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Taylor Swift game theory: Strategy in “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together”

Lovelorn teens can relate. You’re in an on-and-off again relationship with someone who promises to change but never does. Finally, you’ve had it and you call it off, permanently.

You tell them, we won’t get together tomorrow, the next week, the next month, the next year, the next decade, or the next time ever. That’s it: We are never ever getting back together.

The threat may be commonly uttered, but it is far from a simple statement. In fact, I suggest this ultimatum is an illustration of several game theory concepts. And while the threat often uttered as a lie, it is an effective lie. (more…)

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