Prediction market sequence requested

by [anonymous] 1 min read26th Oct 201245 comments


Related to: Eliezer's Sequences and Mainstream Academia, Intellectual insularity and productivity, I Stand by the Sequences, Why don't people like markets?

Looking at some of the more recent arguments against them showing up in discussions I've been quite disappointed, they seem betray a sort of lack of background knowledge or opinions built up from a bottom line of "markets are baaad therefore prediction markets are baaad". The casual arguments for them are lacking as well. I will say the same of other discussions on economic, since it is apparently suddenly too mind-killing or too political to talk about markets and similar things at all. We didn't use to have tribal alerts flying up in our brains discussing such matters.

The Overcoming Bias community started with an assumption of certain kinds of background knowledge, this included economics and things like game theory. In the early days of LessWrong/Overcoming Bias Eliezer did a whole sequnece on filling in people on Quantum mechanics which despite his claims to the contrary doesn't seem that vital (if still important).  

We now have a different demographic that we used to. Not only that, we  now have young people basically using the sequences as their primary source for education on matters of human rationality, quite different from the autodidacts exploring the literature on their own terms who where common in previous years. We've recognized this to a certain extent. We wrote a series of introductory sequences and articles to fill in such background knowledge explicitly such as Yvain's recent one on Game Theory. Also part of the reason we now have a norm of more citations that EY originally did is to give study and research aids to people. Indeed I think adding comments to old articles featuring more citations or editing those in would be wise so as to avoid misconceptions.

I think we need several sequences on economics, and a good one to start would be one systematically investigating prediction markets. To a certain extent just reading Robin Hanson's relevant posts on this topic would do much the same, but unfortunately we don't have an organized series of sequences by him (beyond the tags he uses on his articles). I still hope Karmakaiser or someone else will one day undertake a project of writing up summary articles that organize links to RH's posts into sequences so new members will read them as well.

I'd write these myself but I just don't have a good background in what works and studies influence the positions of early key LW authors on economics and its relevance to rationality. I'm also only beginning my studies in that area since my background is in the hard sciences with only some half-serious opinions formed from Moldbuggian insights and 20th century social science.