A cautionary statement about betting on your beliefs from Tyler Cowen:

Bryan Caplan is pleased that he has won his bet with me, about whether unemployment will fall under five percent. ... The Benthamite side of me will pay Bryan gladly, as I don’t think I’ve ever had a ten dollar expenditure of mine produce such a boost in the utility of another person.

That said, I think this episode is a good example of what is wrong with betting on ideas. Betting tends to lock people into positions, gets them rooting for one outcome over another, it makes the denouement of the bet about the relative status of the people in question, and it produces a celebratory mindset in the victor. That lowers the quality of dialogue and also introspection, just as political campaigns lower the quality of various ideas — too much emphasis on the candidates and the competition.

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A counterpoint to Tyler Cower from Bryan Caplan who won that particular bet.

0MrMind4yThe natural question is if there's a better betting scheme, one that would retain the compulsion to tell the truth but smooth the tribalism naturally present in the brain. For example, one could bet on both outcomes and pay the log of of the probability of the wrong outcome but receive the log-prob of the outcome that is realized. Has this kind of scheme been alread analyzed?
4entirelyuseless4yI think Robin Hanson has a pretty good response to this. [http://www.overcomingbias.com/2016/02/does-money-spoil-everything.html]

Open Thread, Feb 8 - Feb 15, 2016

by Elo 1 min read8th Feb 2016224 comments


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