[Sequence] History

I have blogged some on the history of ancient Israel, here:

I have also done some research on the Middle Ages, and the Bronze Age collapse of civilization. I’m hoping to someday present these data, in context of the theory of cliodynamics.

Related Content

Against Willpower

Part Of: [Breakdown of Will] sequence
Followup To: [Iterated Schizophrenic’s Dilemma]

This post is addressed to those of you who view personal rules as a Good Thing. If your only thought about willpower is “I wish I had more”, pay attention.

The Breath Of Science

What is human nature?

Suppose that I sat you in a room for fifteen minutes, and had you list as many distinctly human characteristics as you could. How long is your list?

Here’s a first stab at it:

Willpower- Human Explananda Only

Observation is the breath of science. But what’s next?

Most people don’t know how to think scientifically. This skill can only be learned by doing, but let me gesture at the tradecraft in passing.

The first step: give your observations names. A name is the sound you brain makes while hitting CTRL-S.

Willpower- Human Explananda and Jargon

Observations are not bald facts. Observations cry out for explanation (they are explananda).

Science is in the business of building prediction machines (also known as explanations, or theories).

Theory builders keep an implicit picture of their target explananda. The mechanization of science will bring with it explananda databases.

Those who forbids nothing live in ignorance. The secret of knowledge is expectation constraint.

Willpower- Human Explananda Pre-Willpower

The scientific lens, then, interprets observation as explanation-magnets. Theories explain observations indirectly, by painting the space of impossibility.

The mind of a scientist flows in this direction: bald observation → named patterns → explananda → prediction machine → theory integration.

A Tale Of Four Side-Effects

The above list features five explananda divorced from theory. This is, of course, to be expected.

Here are the first four observations. At first glance, these may not seem particularly related.

  • Modernity tends to suffer from people “living in their own heads”, unable to appreciate the subtleties of experience. Call this emotional detachment.
  • Rules tend to be all-or-nothing, erring on the side of memorability above reasonableness. Call this salience enslavement.
  • When people fail to meet some standard, that failure tends to repeat itself more than other failures. Call this lapse aggravation.
  • People are prone to self-deception. Call such events introspective failures.

By now, I have completed my sketch of Ainslie’s theory of willpower (willpower is preference bundling, implemented as personal rules).  One reason to take this theory seriously, is that it explains why humans suffer from these syndromes.  The surprising nature of these connections is a virtue in science.

Willpower- Human Explananda Post-Willpower

All of this is not to say that willpower is undesirable.  Willpower is just not unequivocally beneficial. If you are in the business of authoring rules for yourself, you would be well-advised to account for the risks.

Let me now turn to how our theory of willpower entails these four uncomfortable “side effects”.

On Emotional Detachment

Let’s return to a central result of the Iterated Prisoner’s Dilemma (IPD). Recall that IPD has both prisoners repeatedly tempted to “rat” on one another for a wide range of different charges, with no end in sight. Suppose the DA has 40 separate questions for which they will give less prison time to the prisoner who provides information. Is it in the government’s interest to tell the prisoner’s how long they will be playing this game?

The answer is yes! On round 40, each prisoner will know that they will have nothing to lose by trusting one another, and defect. On round 39, each prisoner will anticipate the other to betray them on round 40, so they can’t do better than defecting on that previous round too. This chain of reasoning threatens to contaminate the entire iterated game. Prisoners will be more likely to cooperate with one another if the length of their game is let unknown.

Can known-termination collapse apply to games played between your interpersonal selves? Not only does it apply, but I know of no better explanation for the change that strikes many people when they are told they have X months to live. Consider the story of Stephen Hawking. When he was diagnosed at twenty-one years old, he was given two years to live. Fortunately, the diagnosis was inaccurate, but Stephen credits his diagnosis with adding urgency to his work, inspiring him to “seize the moment” before it was too late.

Why should personal rules run at odds with living in the moment?

Attention is a finite resource. When you spend it analyzing situations for rule-conformance, your choices become detached from the here-and-now. Perhaps this is the birthplace of loss of authenticity, that existential philosophers complain of in modern society generally.

On Salience Enslavement

If neuroeconomics has taught us anything, it is that decision-making is an algorithm. But consider the effect of injecting a Preference Bundler inside of such an  algorithm:

Personal Rule- Crude Decision Process (2)

Preferences are bundled according to personal rules. However, our memory systems deliver these rules in differing degrees of strength.

