Games People Play: Game Theory in Life, Business, and Beyond [TTC Video]
19 December 2016, 21:15
Course No 1426 | AVI, XviD, 720x544 | MP3, 128 kbps | 24x30 mins | + PDF Guidebook | 5.63GB
Ever since modern game theory—the scientific study of interactive, rational decision making—achieved prominence in the mid-20th century, it has proven instrumental in helping us understand how and why we make decisions. Game theory plays a crucial role in our lives and provides startling insights into all endeavors in which humans cooperate or compete, including biology, computer science, politics, agriculture, and, most importantly, economics.
For example, game theory
- has become an invaluable tool for economists, underpinning the theories of five Nobel Prize winners in economics;
- helps corporate decision makers through the alternatives of complex negotiations where thousands of jobs and billions of dollars may be at stake;
- plays a crucial role in international diplomacy and military strategy, influencing the fates of nations even when that influence may well be invisible to the uninitiated; and
- provides insights into the origins of human behaviors, not only for psychologists seeking to understand why we act as we do, but also for evolutionary biologists asking how those patterns of actions—as human strategies—were handed down.
You can even see game theory at work in the interactions you engage in every day, such as an obvious "game," like buying a car, or a less obvious one, like trying to decide where to go on a Saturday night or how you ought to dress.
A basic working knowledge of this profoundly important tool can help us cut through an often confusing clutter of information—allowing us to make better decisions in our own lives or better understand the decisions facing other players in games. In Games People Play: Game Theory in Life, Business, and Beyond, award-winning Professor Scott P. Stevens of James Madison University has designed a course meant for anyone looking to gain that knowledge. In 24 insightful lectures, he presents you with the fundamentals of game theory in a manner that is both engaging and easy to understand.
Learn the Basic Games on which More Complex Interactions Are Built
Any game can be described as an interaction involving two or more players who share a common knowledge about the game's structure and make rational decisions about the strategies that will best achieve the maximum possible payoff.
But along the pathways that lead from that basic description to the far more complex games that can be built from it—from billion-dollar negotiations to nuclear confrontations—you find a fascinating collection of questions. Are decisions being made simultaneously, with players not knowing what others are doing? Or are they made sequentially, with each player's decision following another's? Are binding agreements between players possible? Is the element of chance involved? Do all players have the same information? As these questions are answered, games can take different forms, and planning a strategy requires basic analytical tools.
Professor Stevens introduces you to those tools by exploring several classic games, each involving two players who can make one of two choices. Translating them into everyday examples, Professor Stevens shows how these games occur everywhere, from casual life to business to international diplomacy:
- Chicken, derived from the game in which two drivers race toward each other to see who will swerve first. This game is one in which neither player wants to yield to the other—even when a "collision" is the worst possible outcome. In science fields such as biology, this game is known as the Hawk-Dove game.
- Stag Hunt, also know as the assurance game. This game involves making a choice between individual safety and risky cooperation. The idea behind this game—involving two hunters who must decide whether to hunt a hare alone or a stag together—was developed by the philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau.
- Prisoner's Dilemma, a famous situation and perhaps the most important in all of game theory. This game involves two prisoners being separately interrogated for their common crime. Each must decide whether to confess or remain silent, knowing his partner has the same choice.
If neither confesses, they each get a one-year sentence. If both confess, each gets three years. And if only one confesses, he goes free, but sends his partner away for five years.
This perplexing game, in which logic points to a strategy for each prisoner that is clearly best, yet nevertheless provides a worse outcome, surfaces repeatedly in the course, as it does in real life.
But as these lectures make clear, that isn't unusual. For the ideas that underlie game theory are everywhere, their practical applications appearing repeatedly:
- You see game theory at work in business, explaining the moves in the billion-dollar chess game between Boeing and Airbus over control of the market for medium-sized, medium-range jets.
- And you see it used in war, exploring the choices that faced U.S. and Japanese commanders as each side decided how best to deploy its weapons: the waiting force of U.S. bombers and the Japanese convoy that knew it was the bombers' target.
