You can't handle the truth.
April 6, 2006 12:33 PM   Subscribe

Truth Markets. Invest in truthiness.
posted by I Love Tacos (32 comments total)
 
Assuming somebody could overcome the regulatory barriers, I think this would be an absolutely fantastic way to improve the quality of emergent information.

I'd much rather check the closing price of "(random political claim)" than listen to a bunch of blathering pundits.
posted by I Love Tacos at 12:41 PM on April 6, 2006


Agricolture, it needs harms.
posted by elpapacito at 12:50 PM on April 6, 2006


Should soon lead to futarchy. otherwise this might actually work.
posted by destro at 12:55 PM on April 6, 2006


Should soon lead to futarchy. otherwise this might actually work.

I don't see that it would lead to a futarchy. The goal of this market would be to seek truth and to find out what sort of truthiness factor people assign to different claims.

But current facts don't resolve differences of opinion as to government policy and what not.

I'd absolutely love to see a political news show that had a segment where they went over claims... like:

Claim: "I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky"
Claimant: Bill Clinton
Closed at $10.00 in heavy trading, down from $22.75 on open.
posted by I Love Tacos at 1:10 PM on April 6, 2006


But current facts don't resolve differences of opinion as to government policy and what not.

what exactly are "current facts"? is that like truthiness on a time scale?
posted by destro at 1:14 PM on April 6, 2006


Everything the cypherpunks and cryptoanarchists predicted in the 90s seems to be gaining steam at a faster and faster rate.

Those were some smart guys. Although, the cypherpunk idea that anonymous electronic cash will displace identity-based electronic payments because it's more cost-effective to process doesn't seem to have panned out yet, but Chaum's patents only expired last year, so I guess we'll see.
posted by sonofsamiam at 1:22 PM on April 6, 2006


This system will be useless for "truth," but may prove to be a useful barometer of belief.
posted by b1tr0t at 1:28 PM on April 6, 2006


After 9/11 wasn't there a suggestion of making a market in terrorism? Terrorists would buy into their own stock, then there'd be warning.

Cool post.
posted by RufusW at 1:31 PM on April 6, 2006


The Terrorism Market, where you could invest in a terrorist bombing, then bomb , then profit.
posted by destro at 1:39 PM on April 6, 2006


cool post in general taco - really like the derivatives for authorial intent.

but as sort of a comment on the comments for sonofsamian, i am intrigued by yr reference to cypherpunk thought.

i mean, i'm familiar with some of the general contours of the mvmnt through 2600 and phreak and so on, but am curious if you have any resources on further avenues of the philosophy animating the cypherpunks and cryptoanarchist thought.

thanks.
posted by neoistimpulse at 1:43 PM on April 6, 2006


what b1tr0t said.
posted by rooftop secrets at 1:44 PM on April 6, 2006


Note: "Truthiness" means "confirmation bias" -- i.e. believing what you want to believe rather than what the evidence compels you to believe.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 1:44 PM on April 6, 2006


"The price of orange juice futures has even been shown to accurately predict the weather"

In other news, weather forecasts have been shown to accurately predict the weather.

Oh and er, am I the only one who is already bored of truth markets? Yes, lots of people can predict things en mass. Is this surprising, not really, those that suck get filtered out by running out of resources/influence meaning only the most accurate and reliable people actually have any effect. Leaving you with a bunch of select pundits and lots of randoms. The transparency can be either better or worse than media comment, but that's just because nobody tabulates and graphs the accuracy of the media's opinions as far as I can tell.

I spent 6 months working my way up the ranks in Owise's economics section then got blew it all on a bunch of entertainment predictions.
posted by public at 1:46 PM on April 6, 2006


I'm not smart enough to understand this...
But I love it.
posted by TheFeatheredMullet at 1:54 PM on April 6, 2006


neoistimpulse: I wish I had a nice summary, but everything I know about them is from reading the list archives back when. A lot of really interesting conversations in there, amongst the racist snarking, periodic snake oil, and standard community bickering.
posted by sonofsamiam at 1:59 PM on April 6, 2006


I was reading this as an amusing satire on the hegemony of neo-liberal ideology in contemporary society. Was I wrong?
posted by anglophiliated at 2:03 PM on April 6, 2006


tnx for the link sos - i'll poke around later and see if i see anything and post any summary i uncover. looks like there's some really interesting thought in that mix.
posted by neoistimpulse at 2:03 PM on April 6, 2006


Oh, wait let me dig up some more links for ya.

One thing in particular sort of related to this post is Assassination Politics by Jim Bell. That's the kind of thing they used to talk about.

More than one of them (incl. Bell) is in prison right now.

