# The Perfect Auction Lets You Pay the Second-Highest Bid

You bid, you win, you pay the amount that you bid. That’s the rule for auctions, right? And that’s why you want to make the lowest bid you think will win. One type of auction, though, takes the guesswork out of it with economic theory.

# Chimps Are Better at Strategic Reasoning Than Humans Are

Imagine that your boss wants you to work, but you'd rather watch cat videos. Your best strategy is to learn your boss's patterns so that you'll appear hard at work only when she's watching. New research shows that chimpanzees are better than humans at making this kind of Machiavellian deduction.

# Does infinity really exist?

Our universe appears to be bound by a finite set of laws, yet we often talk about things that go on for an eternity. "Infinity" is a strange idea. But it's crucial if you want to understand anything from philosophy to mathematics. Here’s why.

# Sophisticated chatbot poses as teenage girl to lure pedophiles

Spanish researchers have developed an advanced — and extremely convincing — chatbot that poses as a 14-year-old girl. Called Negobot, the system will help authorities detect sexual predators in chatrooms and social networks.

# The new economics of getting sloshed: using game theory to choose your next drink

Bars across the country are implementing a market-based pricing algorithm that automatically adjusts the cost of drinks from minute-to-minute, based on the ordering trends of its patrons. If the bar is selling a lot of cocktail A, the price of that drink increases. If sales on beverage B are down, the cost of the…

# How to Win a Three-Way Gunfight

Truels are things guaranteed to make any Western fifty percent better — by adding a third person to a duel. Each person can choose his or her target, and the worst person might very well be the winner — provided they play it smart. Learn how to win yourself a truel, gunslinger-style.

# Mathematicians figure out how to fend off gold-diggers - with game theory

As any man will tell you (especially in the weeks before Valentine's Day), gift-giving is a tricky business. Although men can use gifts to enhance their chances of getting laid, this can also leave them vulnerable to "gold-diggers" (a highly scientific term that describes women who use the promise of sex to get stuff…

# It's been proven: You're either a hypocrite or delusional

I love it when science explains why human beings are awful. A recent set of experiments proves the punishment you dole out to people is always worse than what they did to you.

# Did societies evolve to be corrupt?

Corruption is as old as human history. For as long as people have organized themselves into groups with powerful leaders, those leaders have sometimes abused their power. But evolutionary biologists say corruption might actually be holding societies together.