Personal rules operate most effectively on memorable goals. Let’s imagine for a moment that it is medically beneficial to consume half a glass of wine a night. Consider the case of a non-alcoholic who nevertheless, consumes a medically unwise amount of alcohol. Would you advise him adopt a rule of half a glass, or no alcohol at all?

While the absolute difference between a half-glass and no wine is small, the memorability of either differs dramatically. You can observe the same effect in three chocolate chips vs. no chocolate chips, or one white lie vs. total honesty.

But memorability (salience) is not always so innocent. The exacting personal rules of anorectics or misers are ultimately too strict to promise the greatest satisfaction in the long run, but their exactness makes them more enforceable than subtler rules that depend on judgment calls. In general, the mechanics of policing this cooperation may increase your efficiency at reward getting in the categories you have defined, but reduce your sensitivity to less well-marked kinds of rewards.

On Lapse Aggravation

In Epistemic Topography, I discuss the notion of identity bootstrapping:

I pursue deep questions because I tell myself I am curious → I tell myself I am curious because I pursue deep questions.

Personal rules share an analogous pattern of commitment bootstrapping:

If I renege on my commitment, I am unlikely to do the right thing next time → If I can’t count on my future self, it’s best to take things into my own hands now.

Both phenomena constitute positive feedback:

Personal Rule- Feedback

 

Have you ever heard a microphone squeal because it gets too close to the speakers? This is another artifact of positive feedback:

If a microphone detects noise (e.g., a singer) then the speakers will amplify it → if the speakers produce noise the microphone may detect it

The squeal of the microphone that makes you wince is literally the loudest sound a speaker can produce without blowing a fuse. This effect is not unique to acoustics: all systems that rely on positive feedback are both powerful and unstable.

Suppose I were to build a strong interpersonal rule against eating cheese, but then I lapse. Without the rule, such a decision would be have no bearing on my sense of identity. However, with the personal rule in place, I have just sent myself evidence of non-compliance, my present-self loses confidence that my future-self will sustain my best interests.

Consider the stories you have encountered of children raised in a very strict atmosphere, who have since matured and rebelled. Surely you can think of a time when the rebellion is not simply to adopt a new identity, but instead fall towards an anti-identity. Malignant failure modes owe their roots to the fabric of rules themselves.

On Introspective Failures

Consider again our poor compatriot who has just lapsed in violation of her personal anti-cheese commitment. This person’s short-range interest is in concealing the lapse, to prevent detection so as not invite attempts to throw out the cheese.  What’s more, the person’s long-range interest is in a similarly awkward position where admitting defeat risks birthing a new malignant failure mode.

The individual’s long-term interests is in the awkward position of a country that has threatened to go to war under some scenario. The country wants to avoid war without destroying the credibility of its threats, and may therefore look for ways to be seen as not having detected the circumstance.

Willpower thus creates perverse incentives. These incentives explain how money disappears despite a strict budget, or how people who “eat like a bird” mysteriously gain weight. To preserve the right to make promises to oneself, we fallen victim to self-deception.

Takeaways

This post is addressed to those of you who view personal rules as a Good Thing. If your only thought about willpower is “I wish I had more”, pay attention.

Willpower is not an unmixed blessing. If willpower is preference bundling, implemented as personal rules, then willpower brings with it four uncomfortable side effects:

  • Emotional detachment: Attending to personal rules tends to induce the “living in your own heads” (an inability to appreciate the subtleties of experience). 
  • Salience enslavement: Personal rules tend to be all-or-nothing, erring on the side of memorability even at the cost of reasonableness.
  • Lapse aggravation: Personal rules are powerful feedback loops. When rules are followed they get stronger, but lapses not only occur but also promote failure modes.
  • Introspective failures: Decisions are made in the context of interpersonal warfare. On the event of a lapse, both of your selves are incentivized towards self-deception.

All of this is not to say that willpower is undesirable.  Willpower is simply not unequivocally beneficial. If you are in the business of authoring rules for yourself, it pays to be informed of the risks.

Iterated Schizophrenic’s Dilemma

Part Of: Breakdown of Will sequence
Followup To: Rule Feedback Loops
Content Summary: 1300 words, 13 min read

Context

Here’s where we landed last time:

  • Preference bundling is mentally implemented via a database of personal rules (“I will do X in situations that involve Y).
  • Personal rules constitute a feedback loop, whereby rule-compliance strengthen (and rule-circumvention weakens) the circuit.