Meet Game Theory's Most Important Minds
Just as these lectures introduce you to game theory's most important ideas, they also introduce you to many of its most important minds:
- John von Neumann, whose 1944 book Theory of Games and Economic Behavior, written with Oscar Morgenstern, made him arguably the founding father of modern game theory
- John Nash, whose story was told in the film A Beautiful Mind and whose achievements have helped make him one of the best-known game theorists
- Kenneth Arrow, whose famous "impossibility theory" proved that designing a fundamentally unflawed voting system is essentially impossible
- Barry Nalebuff and Adam Brandenberger, whose 1996 book on Co-Opetition offered modern business an innovative rethinking of the competitiveess.
Focus on Game Theory's Basic Ideas
While game theory is rooted in mathematics, this course requires nothing more than a basic understanding of how numbers operate and interact. Each lecture in Games People Play features visually rich graphics that help you grasp the simple mathematical ideas underlying this fascinating field of study. Despite the apparent complexity of game theory, Professor Stevens always makes the subject matter accessible and easy to understand.
Taught with relish and wit by a teacher as amiable and easy to understand as he is knowledgeable, Games People Play instills a new awareness of the games hidden at the core of the most complex arenas of corporate negotiations and foreign policy, as well as the most basic encounters of our daily lives.
Practical Philosophy: The Greco-Roman Moralists [TTC Video]
19 December 2016, 21:12
Course No 4473 | MP4/AVI, AVC, 600x454/624x480 | AAC/AC3, 96/192 kbps, 2 Ch | 24x30 mins | 7.06GB
Imagine a course that teaches you not only how to think like the great philsophers, but how to live. Greeks and Romans of the early imperial period are often overlooked in the annals of philosophical study, but provided down-to-earth advice on how to live a solid, happy life. Professor Luke Timothy Johnson returns to The Teaching Company to study these geat thinkers with you.
Classical Greek philosophers such as Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle are fine—if lofty thinking is what you want. But philosophy means love of wisdom, not love of thinking. What about solid advice on how to be a good father or friend; or how to grow old gracefully, or know what true happiness is? Where can you find philosophy that tells you not how to think well, but how to live well? That practical philosophy can be found in the works of Marcus Tullius Cicero, Lucius Annaeus Seneca, Marcus Aurelius, Dio Chrysostom, and Plutarch of Chaeronea, among others. These Greeks and Romans of the early imperial period—from the 1st century B.C.E. to the 2nd century C.E.—devoted their lives not to metaphysics and epistemology but to the appreciation and practice of morality and virtue, values and character. In Practical Philosophy: The Greco-Roman Moralists, Professor Luke Timothy Johnson introduces you to the sages who, as group, represent the missing page of the history of philosophy. Although their names are sometimes familiar, as in the case of Cicero and Plutarch, their philosophy is not.
Nutrition Made Clear [TTC Video]
17 December 2016, 00:13
Course No 1950 | MP4, MPEG4, 640x480 | AAC, 128 kbps, 2 Ch | 36x30 mins | + PDF Guidebook | 7.77GB
Making smart eating choices is essential to living a healthy, happy, and successful life. Yet all too often, we're exposed to information and techniques that promise quick and easy results but can be harmful to your overall health: crash diets, experimental medications, ever-changing studies on what you should eat more or less of, and more. It can be confusing to dig through the mass of hype, myth, and misconceptions about good nutrition habits. So in the face of potentially misleading information and aids, where can you find the key to nutritional success?
The answer: in understanding the concepts, practices, and science behind good nutrition. Once you master the intricate—and undeniably captivating—interaction between what you eat and its effect on your body and mind, you unlock a powerful and scientifically proven tool to use in the quest for maintaining or improving your personal health.
Nutrition Made Clear is your opportunity to finally sort through nutrition misconceptions and replace them with hard science you can understand. In 36 in-depth lectures taught by dietitian and award-winning Professor Roberta H. Anding, you explore the fundamentals of good nutrition and get a practical and personal guide to applying these fundamentals to your unique lifestyle. Designed to appeal to anyone at any age, this course is an invaluable source of medically backed, statistically proven information about the guidelines for healthy eating and living.
Your Prescription for Good Nutrition
As scientific knowledge and technology have rapidly advanced, we now know that everything you eat and drink has an effect on your mind and body. The essential elements and nutrients contained in food help you in a host of ways, including
- strengthening your immune system,
- optimizing the function of your brain,
- protecting you from illness and disease,
- and much more.
