Bullet Train –- Prisoner’s Dilemma

Bullet Train is an American action comedy that pits various killers against each other while riding a bullet train. In this scene, Lemon has tracked down two people (Prince and Kimura) and needs information. Instead of torturing the two of them, he opts instead to place them in a classic prisoner’s dilemma. He hopes that the two will be self-interested and reveal the outcome he desires.

Prince and Kimura are asked to close their eyes and either confess or rat the other person out. Lemon reminds them that cooperation (both raising hands or both pointing at each other) is likely a lie and he will kill them both. It’s a slight twist on the traditional prisoner’s dilemma played in classrooms, but it’s nice to see an application of interdependence and game theory in movies.

Thanks to Liam McDermott for the clip recommendation!

Better Call Saul — Sunk Cost Fallacy

If you’re teaching the sunk cost fallacy, this clip from Better Call Saul can be used to define the term. Kim tries to convince Jimmy to keep being a lawyer because of how much time and effort he put into the bar exam. Jimmy cuts her off to teach her about the sunk cost fallacy and how it’s a waste of time.

Catch Me If You Can: Supply Curve

Here’s a clip from Catch Me If You Can illustrating a few great supply curve principles, including reservation wage. This is the full scene, but you can clip it at 1:19 to show just the relevant parts.

The Perfect Storm: The Giant Wave

In October 1991, a dying tropical hurricane from Bermuda collided with a cold front from the Great Lakes, resulting in a “perfect storm” of previously unknown destructive impact that resulted in 100-foot waves; tragically, the crew of a fishing boat was lost in the midst of the fearsome storm.

I use this as the introduction to my Compensating Differentials chapter. How much would you need to get on this boat?

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