Today’s post will draw from the following:

  1. An Introduction To Hyperbolic Discounting discusses warfare between successive selves (e.g., OdysseusNOW restricts the freedoms of OdysseusFUTURE in order to survive the sirens).
  2. An Introduction To Prisoner’s Dilemma discusses how maths can be used to describe the outcome of games between competitors.

Time to connect these threads! 🙂 Let’s ground our warfare narrative in the formal systems of game theory.

Schizophrenic’s Dilemma

First, we interpret { larger-later (LL) vs. smaller-sooner (SS) } rewards in terms of { cooperation vs. defection } decisions.

Second, we name our actors:

  • P represents your present-self
  • F represents your future-self
  • FF represents your far-future-self, etc.

Does this game suffer from the same issue as classical PD? Only one way to find out!

ISD- Simple Example (1)

Here’s how I would explain what’s going on:

  • Bold arrows represent decisions, irreversible choices in the real world. Decisions lock in final scores (yellow boxes).
  • Skinny arrows represent intentions, the construction of rules for future decisions.
  • The psychological reward you get from setting intentions is just as real as that produced by decisions.
  • Reward is accretive: your brain seeks to maximize the sum total reward it receives over time.

Take some time to really ingest this diagram.

Iterated Schizophrenic’s Dilemma (ISD)

Okay, so we now understand how to model intertemporal warfare as a kind of “Schizophrenic’s Dilemma“. But we “have to live with ourselves” — the analogy ought to be extended across more than one decision. Here’s how:

ISD - From Flat Behavior To IPD

Time flows from left to right. In the first row, we see that an organism’s choices are essentially linear. For each choice, the reasoner selects either an LL (larger-longer) or an SS (smaller-sooner) reward. How can this be made into a two-dimensional game? We can achieve this graphically by “stretching each choice point up and to the left”. This move ultimately implements the following:

  • Temporal Continuity: “the future-self of one time step must be equivalent to the present-self of the next time step”.

It is by virtue of this rule that we are able to conceptualize the present-self competing against the future-self (second row). The third row simply compresses the second into one state-space.

Let us call this version of the Iterated Prisoner’s Dilemma, the Iterated Schizophrenic’s Dilemma. For the remainder of this article, I will use IPD and ISD to distinguish between the two.

The Lens Of State-Space

We have previously considered decision-space, and outcome-space. Now we shall add a third space, what I shall simply call state-space (very similar to Markov Decision Processes…)

ISD- Three IPD Spaces (1)

You’ll notice that the above state-space is a fully-connected graph: in IPD, any decision can be made at any time.

But this is not true in ISD, which must honor the rule of Temporal Continuity. For example, (C, C) -> (D, C) violates that “the future-self of one time step must be equivalent to the present-self of the next time step”.  The ISD State-Space results from trimming all transitions that violate Temporal Continuity:

ISD- ISD vs IPD state spaces

Let me briefly direct your attention to three interesting facts:

  1. Half of the edges are gone. This is because information now flows in only one direction.
  2. Every node is reachable; no node has been stranded by the edge pruning.
  3. (C,D) and (D,C) are necessarily transient states; only (C, C) and (D,D) can recur indefinitely.

Intertemporal Retaliation

Four qualities of successful IPD strategies are: nice, forgiving, non-envious, and retaliating. How does retaliation work in the “normal” IPD?

ISD - Traditional IPD retaliation

Here we have two cases of retaliation:

  1. At the first time-step, Player A defects “unfairly”. Incensed, Player B retaliates (defects) next turn.
  2. At the fourth time-step, Player B takes advantage of A’s goodwill. Outraged, Player A punishes B next turn.

Note the easy two-way symmetry. But in the ISD case, the question of retaliation becomes very complex:

  1. Present-selves may “punish” future-selves by taking an earlier reward, now.
  2. But future-selves cannot punish present-selves, obviously, because time does not flow in that direction.

What, then, is to motivate our present-selves to “keep the faith”?  To answer this, we need only appeal to the feedback nature of personal rules (explored last time)!

