Thursday, February 11, 2016

Visit JHM for Mathy Poems

     Today I'd like to direct you to the Journal of Humanistic Mathematics, an online open-access journal that features poetry in each issue.  The Table of Contents for the first issue of 2016 is now available here -- and I offer below a poem from Issue 1 of 2015(Before sharing the poem "Prisoner's Dilemma" by Raymond Greenwell I want also to mention that JHM is looking for investigative journalists and that today's "Poem of the Day" at is "Evolution" by Linda Bierds and inspired by the work of Alan Turing.)
     I am particularly intrigued by Greenwell's poem because the Prisoner's Dilemma is a decision model close to my concerns about the environment. (More comments below.)

       Prisoner's Dilemma     by Raymond N. Greenwell

       Your best choice is my demise.
       My wise choice is your defeat.    
       So we both make our mediocre choices,        
       Knowing we are climbing up a molehill,
       Sliding toward a slightly sorry spot.
       Life could be much sweeter,
       Death would be much worse.
       Equilibrium is not bliss,
       But it's stable.

     My own view of the Prisoner's Dilemma is tightly linked to Garrett Hardin's essay, "Tragedy of the Commons," which was published long ago when I was I was an idealist in grad school and first became concerned about climate change and the possibility of saving the earth. Instead of the word "mediocre" we used the words "rational" and "compromise,"
     Here is a link to a poem posted earlier in this blog -- a poem by Isaac Cates also entitled "The Prisoner's Dilemma."

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