At the airport in Dallas† today, I broke down and bought a week-old Economist,* and in it I read about the then-current status of the Cyprus deal—the European Union made an ill-advised deal with the Greek Cypriots that basically let them in the EU regardless of whether or not they held up their end of the bargain to reunite the island, on the not entirely unreasonable but nonetheless incorrect assumption that the Turks would be the more recalcitrant party. Now the other shoe has dropped, with the Greek Cypriots rejecting the deal, and everyone is sort of standing around holding their proverbial Johnsons in response.
The moral of this story is Game Theory 101: don’t reward someone for their anticipated good behavior in advance, because otherwise they’ll see no reason to uphold their end of the bargain.
† I had to fly via DFW to get to [redacted].
* I considered a copy of D Magazine, but perusal of the table of contents revealed no content by the esteemed Virginia Postrel, so it was a choice basically between either the week-old Economist or today’s New York Times, both of which were basically $5; I must admit, though, the copy of In Style magazine with Jennifer Garner on the cover was tempting…