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Table of Contents

1. Introduction

Short for "if everyone else did it…". This particular syndrome involves arguments about group mentality that would be completely insolvent in game theory, yet are often brought up in defense of modern practices.

1.1. The Democracy Game

Democracy is a good example of IEEDI syndrome. The gain of voting in an \(n\) player game involving two candidates and popular vote drops off at \(\frac{1}{n}\), but the time it takes to be informed and vote has a constant value. The decisions of individuals in this game most likely, in real life, at most influence the decision making of one or two other people (in total, from the whole chain reaction), so the effect of influence is not very significant (so you can't argue that you have an influence over the crowd to vote, because you don't). Given all these conditions, for a large \(n\), voting should not be worth it for most people, because the choice of you voting is independent of everyone else voting. You voting or not voting has no bearing over the crowd. Yet, the common retort is, "if everyone thought like you…". This logic is dead on arrival, because not everyone's going to think like you. The character of the system is that other people irrationally vote regardless of if you do, and your decision to vote or not vote has no bearing over the crowd voting or not voting.

This simple fact is IEEDI syndrome; people are quick to conform rather than think about the personal cost-benefit analysis, even if the logic stops working for large societies.

1.2. The Activism Game

The activism game is similar; your activism doesn't matter much, and the crowd would continue existing even if you weren't a part of it. Thus, any attempt to engage in activism at almost any cost is useless.

2. Symptoms

One may diagnose people with IEEDI syndrome if they:

  1. cannot affect a situation meaningfully, yet they try to anyways.
  2. make IAK statements regularly.
  3. engage in activism.

3. Conclusion

Almost any decision to try to influence large societies where your influence is a fraction of everyone elses' is unjustified from a cost benefit analysis standpoint.

Copyright © 2024 Preston Pan