Poker, Virtue Ethics, and the Prisoner's Dilemma.
In Star Trek: The Next Generation, we see a lot of poker: from Commander Riker cleaning house, to Data learning how to bluff, to Geordi claiming not to cheat with his VISOR. But exactly why do we see so much poker in Star Trek? What important character traits or skills does the game of poker help instill in a young Starfleet officer? Can any important lessons in ethics or diplomacy be learned from playing poker? How are those character traits or skills different from those learned from playing other games, such as three-dimensional chess? And how does poker relate to game-like scenarios in ethics, such as the Prisoner's Dilemma? In this episode of Meta Treks: A Star Trek Philosophy Podcast, hosts Mike Morrison and Zachary Fruhling tackle the philosophy and ethics of poker aboard the Enterprise-D. From virtue ethics to game theory, Mike and Zachary bluff their way through a discussion of the deeper significance of poker in the Star Trek universe.
Welcome to Episode 18 (00:01:07)
Intro to the Topic (00:01:19)
Meta Treks Reviews on iTunes (00:05:04)
Poker Episodes in Star Trek: The Next Generation (00:08:38)
Virtue Ethics - Does Poker Cultivate Desirable Character Traits? (00:27:15)
Game Theory and the Prisoner's Dilemma (00:46:55)
"Chain of Command" and the Prisoner's Dilemma (00:55:47)
Final Thoughts (01:02:23)