Interesting rationalist exercise about French election

by kilobug 1 min read16th Apr 201211 comments


The newspaper "Le Monde" made an interesting exercise for rationalists in the context of the French election.

They first made a classical "which is your best candidate" poll, in which they ask multiple choice questions about various topics (for each question, you must select one answer, and how important the issue is for you), and at the end, they select the candidate that (according to them) is closest to your answers. Nothing new in that.

But then, they made a much more interesting (at least from a rationality training point of view) exercise : they asked the same questions, but not asking "what is your opinion on the topic ?" and "how is this question important for you ?" but they asked "what do you think the majority of our readers answered ?" and "how do they think they rated the importance of this issue ?". And then they give you a score from 0 to 1000 on how good your "predictions" were.

It's in French, so it'll be hard for most of you to try it, but if you want it is available online here.

I found this kind of exercise (trying to guess what other people will have answered) to be interesting from a LW point of view, because it somehow makes your beliefs (about the opinions, priority and mentalities of French people) pay rent.

So I wanted to share it with the LW community, and ask if you know about similar exercises elsewhere, that gives you a way to check how accurate your belief network is in complicated issues, if you find them interesting too, and how they could be improved.

As an idea of improvement, I would like adding a confidence rating to each question, the more confident you feel in your answer, the more points you get if you get it right, but the more you lose if you get it wrong.