The Discernable Interviews

Dr. Cameron Murray - Tribal Signalling, Emergent Corruption and Game Theory

1 Hour 31 Minutes

Dr Cameron Murray is an expert in environmental economics, corruption and property markets. As a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow in the Henry Halloran Trust at the University of Sydney, Cameron’s PHD on the economics of corruption reveals how endemic and emergent it is to the human condition, which explains so much of the Covid-19 response we are seeing around the world today.

Most startling about this interview was his game theory experiments testing and demonstrating corrupt behaviour emerging through social pressure and group/tribe dynamics. In conversation we analysed social conformity to lockdowns through the lens of his research findings.

I particularly enjoyed exploring the manipulation of groups and how politicians and other leaders take advantage of populations.

His book ‘Game of Mates: How Favours Bleed the Nation’ will ‘open your eyes to how Australia really works’.


His appearance on QandA:

1:15 What economics really is
5:38 Economics is about human welfare and money is only an indicator
8:40 Politicians are shopping around for advice that matches their agenda
9:20 The Health and Wellbeing Cake
13:55 Overcoming the ‘Let It Rip’ stigma
16:23 Myth Making – facts don’t matter in politics
19:12 Why people follow the mass groupthink we are seeing
23:15 How people justify corruption
30:40 Social pressure doesn’t alter corrupt behaviour
33:00 Breaking down tribal groups of loyalty
34:08 Democracy isn’t what we think it is
36:56 Our anti-corruption strategies are only reinforcing corruption
38:05 How conspiracy theories emerge
39:55 the 4 ingredients of corruption
47:04 How institutions have lasted so long
49:05 The social signalling of mask wearing
52:24 The 4 ingredients of corruption summary
55:26 What is the real-world antidote to corruption?
58:26 What happens to group dynamics when they reach snapping point
59:36 Politicians do what is best for their group
1:05:16 The best way to counter groupthink is to create a counter group
1:08:00 How to create a successful movement
1:08:55 Competition between groups
1:11:18 Real-world examples of groupthink mastery
1:14:55 – Dr Cameron Murray’s book
1:16:02 House prices booming through Lockdown
1:23:43 Real house prices or hidden inflation?
1:26:50 House prices for future generations