Saturday, April 17, 2010

Regarding Ponies, Pianos, Self-Interest, Feedback Loops, and Criminal Justice

I'm guaranteed to get the details of this anecdotal lead-in story wrong, but I hope to preserve enough accurately to make a point.

A couple is undergoing a divorce, and the assets are being distributed by a judge. The husband wants the piano and the wife wants the horse. The husband claims the horse is worth $5000 and the piano is worth only $1000. He wants $2000 cash plus the piano to make things fair. The wife claims just the opposite. She claims the piano is worth $5000 and the horse is worth only $1000. She wants $2000 cash plus the horse. The judge's ruling is simple and brilliant.