows. That was the “Nash Equilibrium” that opened a new world of game theory. It proved that even in a non-cooperative game with many participants, there is a solution to achieve equilibrium.
The game theory was powerful enough to win the Nobel Prize in economics, but the start of the discipline was very poor. “Theory of Games and Economic Behavior,” published in 1944 by John von Neumann, professor of Princeton University, with Oskar Morgenstern, was the start. It was a book inspired by poker, which Mr. Von Neumann was addicted to. The book sold less than 4,000 copies in five years, but the Pentagon did not miss the meaning of the book. Through endless persuasion, the Pentagon succeeded in getting Mr. Von Neumann to cooperate in selecting which areas would be the most effective places to drop nuclear bombs in Japan.
Now the stem cell issue of Professor Hwang Woo-suk’s team has reached the stage of a game level. It was revealed that cloned stem cells do not exist and the paper was intentionally falsified. Now the remaining issue is why there were stem cells derived from fertilized eggs of MizMedi in place of patient-specific stem cells.
Game theory is basically cold-blooded. Even the names of the theories sound frightening. Deception, betrayal and extreme revenge lie on the bottom line. Cloned stem cells, which were a hope and a dream, await their fate in front of game theory in just a month. Everyone just feels empty.


by Lee Chul-ho

The writer is an editorial writer of the JoongAng Ilbo.
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