September 21, 1986 |
On its new second album, The Big Shot Chronicles (Enigma ), the San Francisco quartet Game Theory has assembled a collection of beguiling, frequently beautiful, pop songs. This is not to say, however, that the music is lulling or (merely) pretty. Guitarist-songwriter Scott Miller, also credited with providing the "miserable whine," is one smart fellow, able to surround his romantic agony and caterwaul with intricate, frequently lovely and often hard-rocking melodies. The potential hit single is certainly "Erica's Word," but the song title of the month is "I've Tried Subtlety.
November 29, 1987 |
Lolita Nation (Enigma ), the new two-record set by the young Northern California band Game Theory, is a giant leap for this band. The eccentric tendencies only suggested on the quintet's previous releases come to the fore here but miraculously without turning four sides of music into a self-indulgent hash. Although the group is inordinately fond of the sort of aural collages that blend instrumental tracks and bits of taped conversation, the melodies remain prominent, and the band's use of lyrics (words employed almost abstractly, as sound syllables used to keep the meter, and not necessarily to make sense)
January 29, 1988 |
Game Theory deserves a lot better than it's gotten in terms of mass recognition and rewards. Stylistically, these pop theoreticians are a cool, contemporary band like REM, the dBs and the late, lamented Smiths. Game Theory also compares favorably to some of the pop luminaries of 20 years ago. College radio DJs love Game Theory's loopy tunes and dense, fevered lyrics - which often dwell on the themes of youthful alienation and playing the game of life. Unfortunately, Game Theory doesn't sell a whole lot of platters and tapes off campus for Enigma Records, a subject about which the group's principal singer/songwriter and guitarist Scott Miller has a lot of ideas.
October 11, 2005 |
Robert J. Aumann and Thomas C. Schelling won the Nobel Prize in economics yesterday for establishing game theory as the dominant approach to understanding conflict and cooperation between countries, individuals and businesses. Game theory is a branch of mathematics that uses models to study strategies that can be applied to price wars, labor negotiations, arms races and warfare. Aumann, 75, an Israeli American, and Schelling, 84, an American, were honored for their contribution to understanding why "some groups of individuals, organizations and countries succeed in promoting cooperation while others suffer from conflict," said the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, which selects the winner.
October 28, 2007 |
Remember the Cold War era, when people obsessed over the medal count during the Olympics? We loved watching plucky American amateurs clobbering the mechanical, godless Reds, every one of them - even their little teenage gymnasts - looming like Ivan Drago. Alas, the Olympics have lost some of their luster after the fall of communism. Gone is the thrill of nationalist rah-rah. It's our Nike-endorsing, semiprofessional athletes against everyone else's Nike-endorsing, semiprofessional athletes, and basically, we're all friends now. Boring.
October 12, 1994 |
A couple is negotiating over vacation plans. He wants Alaska. She wants Europe. He appeals to her sense of adventure, then to her love of the outdoors. But finally, he gives in, knowing from their years of marriage that no strategy will change the mind of his determined spouse. Some would call it common sense, but economists would say the couple's behavior is best explained by a mathematical equation that can be applied equally to the behavior of nations, multinational corporations, grocers and even poker players: They call it the Nash equilibrium.
February 2, 1995 |
Albert William Tucker, 89, former chairman of Princeton University's mathematics department and the formulator of the simple but revealing paradox known as the Prisoner's Dilemma, died last Wednesday at the Presbyterian Home of Meadow Lakes in Hightstown, N.J. The cause was complications of pneumonia. A Princeton resident, Mr. Tucker began his career as a topologist and is best known for his pioneering work in linear and non-linear programming and game theory. He joined Princeton University in 1933, rising to full professor in 1946.
December 24, 2006 |
The wife of a University of Pennsylvania professor has been found beaten to death inside the couple's home in Upper Merion. Authorities last night said that Rafael Robb phoned Upper Merion police at 1:45 p.m. Friday to report that his wife, Ellen, was dead in the kitchen of their home on the 600 block of Forest Road. He told police that he had last seen her that morning, when he left in his BMW to go to his office at Penn's Wharton School, according to a statement released by Upper Merion Township police and the Montgomery County District Attorney's Office.
October 9, 2000 |
For his part, Nobel Prize-winning mathematician John Forbes Nash Jr. is self-effacing and reticent about his remarkable life odyssey. Not so Richard Josiassen. "He's an icon," said Josiassen, a scientist who studies schizophrenia. "His life story legitimately raises our hopes that people's lives with this illness can be much better," Josiassen said last week before honoring Nash for his triumph over schizophrenia after a 30-year struggle. Nash, 72, who at age 22 helped lay out the mathematics underpinning so-called game theory, shared the Nobel Prize in economics with two corecipients in 1994.
October 19, 2001 |
NEW YORKERS REPORTEDLY are being nice to each other these days, and some are finding it strange. On a radio call-in show, a caller described the amazing scene he had witnessed on a crowded subway car. It seems that a woman was sobbing, and not just one but two different people actually approached her to ask if she was OK! Non-New Yorkers might find the amazement more amazing than the incident itself. And of course New York has witnessed many, many acts of genuine heroism and enormous compassion on and since Sept.