I’ll let Ainslie explain:

As Bratman has correctly argued (Bratman 1999, pp. 35-57), a present “person-stage” can’t retaliate against the defection of a prior one, a difference that disqualifies the prisoner’s dilemma in its classical form as a rationale for consistency. However, insofar as a failure to cooperate will induce future failures, a current decision-maker contemplating defection faces a danger of the same kind as retaliation…

With the question of retaliation repaired, the analogy between IPD and ISD seems secure. Ainslie has earned the right to invoke IPD explananda; for example:

The rules of this market are the internal equivalent of “self-enforcing contracts” made by traders who will be dealing with each other repeatedly, contracts that let them do business on the strength of handshakes (Klein & Leffler 1981; Macaulay 1963).

Survival Of The Salient

After casting warfare of successive selves into game theoretic terms, we are in a position to import other concepts. Consider the Schelling point, the notion that salient choices function as an attractor between competitors. Here’s an example of the Schelling point:

Consider a simple example: two people unable to communicate with each other are each shown a panel of four squares and asked to select one; if and only if they both select the same one, they will each receive a prize.Three of the squares are blue and one is red. Assuming they each know nothing about the other player, but that they each do want to win the prize, then they will, reasonably, both choose the red square. Of course, thered square is not in a sense a better square; they could win by both choosing any square. And it is only the “right” square to select if a player can be sure that the other player has selected it; but by hypothesis neither can. However, it is the most salient and notable square, so—lacking any other one—most people will choose it, and this will in fact (often) work.

By virtue of the feedback mechanism discussed above, rules are adapt over time via a kind of variation on natural selection (“survival of the salient“):

Intertemporal cooperation is most threatened by rationalizations that permit exceptions for the choice at hand, and is most stabilized by finding bright lines to serve as criteria for what constitutes cooperation. A personal rule never to drink alcohol, for instance, is more stable than a rule to have only two drinks a day, because the line between some drinking and no drinking is unique (bright), while the two-drinks rule does not stand out from some other number, or define the size of the drinks, and is thus susceptible to reformulation. However, skill at intertemporal bargaining will let you attain more flexibility by using lines that are less bright. This skill is apt to be a key component of the control processes that get called ego functions.

In the vocabulary of our model, it is the peculiarities of the preference bundling module whereby Schelling points are more effectual.

Let us close by, in passing, noting that this line of argument can be generalized into a justification for slippery slope arguments.

Takeaways

  • Warfare of successive selves can be understood in terms of the Prisoner’s Dilemma, where cooperation with oneself is selecting LL, and defection is SS.
  • In fact, intertemporal bargaining can be successfully explained via a modified form of the Iterated Prisoner’s Dilemma, since retaliation works via a unique feedback mechanism.
  • Because our model of willpower spans both a game-theoretic and cognitive grammar, we can make sense of a “survival of the salient” effect, whereby memorable rules persist longer.

Rule Feedback Loops

Part Of: Breakdown of Will sequence
Followup To: Willpower As Preference Bundling
Content Summary: 900 words, 9 min reading time

Context

When “in the moment”, humans are susceptible to bad choices. Last time, we introduced willpower as a powerful solution to such akrasia. More specifically:

  • Willpower is nothing more, and nothing less, than preference bundling.
  • Inasmuch as your brain can sustain preference bundling, it has the potential to redeem its fits of akrasia.

But this only explained how preference bundling works at the level of utility curves. Today, we will learn how preference bundling is mentally implemented, and this mental model will in turn provide us with predictive power.

Building Mental Models

Time to construct a model! 🙂 You ready?!

In our last post, we discussed three distinct phases that occur during preference bundling. We can then imagine three separate modules (think: software programs) that implement these phases.

Personal Rule- Crude Decision Process (2)

This diagram provides a high-level, functional account of how our minds make decisions. The three modules can be summarized as follows:

  • The Utility Transducer module is responsible for identifying affordances within sensory phenomena, and compressing a multi-dimensional description into a one-dimensional value.
  • The Preference Bundler module can aggregate utility representations that are sufficiently similar. Such a technique is useful for combating akrasia.
  • The Choice Implementer module selects Choice1 if Preference1 > Preference2. It is also responsible for computing when and how to execute a preference-selection.

The above diagram is, of course, merely a germinating seed of a more precise mental architecture (it turns out that mind-space is rather complex 🙂 ). Let us now refine our account of the Preference Bundler.

Personal Rules

Consider what it means for a brain to implement preference bundling. Your brain must receive utility-anticipated information from an arbitrary number of choice valuations, and aggregate similar decisions into a single measure.

