Cold War

foundations and doctrines

Rodolfo Pilas           @pilasguru
Elbio Fernandez - Nov. 21,2018

John Von Neumann

1903 - 1957




computer scientist



Little Boy

600 mts.

Aug. 6

Fat Man

469 mts.

Aug. 9, 1945


Prisioner's dilemma

  1. you betrays other who remains silent, you will free and other 20 years in prison

  2. both betray other, each of them servers 5 years

  3. both remain silent, both servers 1 year in prison

Nash equilibrium

each player is assumed to know the strategies of the other player


no player has anything to gain by changing only their own strategy

Recipie for a perfect Cold War

remain still may be the best option


you must know the strategies of the enemy


change the strategy is not necessary


and ...


Mutual Assured Destruction


MAD doctrine

each side may destroy the other side

either side, if attacked for any reason would retaliate with equal or greater force

attack result is an immediate, irreversible escalation of hostilities 

and both will have mutual, total, and assured destruction.

1940 to 1991

second-strike capability

von Neumann architecture

design of digital computer