All markets created by Zvi Mowshowitz shall be graded according to the rules described herein, including the zeroth rule.

The version of this on LessWrong shall be the canonical version, even if other versions are later posted on other websites.

Rule 0: If the description of a particular market contradicts these rules, the market’s description wins, the way a card in Magic: The Gathering can break the rules. This document only establishes the baseline rules, which can be modified.

  1. Effort put into the market need not exceed that which is appropriate to the stakes wagered and the interestingness level remaining in the question. I will do my best to be fair, and cover corner cases, but I’m not going to sink hours into a disputed resolution if there isn’t very serious mana on the line. If it’s messy and people care I’d be happy to kick such questions to Austin Chen.
  2. Obvious errors will be corrected. If for example a date is clearly a typo, I will fix.
  3. If the question description or resolution mechanism does not match the clear intent or spirit of the question, or does not match its title, in an unintentional way, or is ambiguous, I will fix that as soon as it is pointed out. If the title is the part in error I will fix the title. If you bet while there is ambiguity or a contradiction here, and no one including you has raised the point, then this is at your own risk.
  4. If the question was fully ambiguous in a scenario, I will choose resolution for that scenario based on what I feel upholds the spirit of the question and what traders could have reasonably expected, if such option is available.
  5. When resolving potentially ambiguous or disputable situations, I will still strive whenever possible to get to either YES or NO, if I can find a way to do that and that is appropriate to the spirit of the question.
  6. Ambiguous markets that have no other way to resolve, because the outcome is not known or situation is truly screwed up, will by default resolve to the manipulation-excluded market price, if I judge that to be a reasonable assessment of the probability involved. This includes conditional questions like ‘Would X be a good use of time?’ when X never happens and the answer seems uncertain.
  7. If even those doesn’t make any sense, N/A it is, but that is a last resort.
  8. Egregious errors in data sources will be corrected. If in my opinion the intended data source is egregiously wrong, I will overrule it. This requires definitive evidence to overturn, as in a challenge in the NFL.
  9. If the market is personal and subjective (e.g. ‘Will Zvi enjoy X?’ ‘Would X be a good use of Zvi’s time?’), then my subjective judgment rules the day, period. This also includes any resolution where I say I am using my subjective judgment. That is what you are signing up for. Know your judge.
  10. Within the realm of not obviously and blatantly violating the question intent or spirit, technically correct is still the best kind of correct when something is well-specified, even if it makes it much harder for one side or the other to win.
  11. For any market related to sports, Pinnacle Sports house rules apply.
  12. Markets will resolve early if the outcome is known and I realize this. You are encouraged to point this out.
  13. Markets will resolve early, even if the outcome is unknown, if the degree of uncertainty remaining is insufficient to render the market interesting, and the market is trading >95% or <5% (or for markets multiple years in advance, >90% or <10%), and I agree with the market but feel it mostly reflects Manifold interest rates. Markets will not be allowed to turn into bets on interest rates. However if it could still plausibly resolve N/A, then I will hold off.
  14. I will not participate in subjective markets until the minute I resolve them.
  15. If I participate in a market and do not resolve it, I am stating that the market is fully objective, and I am locking any changes, and will offload judging the market in event of a non-trivial dispute to a neutral third party.
  16. I will definitely pick off the value right before a definitive resolution (e.g. buying to 99%+ when I’m about to resolve YES), but this will not be considered in the market price. I won’t do this when resolving to a market price.
  17. I will modify these rules continuously over time as I find better rules. I will do my best not to have this change the outcome of markets that had already been created and have substantial participation. 
  18. Others are encouraged to say they use ‘Zvi house rules,’ either in a particular market or in general, but I am not pledging to offer my verdict on any confusions that occur in such markets.

Suggestions for modifications are encouraged. 

New Comment
4 comments, sorted by Click to highlight new comments since: Today at 7:17 PM

Interesting! I've never seen someone try to make a such a comprehensive set of baseline rules, it seems like a good project!

I think the most controversial item here is 13:
 

Markets will resolve early, even if the outcome is unknown, if the degree of uncertainty remaining is insufficient to render the market interesting, and the market is trading >95% or <5% (or for markets multiple years in advance, >90% or <10%), and I agree with the market but feel it mostly reflects Manifold interest rates. Markets will not be allowed to turn into bets on interest rates. However if it could still plausibly resolve N/A, then I will hold off.

Could you give some examples of markets you think this rule should apply to? For example, I run the the market on Eliezer's 150k UFO bet:

Would you resolve that market early, if you were the market creator and if it never went below 90% for a year?

For your own markets, is this policy retroactive? Will you resolve this market early?

For my own markets, it is not retroactive if I didn't say it at the time (which I did for many markets). In that case, I would resist doing so exactly because I think this is a low-probability but possible event, and I continue to find it interesting. If it was 3% (trading at Superconductor) I would be tempted to early resolve, but 5% isn't there yet.

To be clear, I WOULD likely resolve the Superconductor market now under this rule, I think it is trading at interest rate.

For the bet, at 93% with active arguing on both sides and real trading, definitely not. Even if this were 95%, I wouldn't resolve, because it is based on a 150-to-1 baseline bet and there is a clear contingent arguing the other way. So if I made a UFO market like this I would say 'This cannot resolve early to YES, period.' 

For the election case, if I saw the desks collectively resolving I would resolve, but if something is going to be 99.99% a day later and it's 99% now, might as well wait. If it's going to be two months, do it now.

Note that it says "the degree of uncertainty remaining is insufficient to render the market interesting" AND <5% or >95%.

This seems reasonable to me. Note that degree varies by market - an absolute probability by itself wouldn't be a good rule. If it was already very unlikely (e.g. "Will a nuclear bomb be detonated in NYC this year"), then for the degree of uncertainty to become uninteresting it has to become much more unlikely in a way that rules out most of the previous probability space.

 

I've thought about this type of case a decent amount, and I think a perfectly reasonable approach is to resove early when the uncertainty is almost entirely gone, but with the commitment to re-open and re-resolve as needed in the event that the "almost entirely" turns out to be relevant.

Classic example: "Who wins election X?" Resolve as soon as projected by mainstream decision desks. But on a large number of election markets, there will surely be some small number of wrong projections, so you undo the resolution, reopen the market, and eventually re-resolve as needed.

Pro: avoids locking up mana unnecessarily. Con: undoing resolutions can cause people to have negative mana. 

Philosophically, you can look at this as giving everyone a loan based on the presumptive resolution.

I agree that points 12 and 13 are at least mildly controversial. From the PoV of someone adopting these rules, it'd be enough if you changed the "will"s to "may"s.

By and large, the fewer points that are binding for the market creator, the easier it is to adopt the rules. I'm fine with a few big points being strongly binding (e.g. #15), and also fine with the more aspirational points where "Zvi's best judgement" automatically gets replaced with "Vitor's best judgement". But I'd rather not commit to some minutiae I don't really care about.

(It's more about "attack surface" or maybe in this case we should say "decision surface" than actual strong disagreement with the points, if that makes sense?)