Also see Blacknet, coined by Tim May.
posted by sonofsamiam at 2:07 PM on April 6, 2006


I don't see that it would lead to a futarchy. The goal of this market would be to seek truth and to find out what sort of truthiness factor people assign to different claims.

Claims like

"Lean Hogs will be worth $10 more than they are now in 6 months."

by any chance?

Welcome to options/futures trading.
posted by public at 2:09 PM on April 6, 2006


Yeah, I see of no way that this could work in reality. Sad to say, but the price of a gallon of Orange Juice is a quantifiable figure, where as the truth is subjective.
posted by SweetJesus at 2:30 PM on April 6, 2006


Yeah, I see of no way that this could work in reality. Sad to say, but the price of a gallon of Orange Juice is a quantifiable figure, where as the truth is subjective.

No the price of orange juice is equally subjective. There is no "price" beyond what one seller is willing to sell to you at. Just as there is no truth beyond what one individual is willing to believe as being true.

When you attempt to predict the movements of any market you are attempting to predict what people (on average) will think about a certain thing at a certain point in the future accurately enough such that you can profit from it in some way. And just on financial markets there will always be a variation which is usually called the spread.

The more transparent (or perhaps liquid? There's generally a correlation between transparency and liquidity though) the market, the narrower the spread. What I mean by transparency is really just the amount of information and how evenly dispersed it is rather than specifically about the trading processes.
posted by public at 2:46 PM on April 6, 2006


To those who say "perception is reality," I always say "yes, perhaps in the short term, but in the long term *real* reality has a way of always catching up with perceived reality."

This is why the only stock market investing strategy that actually works is value investing a la Ben Graham.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 2:51 PM on April 6, 2006


ZenMasterThis writes "This is why the only stock market investing strategy that actually works is value investing a la Ben Graham."

Can I short this statement?
posted by mullacc at 2:55 PM on April 6, 2006


I Love Tacos says I'd much rather check the closing price of "(random political claim)" than listen to a bunch of blathering pundits.
Does this mean Metafilter is obsolete...?
posted by twsf at 3:00 PM on April 6, 2006


This reminds me of the Delphi pools from John Brunner's Shockwave Rider.

Having a system like this would really add some weight to statements like "I don't buy it."

That said, I'm all for a system that provides incentive for people to actually think about the validity of the claims made by the media, governments, etc.
posted by benign at 3:55 PM on April 6, 2006


Of interest to me is the notion that Jesus told or allowed Judas to go ahead and rat him out--a plan--so he could then get whacked and then, yeast-like, rise and be reborn. This notion is the Fortunate Fall. The Death (and rebirth) fortunate because had it not taken place when it did, Jesus would not become the Messiah figure for later folks who turned him into the basis for a new relgion. But the notion of the Fortunate Fall I believe was based on Judas acting but not following direct plans from Jesus. And Judas got a payout for his work.
posted by Postroad at 3:57 PM on April 6, 2006


See also Inkling Markets. It's a very different model, but has a similar goal.
posted by heresiarch at 4:02 PM on April 6, 2006


to postroad:

"it's easier to drink on an empty stomach than to eat on a broken heart" - t.k.

"i love you doesn't need to mean i need you / anymore / i love you doesn't need to mean / i need you / reduce any of us / to red eyes / and wine / a blue tooth'd smile / remember your parents married / picture a kiss / a gummy worm wick / burning an irish last name / with a history of drifting / and a few too many nights / too long / with a few too many / into an innocent / it's getting late / catholic girl turns into / you / jesus knew only judas loved him enough / to know / just how to fuck him / not some simple brutus caesar so i guess i know next time / not to kiss you / just say goodbye / and stick it in / we all love to laugh / through impossible purples / until the greens reveal themselves each dawn..."
posted by neoistimpulse at 4:19 PM on April 6, 2006


"This is why the only stock market investing strategy that actually works is value investing a la Ben Graham."

Can I short this statement?

If you find somebody to write a put on it let me know. Also ask them if they'd write one for the French GDP.
posted by I Love Tacos at 7:50 PM on April 6, 2006


Poolitics is a real-money prediction market mainly covering political issues and current events.
posted by pruner at 8:16 PM on April 6, 2006


Poolitics is a real-money prediction market mainly covering political issues and current events.

Am I correct in thinking that you can really only bet $1 per event on poolitics?

If so, it's a bit useless as an information source, since nobody cares about a dollar.
posted by I Love Tacos at 9:37 PM on April 6, 2006


I Love TacosAm I correct in thinking that you can really only bet $1 per event on poolitics?

no... you can buy multiple (unlimited) entries in all of the pools... and some of them cost more than $1 to enter.

I've been playing for about a year now, and I'm up a few hundred bucks.
posted by pruner at 10:00 PM on April 6, 2006


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