Robert Axelrod's research was highlighted on a recent edition of NPR's "On the Media": The Net's Mid-Life Crisis

March 13, 2009

Clay Sherkey, author of Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations, described Robert Alexrod's research on the evolution of cooperation as a potential answer to key questions about commerce and security on the Internet.

According to Sherkey, "Axelrod's answer was . . . I won't rook you in a transaction today because you and I might do business again tomorrow. And so, successful regimes create the shadow of the future and then they can actually set up cooperating networks, even inside incredibly hostile environments. We start having digital signatures in one way or another that says, essentially, I trust you directly because we've done some business together, or I trust you because people I know trust you, or I don't trust you, no one I know trusts you, and then I'm either going to not do business with you or I'll do business with you at arm's length."

[Listen to the extended interview]
[Read the transcript]