Books: Name of the Game

POOR DEVILS by David Ely. 332 pages. Houghton Miffin. $5.95.

The difficulty with trying to govern by games theory is that some people don't want to play. What is worse, some people don't even know they are in a game. It is the job of the mathematicians, systems analysts and directors at a government-sponsored foundation involved in Project Nomad to get everybody into their game—or at least reduce to a minimum the chances of irrational, unpredictable moves by nonplayers, mostly the poor and angry urban masses.

But what of unpredictable moves by the people who...

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