Why It Pays To Be Nice, According To Science

Photographed by Winnie Au.
If you've been watching Game of Thrones (come on, you've had plenty of time to catch up), then you know there are really only two options in life: kill or be killed. But, this new video from Brit Lab begs to differ. Instead, science and math(s) suggest the best thing we can do is to do things for each other — whatever our motives may be.

As the video explains, there are a few ways to look at this. Probably the most straightforward is with the classic "prisoner's dilemma" setup: Two prisoners are separated and can either end up cheating or cooperating with the other one. So, the best scenario is to be the only cheater — you get to go free while the other prisoner is stuck. But, in a society in which cheating is punished, the next-best option is for both to cooperate.

Even if you decide to go with cheating in that one instance, you've still gotta play the long game. If you do cheat, people are going to be less interested in cooperating with you in the future. Which means that, maybe just this once, our friends in the seven kingdoms should try being friends. Well, with dragons, anyway.
Video: Via YouTube.

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