Leadmego


Quotes by Bruce Bueno de Mesquita

Quotes by Bruce Bueno de Mesquita

Dictators, unlike Democrats, depend on a small coterie to sustain their power. These backers, generally drawn from the military, the senior civil service, and family or clan members, have a synergistic relationship with their dictator. The dictator delivers opportunities for them to become rich, and they protect him from being overthrown.
I engage in the use of game theory. Game theory is a branch of mathematics, and that means, sorry, that even in the study of politics, math has come into the picture. We can no longer pretend that we just speculate about politics; we need to look at this in a rigorous way.
I think almost all strategic problems could at least be improved upon if people would do more careful game-theoretic analysis. The reason game theory works in predicting is because people intuit how to behave game-theoretically.
I’m not an Iran expert.
I’m not engaged in predicting random number generators. I actually get phone calls from people who want to know what lottery numbers are going to win. I don’t have a clue.
If you’re running a dictatorship, you don’t really have to worry about the welfare or the property rights of the ordinary citizen. Only the people who keep you in power, a very small group, matter.
In order to predict effectively, we need to use science. And the reason that we need to use science is because then we can reproduce what we’re doing; it’s not just wisdom or guesswork. And if we can predict, then we can engineer the future.
Pretty much, you point to a problem and good reasoning about why people are doing what they are doing and what constraints they face in terms of how others will behave, and you’re looking at a problem that could be improved upon by game-theoretic reasoning.
The fact that we see some people doing what appears to be good civic-minded deeds may be because that is their true intention, and it may be that that is their best way to hold onto power in a setting where they have to depend on a lot of people.
There are lots of people shaping decisions, and so if we want to predict correctly, we have to pay attention to everybody who is trying to shape the outcome, not just the people at the pinnacle of the decision-making pyramid.
There is an interesting interplay between power corrupting and corruption empowering. The causality does not go one way.
To understand why dictators fall, it helps to recognise factors that produce a perfect anti-dictatorial storm. Barring missteps such as those that led to Gaddafi’s undoing, a dictator’s survival can be at risk because of newness in office, poor health, or old age combined with economic trouble.
We probably could more successfully resolve the North Korean nuclear threat through game-theoretic reasoning. We could successfully resolve what American leaders seem to perceive as an Iranian nuclear threat through game-theoretic reasoning.
We really can’t tell the difference between people who might seek power for some greater good and people who seek power just to aggrandize themselves. For example, all revolutionaries say that they want to uplift the downtrodden.

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