Obviously, the mathematics of such a computation lies underneath your awareness (your superpower is math). However, does the process entirely fail to register in the small room of consciousness?

This seems unlikely, given the common phenomenal experience of personal rules. Is it not likely that the conscious experience of “I will never stay up past midnight on a weeknight” does not in some way correlate with the actions of the Preference Bundler?

Let’s generalize this question a bit. In the context of personal rules, we are inquiring about the meaning of quale-module links. This type of question is relevant in many other contexts as well. It seems to me that such links can be roughly modeled in the vocabulary of dual-process theory, where System 1 (parallel modules) data bubbles up into System 2 (sequential introspection) experience.

Let us now assume that the quale of personal rules correlates to some variety of mental substance. What would that substance have to include?

In terms of complexity analysis, it seems to me that a Preference Bundler need not generate relevant rules on the fly. Instead, it could more efficiently rely on a form of rule database, which tracks a set of rules proven useful in the past. Our mental architecture, then, looks something like this (quales are in pink):

Personal Rule- Rules Subserving Bundling

In his book, Ainslee presents intruging connections between this idea of a rule database with similar notions in the history of ideas:

The bundling phenomenon implies that you will serve your long-range interest if you obey a personal rule to behave alike towards all members of a category. This is the equivalent of Kant’s categorical imperative, and echoes the psychologist Lawrence Kohlberg’s sixth and highest principle of moral reasoning, deciding according to principle. It also explained how people with fundamentally hyperbolic discount curves may sometimes learn to choose as if their curves were exponential.

Recursive Feedback Loops

Personal rules, of course, are not spontaneously appear within your mind. They are constructed by cognitive processes. Let us again expand our model to capture this nuance:

Personal Rule- Preference Regulation

Describing our new components:

  • The Rule Controller module is responsible both for generating new rules (e.g., “I will not stay up past midnight on a weeknight”), and re-factoring existing ones.
  • The “Honored?” checkpoint conveys information on how well a given personal rule was followed. The Rule Controller module may use this information to update the rule database.

A feedback loop exists in our mental model. Observe:

Personal Rule- Feedback

Feedback loops can explain a host of strange behavior. Ainslie describes the torment of a dieter:

Even if [a food-conscious person] figures, from the perspective of distance, that dieting is better, her long-range perspective will be useless to her unless she can avoid making too many rationalizations. Her diet will succeed only insofar as she thinks that each act of compliance will be both necessary and effective – that is, that she can’t get away with cheating, and that her current compliance will give her enough reason not to cheat subsequently. The more she is doubtful of success, the more likely it will be that a single violation will make her lose this expectation and wreck her diet. Personal rules are a recursive mechanism; they continually take their own pulse, and if they feel it falter, that very fact will cause further faltering.

Takeaways

And that’s a wrap! 🙂 I am hoping to walk away from this article with two concepts firmly installed:

  • Preference bundling is mentally implemented via a database of personal rules (“I will do X in situations that involve Y).
  • Personal rules constitute a feedback loop, whereby rule-compliance strengthen (and rule-circumvention weakens) the circuit.

Next Up: [Iterated Schizophrenic’s Dilemma]

Willpower As Preference Bundling

Part Of: [Breakdown of Will] sequence
Followup To: [An Introduction To Hyperbolic Discounting]

Table Of Content

  • Motivations
  • Choice Is Not A Snapshot
  • Utility Anticipation
  • Preference Bundling
  • Takeaways

Motivations

Consider again the takeaways from our preceding post:

  • Behavior contradicting your desires (akrasia) can be explained by appealing to the rate at which preferences diminish over time (utility discount curve).
  • A useful way of reasoning about hyperbolic discount curves is warfare between successive “yous”.

With this model of akrasia in hand, we will proceed to explore: akrasia therapies, tactical countermeasures we employ to combat your “sin nature”.

How do people verbalize their struggle to preserve “perspective from a distance”? Well, excepting cases where their past selves deprive their future selves of freedom (think of Odysseus chaining himself to the ship), more often than not people gesture towards the concept of willpower.

Today we will build an account of what this fuzzy word actually means.

Choice Is Not A Snapshot

Do you remember our cartoon of a hyperbolic discount curve?  Here it is again:

Willpower- Choice Hyperbolic Example

Recall that the orange curge is LL (the larger-later reward), and the green in SS (the smaller-sooner reward). Akrasia occurs when some temptation transiently overpowers the choice we would otherwise select (when SS > LL).