Because of this invaluable knowledge, you now have the ability to achieve lasting personal health and wellness—more so than at any point in history. By eating right, increasing your physical activity, reducing the risk of chronic illness through wise personal choices, and more, you can stay healthy and active throughout the majority of your life.
Nutrition is an applied science, which means that its power lies not just in grasping the concepts behind it, but in applying those concepts to daily living. In the organized lectures of Nutrition Made Clear, you
- discover the relatively recent history of nutrition science;
- learn where to find authoritative—and how to avoid unsafe—nutrition information;
- master the science behind digestion, protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals, calories, fiber, and other concepts;
- uncover where you can find nutrients in the foods you eat and the distinct role they play in good health;
- recognize what your personal daily requirements of each nutrient should be;
- examine what happens when you get too little—or too much—of a nutrient in your diet; and
- find out how smarter nutritional choices can radically reduce your risk of developing serious health issues such as diabetes, obesity, cancer, and digestive disorders.
Professor Anding also brings nutrition into your own life and home, with lectures that teach you how to make wise eating choices a daily part of your life and how to ensure lasting health. You learn
- how to correctly read a food label to make sure you're getting the nutrients you need,
- how to build your own distinct exercise regimen,
- how to safely integrate herbal therapies and remedies into your diet, and
- how to recognize when you should eat organic foods instead of conventional foods.
Nutrition on a Personal Level
Every lecture of Nutrition Made Clear starts with one of Professor Anding's personal anecdotes from more than 25 years of experience as a practicing dietitian. After detailing the science behind the particular topic, she concludes each lecture with a brief Frequently Asked Questions section, in which she addresses practical questions with important bearings on your everyday life, such as:
- Is drinking tea in the morning better for you than drinking coffee?
- Which fiber-rich foods can you choose when you're eating in a restaurant?
- Does taking a Vitamin C supplement affect other medications or supplements you might be taking?
- Do herbal therapies used to treat medical issues actually work?
Similarly, the course concludes with an entire lecture devoted to answering questions about good nutrition you've always wanted to know but didn't know where to find the answers. Or whom to ask.
Invaluable Tips for Everyday Eating
Even as Professor Anding details the science behind healthy eating and exercise habits, she always makes each lecture of Nutrition Made Clear both practical and personal. As you learn about calories, carbohydrates, and more, you frequently discover a wealth of invaluable—and sometimes even surprising—tips you can easily apply to your own eating habits, including these:
- Drink your cereal milk: Many of us discard the milk at the bottom of our cereal bowls. However, since many important vitamins and minerals are sprayed on cereal, you miss out on essential nutrients washed off by the milk when you do so.
- Control your calories: Contrary to popular belief, it is calorie counting and not dieting that is the lifelong solution to losing weight—and maintaining that loss.
- Watch out for "the shine": When eating out, watch out for salads, pastas, meats, and other dishes that appear to "shine." This usually means the food contains extra—and unnecessary—fats and oils.
- Pay attention to portion size: When reading nutrition labels, make sure to do so with portion sizes in mind, as what may appear to be low in calories may have an incredibly small serving size.
Professor Anding also teaches you how to calculate your own dietary needs, how to create your own nutrition and exercise plans, how to recognize that a product or service is really a health fraud, and more.
Maintain and Improve Your Well-Being
What makes Nutrition Made Clear so unique is that it recognizes just how personal your own nutritional needs can be, and it outlines direct steps to show you how to customize the lessons you learn in these lectures to your lifestyle. This is due in great part to Professor Anding's wealth of experience as a health educator both inside and outside the academic world.
For more than 25 years, she has educated adults of all ages about the merits of good nutrition in her role as teacher and lecturer at both the Baylor College of Medicine and Rice University. In addition, outside of a university setting, Professor Anding is a registered dietitian in Texas, a registered dietitian with the American Dietetic Association, a certified diabetes educator, a certified specialist in sports dietetics, and the dietitian for the Houston Texans NFL franchise.
Her research and teaching is continually focused on finding ways to improve the health and well-being of Americans, and it is this passion that forms the core of this fascinating course. Crafted with the needs of individual people in mind, Nutrition Made Clear is both a fascinating learning experience and the perfect investment in your personal health—one that will educate you, motivate you, and reward you for the rest of your life.