20 June 2012

On the Italian restaurant problem

Went out for a very pleasant evening yesterday with the finishing students. They clearly don't read the website--I drop heavy hints about my preferences for Greek food, although to be fair there's not much about in this town, currently.

But I was stupid enough to be surprised that when I suggested at the outset that we work out a policy for dealing with the bill, I wasn't exactly shouted down, but met with a wave of denial. "We'll just divide it up equally! It'll be OK!" I did suggest that wasn't necessarily the case and that this was a classic problem in game theory, but they were all sober and enjoying the oxytocin flush of relaxing with friends.

I  made my excuses and left quite early (for good reason, because I still had a paper to finish for a deadline today), just as the debate was beginning about who was planning to have dessert and who had drunk what... (I just put down cash worth more than I had eaten and drunk, and left it on the table).

But it did remind me of the eurozone crisis...

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