Now this picture is, of course, extremely narrow.  We haven’t discussed:

  1. How this picture may be extended to greater than two choices
  2. How choices are differentiated at all (what prevents utility curves from being decomposed to smaller and smaller “choice units”).
  3. How a utility curve might be realized in the human brain at all.

I hope to get to these questions eventually. Today, I’d like to introduce just one “complication” into our cartoon: in real life, an organism must confront many choices across its lifespan.

Willpower- Choice Multiple

Utility Anticipation

Imagine your author waging an war-with-himself re: whether to stay up late researching, or get a full night’s sleep. Does the above graph comfortably fit in this category of recurrent choice?

One could argue that it fails: there is nothing to stop me from weighing the choices of my one-week-from-now self. To do this, I must represent their utilities in the present. Here’s how we might support such utility anticipation (only three examples shown, to constrain complexity):

Willpower- Choice Similarities

Does this anticipation counteract akrasia, instances where LL (larger-later reward) loses to SS (small-sooner reward)? To answer this, simply compare the utility curves:

Willpower- Foreknown Choice Selves

Akratic lapses persist. But if utility anticipation is not the root of willpower, what is?

Preference Bundling

Our innovation has its roots in philosophy.

Writers since antiquity have recommended that impulses could be controlled by deciding according to principle, that is, deciding in categories containing a number of choices rather than just the choice at hand. Aristtotle said that akrasia is the result of choosing according to “particulars” instead of “universals”. Kant said that the highest kind of decision-making involves making all choices as if they defined universal rules (the “categorical imperative”)… this also echoes the psychologist Lawrence Kohlberg’s sixth and highest principle of moral reasoning, deciding according to principle.

Imagine, for a moment, if we were to sum these utility curves together. Three time-slices should illustrate how this summing works:

Willpower- Foreknown Choice Addition (1)

Consider the middle time slice (middle rectangle). If you look closely, you’ll see it intersect three orange LL functions and the three green SS functions. If we sum the three LL values together, we arrive at a single (larger) LL value. Same story goes for the three green SS lines. The two circles directly over the rectangle represent these two sums.

In the above illustration, we bundled preferences at three particular times. But what is to stop us from doing the same computation at all times? Nothing, and after we do this, we obtain new utility lines. These lines represent the bundled utility curves of all three choices.

Willpower- Foreknown Choice Bundling (1)

(Why don’t we continue this addition for the entire displayed x-axis? Well, to preserve the effect, after Choice1 expires, you have to take into account Choice4, etc etc…)

Casting these bundled utility curves back to the language of successive selves:

Willpower- Bundled Choice Selves

In this situation, then, we see the defeat of akrasia – the victory of willpower!

Takeaways

  • Willpower is nothing more, and nothing less, than preference bundling.
  • Inasmuch as your brain can sustain preference bundling, it has the potential to redeem its fits of akrasia.

Next Up: [Personal Rule Feedback Loops]

[Sequence] Breakdown Of Will

Willpower- Foreknown Choice Selves

In this sequence, we will be exploring this précis of this book. Specifically, we will be exploring the implications of akrasia (the act of behaving against one’s own desires).

Preliminary Posts

Content Summary

  1. An Introduction To Hyperbolic Discounting. Based on Chapter 1-3. Introduces the concepts of akrasia and utility, proceeds to model akrasia as a symptom of discount curves shaped like hyperbolas.
  2. Willpower As Preference Bundling. Based on Chapter 5. Discusses how willpower (a therapy against akrasia) comes to make our successive selves consistent with one another.  Willpower is presented as the brain subtly manipulating how it instantiates hyperbolic discount functions.
  3. Personal Rule Feedback Loops. Based on Chapter 6. Builds a mental model of preference bundling, and explores the recursive nature of personal rules.
  4. Iterated Schizophrenic’s Dilemma. Based on Chapter 6. Grounds Ainslee’s account of willpower (and preference bundling) in a modified form of Iterated Prisoner’s Dilemma.
  5. Against Willpower. Based on Chapter 9. If willpower is preference bundling, then its mechanisms become available for scrutiny. Ainslee here locates four surprising implications of his theory of willpower, which suggest that it is not the unilaterally-beneficial tool that we might suspect.