Forgetfulness Of Purpose • 4

Ashby now invites us to consider a series of games, beginning as follows.

11/3.   Play and outcome.  Let us therefore forget all about regulation and simply suppose that we are watching two players, R and D, who are engaged in a game.  We shall follow the fortunes of R, who is attempting to score an a.  The rules are as follows.  They have before them Table 11/3/1, which can be seen by both:

\begin{array}{cc|ccc}  \multicolumn{5}{c}{\text{Table 11/3/1}} \\[4pt]  & & & R & \\  & & \alpha & \beta & \gamma \\  \hline    & 1 & b & a & c \\  D & 2 & a & c & b \\    & 3 & c & b & a  \end{array}

D must play first, by selecting a number, and thus a particular row.  R, knowing this number, then selects a Greek letter, and thus a particular column.  The italic letter specified by the intersection of the row and column is the outcome.  If it is an a, R wins;  if not, R loses.

I’ll pause the play here and give readers a chance to contemplate strategies.


  • Ashby, W.R. (1956), An Introduction to Cybernetics, Chapman and Hall, London, UK.  Republished by Methuen and Company, London, UK, 1964.  Online.
This entry was posted in Anamnesis, Ashby, Cybernetics, Memory, Peirce, Pragmata, Purpose, Systems Theory and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Forgetfulness Of Purpose • 4

  1. Pingback: Homunculomorphisms • 1 | Inquiry Into Inquiry

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s