• The Predictioneer's Game

  • Using the Logic of Brazen Self-Interest to See and Shape the Future
  • By: Bruce Bueno de Mesquita
  • Narrated by: Sean Runnette
  • Length: 9 hrs and 32 mins
  • 4.2 out of 5 stars (215 ratings)

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The Predictioneer's Game

By: Bruce Bueno de Mesquita
Narrated by: Sean Runnette
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Publisher's Summary

Bruce Bueno de Mesquita is a master of game theory, which is a fancy label for a simple idea: People compete, and they always do what they think is in their own best interest. Bueno de Mesquita uses game theory and its insights into human behavior to predict and even engineer political, financial, and personal events. His forecasts, which have been employed by everyone from the CIA to major business firms, have an amazing 90-percent accuracy rate, and in this dazzling and revelatory book he shares his startling methods and lets you play along in a range of high-stakes negotiations and conflicts.

Revealing the origins of game theory and the advances made by John Nash, the Nobel Prize-winning scientist perhaps best known from A Beautiful Mind, Bueno de Mesquita details the controversial and cold-eyed system of calculation that he has since created, one that allows individuals to think strategically about what their opponents want, how much they want it, and how they might react to every move.

From there, Bueno de Mesquita games such events as the North Korean disarmament talks and the Middle East peace process and recalls, among other cases, how he correctly predicted which corporate clients of the Arthur Andersen accounting firm were most likely engaged in fraudulent activity (hint: one of them started with an E).

Looking as ever to the future, Bueno de Mesquita also demonstrates how game theory can provide successful strategies to combat both global warming and terror.

But as Bueno de Mesquita shows, game theory isn't just for saving the world. It can help you in your own life, whether you want to succeed in a lawsuit, elect the CEO of your company, or even buy a car.

Savvy, provocative, and shockingly effective, The Predictioneer's Game will change how you understand the world and manage your future. Life's a game, and how you play is whether you win or lose.

©2009 Bruce Bueno De Mesquita (P)2009 Random House

Critic Reviews

"Bruce Bueno de Mesquita has demonstrated the power of using game theory and related assumptions of rational and self-seeking behavior in predicting the outcome of important political and legal processes. No one will fail to appreciate and learn from this well-written and always interesting account of his procedures." (Kenneth Arrow, Nobel Prize-winning economist; Professor Emeritus, Stanford University)

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What listeners say about The Predictioneer's Game

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Don't make this a habit audible!

What did you like best about The Predictioneer's Game? What did you like least?

As you can see in figure 2.4, my opinion of this book is very clear. The left axis represents my enjoyment of the book and the right axis represents the book over time. From the graph the reasons for my opinion should be clear.

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Disappointed

I thought this would be an interesting read along the lines of Malcolm Gladwell. Unfortunately, this is really a book more interested on promoting the author and how "brilliant" he is rather than telling an interesting story.

5 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Where are the figures?

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

The book relies on a pretty significant number of figures. Where are they? Most audible books have an attachment at this point.

Also, the reader's style is off for this book. It's almost as if he's reading a romance novel, which the book is not.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

A soft and perhaps sensuous voice, which doesn't really fit the topic.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Interesting material, missing figures

BBdM has an interesting quantitative approach to political science and this book shines in its description of using it to solve current events issues.
I am disappointed that the figures referred to in the book are not available as a .pdf download, as I have gotten from numerous other Audible books.

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Eye-opening

If you could sum up The Predictioneer's Game in three words, what would they be?

Eye-opening to the power of math

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Predictioneer's Game?

When I realized human nature is not really bad, it just is, and it can largely be predicted if we remember that we are all out to make the best decision for ourselves without necessarily wanting to badly affect others.

Which character – as performed by Sean Runnette – was your favorite?

It's a non-fiction with no characters

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Mathematics explains human nature

Any additional comments?

If you know anything, really even just a little, about game theory and if you like math this is a fascinating proof that our behavior isn't as mysterious as we might think.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

doubts remain: science or scam?

The author thinks politics can be modeled as games and simulated by a computer, thus the outcome of the simulation is an accurate prediction of the future, or can be used to nudge the outcome to a desirable position. This is an intriguing proposal for the listener. Unfortunately the Author gives only a glimpse on how his method works, and refers always to the "new algorithm" without describing it. Further, his hit score of over 90% sounds absurdly high, not to mention that he explains away the remaining 10%.
I have written him to disclose his algorithm a week ago and still waiting an answer.
Neverthanless I got really interested in game theory trought this audiobook even if the pleasant narrators voice did not reveal much about this modern and actual topic

1 person found this helpful

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Great book

This is a book that needs to be listen twice for full understanding, it’s great and I will get back to it sooner than later.

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really logical

I found this book interesting. it helped me to ask for the most important questions to solve things and get the best outcome of any situation.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Neat book, needs figures

Neat book, needs a figure sheet though. Most 9ther audiobooks, including others by Bueno de Mesqita come with them, so what gives?

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A book to read, not to listen to.

This is a book that should be read, not listened to because it has many illustrations that are not shown and are mentioned in the reading. Besides that, it is a must read.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Gisele
  • 06-11-11

Grade C+

Mildly interesting but I was hoping for more insight into the author's computer simulations of game theory for situations involving multiplayer games and modelling. I did not feel equipped to tackle game theory in the real world after reading. For someone with a pedigree of having worked for the CIA and corporate concerns I feel this book was way below his abilities.