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FTUIY Episode #103: Noah Healy

Written By: Dr. Jaime G Raygoza

How can game theory and mathematics help reimagine economic systems? On the Finding the Unicorn in You podcast, Noah Healy shared his fascinating journey from nuclear engineering to tech startups to designing better markets. His insights reveal how abstract models can optimize real-world collaboration.

Game theory, Healy explains, focuses less on tactical decisions and more on strategic reasoning. While game theory doesn't directly improve your chess skills, it helps determine optimal strategies. Take the game Rock Paper Scissors. Game theory says to randomize your throws so opponents can't exploit patterns. Though such strategies don't perfectly translate to complex games like chess, they model cooperative dynamics found in markets.

Markets exemplify both cooperation and competition. Producers want sales, consumers want goods, and speculators distribute information. Game theory can design rules to align these interests, just as architectural innovations enabled arches through counterbalancing columns. Healy's market designs restrict certain freedoms to foster trust and mutual benefit.

Advances in computation now allow translating many problems into mathematics, yielding novel solutions. As proof, Healy cites a recent AI that generated over 300,000 new chemically stable crystalline structures - dwarfing centuries of human discovery. Similarly, game theory and computing can unravel market complexities to serve society.

For Healy, knowledge acquisition is an intrinsically rewarding journey of curiosity. While new insights might not make experiences less wondrous, they deepen our appreciation and pave the way for future discoveries. We must embrace confusion as the preamble to breakthroughs. When the path itself becomes the reward, you've found your purpose. Healy's podcast The Fourth Age explores AI's benefits and risks through an informed computational lens largely lacking in mainstream discourse.

Overall, the Unicorn Lesson here is that he believes improving systems via game theory and computation can profoundly impact people's lives. Strategic reasoning allied to technology may yet help build a more just and equitable world.

Find the full episode of the Finding the Unicorn in You Podcast on Spotify, YouTube, and all major podcast platforms

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