Ironically, the discipline of marketing was started by economists!
Again, all this is true enough in a sense, and it misses completely something much deeper, much more important, and something fundamental to evolution.
Evolution doesn’t care how. All that matters is survival.
Any “hack”, that works in practice, survives (with some significant probability).
Games theory gives us a theoretical framework for interpreting why it works in practice, but doesn’t necessarily drive anything (reality only needs to be a sufficiently close approximation).
One fundamental thing to get about evolution, is that it operates on all aspects simultaneously.
If evolution stumbles upon a “hack” (a heuristic, some simple algorithm, or reaction, or molecule, or idea, etc) that works in practice to deliver an outcome that is near enough to some ideal, and uses a lot less energy than calculating, then it will be selected for.
Every aspect of our biology and our culture is like that.
Applying games theory is great, and necessary, if we are to go beyond our evolutionary past (genetic and cultural and experiential), and in order to put games theory into context, one has to get a real handle on the complexity that is present in biology, and the degrees of pure randomness that can at times and places completely overwhelm any sort of order.
To the degree that we can identify these “hacks” both in our biology and our culture, then to that degree we can develop higher order systems to mitigate any risks we identify from such hacks in our exponentially changing present and future.
In this sense, and this requires at least three levels of abstraction, our current conceptual systems of economics and marketing are becoming the single greatest threat to our survival, as they are tuned to contexts that are becoming exponentially less relevant.
How many people worry about the cost of air?
We are very close to delivering technologies that allow us to produce any defined good or service in similar abundance to air.
What use economics in such a context?
What point markets?
What strength is the sense of injustice against those who consciously work to prevent such a context from emerging?
If we don’t start thinking about and planning for existence beyond scarcity, then the scarcity based hacks of our neural and cultural systems will overwhelm any technical abundance that does exist and lead us into destruction on a scale that delivers significant risk to everyone, even those in the deepest of nuclear powered underground bunkers.
We have the ability to deliver security and freedom to every person on the planet.
We need to action a plan to deliver that outcome, and soon, or the hacks in our brains that make us fight against injustice will take someone, somewhere, in a position to do something real about it, over the edge of a precipice (in some dimension of strategy space) from which there is no return.
Even a very small probability in respect of any individual, in a large enough population, over a long enough period, delivers an outcome probability that approaches unity.