Rapoport's "Tit-for-Tat" solution to repeated prisoner's dilemma has two huge things going for it:
- You cannot exploit it. You are always better off cooperating than attempting to game it.
- It's simple, so it's easy to figure out what it is and what it is doing.
These are two very powerful advantages in any strategic interaction.
Crooked Timber: Anatol Rapoport has died at the age of 95. Among many contributions, perhaps his most widely-known was the Tit-for-Tat rule for repeated games of the Prisoner's Dilemma, embodied in a four-line program Rapoport successfully entered in a contest run by Robert Axelrod. Rapoport's program co-operates inititially, and thereafter matches the other player's last action, defecting in response to a defection, and returning to co-operation if the other player does so...