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The Application of Knowledge to Applied Game Theory


Merging Intellect with Intuition to Solve Problems through Story-telling, Myths, Game Theory, and Personal Growth

Helping people to create better lives through efficiency, effectiveness, precision, self-awareness, Eastern Wisdom and game-based strategies


Q. How much knowledge does a person need to have to apply game theory in everyday life?

A. Much of what defines game thinking is built around the accumulation, organization, and application of knowledge. Knowledge is a familiarity, awareness or understanding of someone or something,  including facts, information descriptions, or skills, which is acquired through experience, education, perceptiondiscovery, or learning.

I write about different types of knowledge in my book “Harrison’s Applied Game Theory: How to Solve Any Problem Effortlessly”.




Knowledge can refer to a theoretical or practical understanding of a subject. It can be implicit (as with a practical skill or expertise) or explicit (as with the theoretical understanding of a subject); it can also be more or less formal or systematic.  Knowledge acquisition involves complex cognitive processes including perception, communication, reasoning, and intuition. One of the important concepts concerning knowledge and game thinking in all its forms is “Mutual Knowledge”. Mutual knowledge is a fundamental concept about information in game theorylogic, and the process of accumulating knowledge especially with regard to methods, validity, and scope of how this takes place (Epistemology). It is this investigation that allows and enables us to distinguish justified belief from opinion.  A game or event has “mutual knowledge” if all the players know that the event occurred. However, mutual knowledge by itself implies nothing about what players know about other players’ knowledge or strategies.

Thus it is possible that an event is mutual knowledge but that each player is unaware that the other players know it has occurred. Another, stronger notion related to types of knowledge is called “ Common knowledge.” Common knowledge is a knowledge that is known by everyone or nearly everyone, usually with reference to the community in which the term is used. Common knowledge need not concern one specific subject, e.g., science or history. Rather, common knowledge can be about a broad range of subjects, such as science, literature, history, and entertainment. Often, common knowledge does not need to be cited with footnotes. Nearly everyone agrees that it is so. Common knowledge is distinct from general knowledge. The latter has been defined by differential psychologists as referring to “culturally valued knowledge communicated by a range of non-specialist media”, and is considered an aspect of ability related to intelligence. Therefore, there are substantial individual differences in general knowledge as opposed to common knowledge.

The assertion that something is “common knowledge*” is sometimes associated with a concept in philosophy known as the fallacy argumentum ad populum (Latin: “appeal to the people”). The fallacy essentially warns against assuming that just because everyone believes something to be absolutely true, it is true. Misinformation is easily introduced into rumors by intermediate messengers. This is especially true concerning social media and the propagation of memes* and RTPs*.

In broader terms, common knowledge is used to refer to information that an individual would accept as valid, such as information that many users may know. One example of this type of information might include the temperature in which water freezes or boils. To determine if information should be considered common knowledge, you can ask yourself who your audience is. Are you able to assume they already have some familiarity with the topic, or will the information’s credibility come into question?

Many techniques have been developed in response to the question of distinguishing truth from fact in matters that have become “common knowledge”. The scientific method* is usually applied in cases involving phenomena associated with astronomy, mathematics, physics, and the general laws of nature. In legal settings, rules of evidence generally exclude hearsay (which may draw on so-called “facts” someone believes to be “common knowledge”).

Conventional wisdom” is a similar term, also referring to ostensibly pervasive knowledge or analysis. The challenge in all this is that many individuals really cannot distinguish between common knowledge and fake news.

Examples of common knowledge include:

  • “Paris is the capital of France.” Many capital cities are considered common knowledge by most people.
  • “The Moon orbits the Earth.” Observation of the moon shows us that this happens. In addition, scientific findings give confirmation. At various periods in history, it was regarded as common knowledge that the Earth is flat and that the Sun orbits the Earth, although these theories were later found to be false.
  • “It is dangerous to mix ammonia and bleach.” Though both common household chemicals, accidents involving the mixing of ammonia and bleach are rare because the potentially lethal danger in their chemical reaction is a widely circulated cautionary tale.
  • “The Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution grants American citizens the right to refuse to answer any question in a court of law that would endanger incriminating themselves.” “Pleading the Fifth”, for example, is a phrase commonly used in American colloquial speech, and even in such popular media as the sketch comedy series “Chappelle’s Show” Thus it may be regarded as common knowledge in the United States.




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Lewis Harrison is a practical philosopher, mentor, and peak performance coach.


He teaches workshops and seminars on Eastern Wisdom, Zen and Taoist Thought, Applied Game Theory, and Personal Growth and is the senior guide at Lewis Harrison’s Transmodern Shaman Academy


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If you have an interest in having a basic understanding of Applied Game Theory (and you need to) here is an interview I did with James Selman, a pioneer and innovator in Leadership research.


Just click below to watch the entire interview.


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