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This is a special extra meeting of our (usually) monthly Philosophy Cub, for folks who want to work on our third Lego robots activity. We'll still be working on getting our robots to use light sensors to navigate a maze, but now with the added twist of needing to interact with another robot at the same time, which opens a wealth of opportunities for both cooperation (letting the other robot finish as well, so you can both get a decent number of points) or defection (trying to sabotage the other robot so you can get a bigger payoff yourself). You'll be at a bit of a disadvantage if you didn't already work on maze navigation in the second activity, but I can help get you set up with something that will work at least minimally well, so you can then think about devious offenses and defenses to add on!

For folks who don't have their own kits, several pre-built robots will be available for you to add sensors to and try out.

What to bring:

* Your own Lego Mindstorms robotic kit, if you have one. (If not, there will be several extra kits available to work with there.)

* A PC or Mac laptop, if you have one. (People will likely end up working together in groups, and we only need one laptop per group, so it'll probably be fine if you don't have one, yourself.) (PC's tend to run the software a bit more consistently than Macs, and bluetooth is a real plus, as it saves the hassle of plugging and unplugging a USB cable, so if you're on the borderline for bringing a PC with Bluetooth, please consider bringing it!)

* A light snack to share.

* Please indicate with your RSVP whether you'll bring your laptop -- that will help us to know if we'll have enough laptops.

What to read beforehand:

* Hofstadter on game theory (available here ( - login as philclub, password is the name of the street we'll meet on, single word all lowercase). This reading is long but fairly easy and fun. The key points to draw from it are the basic idea of an iterated prisoners dilemma, and the four morals that Axelrod drew from his tournaments: that successful strategies are nice (start out willing to cooperate), provokable (will stop being nice if the other player defects), forgiving (willing to repair a relationship with someone who defected in the past if they're now willing to mutually cooperate), and clear (don't try fancy tricks that make them seem untrustworthy).

Note: You'll probably get more out of this if you have also come to our Phil Club discussion on October 5, but if you happened to miss that, be sure to do the above reading, and then this could still be interesting and fun.