For the past month I've been embroiled in two independent, vital, strategic decision-making processes. What school should my son go to next, and what might the future of particle physics be? Game theory has a cautionary taleChoice of school and choice of future experiment both involve many parameters and constraints, and they involve many well-informed, self-interested parties independently trying to obtain the best outcome for themselves. Or for their child, or their cherished sub-field of science. It becomes clear quite quickly that a big factor in any individual's decision is: What decision everyone else is making? For example, if you decide to work on a particular new collider but no one else in Europe does, you are very unlikely to succeed. Similarly, if no one you know that lots of parents are choosing a given school, it is likely to be a school full of well- supported and well-motivated children;...
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