Bryan Bruns is an independent consultant sociologist, working mainly on water irrigation systems in southeast Asia. He also publishes academic papers about game theory. In this conversation, we talk about how he became a consultant sociologist, what that even means, how to learn foreign languages, his work on 2*2 games, how to transform a social dilemma into a win-win situation, and much more.
BJKS Podcast is a podcast about neuroscience, psychology, and anything vaguely related, hosted by Benjamin James Kuper-Smith. New episodes every Friday. You can find the podcast on all podcasting platforms (e.g., Spotify, Apple/Google Podcasts, etc.).
0:00:05: How Bryan became a consultant sociologist, working in southeast Asia on water management
0:21:31: How to learn foreign languages
0:31:35: But what does a consultant sociologist actually do? And what makes you good at it?
0:49:36: Why not be a "regular" academic (instead of doing applied work)?
0:54:32: Elinor Ostrom and the commons
1:09:09: 2*2 games and the Prisoner's Dilemma
1:16:34: Names for games
1:38:30: From tragedy to win-win
1:50:10: Asymmetric games
1:58:06: Implementing game theoretic ideas in the real world with real people
2:02:20: Reading recommendations for game theory
Balliet, Parks & Joireman (2009). Social value orientation and cooperation in social dilemmas: A meta-analysis. Group Processes & Intergroup Relations.
Binmore (2007). Game Theory: A Very Short Introduction Oxford University Press.
Bruns (2015). Names for games: locating 2× 2 games. Games.
Bruns (2018). From Tragedy to Win-Win Transforming Social Dilemmas in Commons. Georgetown Law Center, Washington DC, USA.
Bruns & Meinzen-Dick (2000). Negotiating water rights.
Hardin (1958). The tragedy of the commons. Science.
Hare (2017). Survival of the friendliest: Homo sapiens evolved via selection for prosociality. Annual review of psychology.
Munroe (2015). Thing explainer: complicated stuff in simple words. Hachette UK.
Murphy, Ackermann & Handgraaf (2011). Measuring social value orientation. Judgment and Decision making.
Nowak & Highfield (2011). Supercooperators: Altruism, evolution, and why we need each other to succeed. Simon and Schuster.
Ostrom (1990). Governing the commons: The evolution of institutions for collective action. Cambridge University Press.
Ostrom, Gardner & Walker (1994). Rules, games, and common-pool resources. University of Michigan Press.
Rapoport, Guyer & Gordon (1976). The 2x2 game. University of Michigan Press.
Robinson & Goforth (2005). The topology of the 2x2 games: a new periodic table (Vol. 3). Psychology Press.
Tufte, E. (2001). The visual display of quantitative information.
"Mr condom": https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mechai_Viravaidya