My life has been, in part, a series of crusades. First I just wanted to understand as much as possible. Then I focused on big problems, wondering how to fix them. Digging deeper I was persuaded by economists: our key problems are institutional. Yes we can have lamentable preferences and cultures. But it is hard to find places to stand and levers to push to move these much, or even to understand the effects of changes. Institutions, in contrast, have specific details we can change, and economics can say which changes would help.
Surely belief in the ignorance of experts doesn't make one scientific!
"Many economist solutions share a common feature: a focus on outcomes." [...] "And now I finally think I see a common cause: an ancient human habit of strong deference to the prestigious."
Or: maybe prestige is not the explanation. I think the reason people don't care about outcomes is morality. What I mean by this is, for example, if changing a law produces a better outcome, but people feel it allows morally "wrong" behavior, then people are against changing the law.
Now, maybe Hanson is one step ahead of me and arguing people are forming their moral beliefs based on "prestige". I'm not sure. He never uses the word "morality" (or related words like "moral") in the piece, but he uses "believe" many times.
I think this is an excellent idea. It might just become my new religion.
But I think the first challenge is to try to understand the circumstances in which prestige IS a good indicator: for example, Djokovic will generally beat Murray 9 times out 10, Le Bron will make your team better than anyone else will.
If prestige is destroyed, it's not clear what would arise to fill the vacuum prestige created. Of course you would probably like it to be prediction markets, but prediction markets haven't been optimized to fill the sociological criteria that prestige fulfills.
To take a specific example, one can imagine that by taking down prestige, we'd replace our existing prestige equilibrium with a new dominance equilibrium ("rule by the strong", as in feudal societies). This doesn't seem like an improvement. Note dominance equilibria have prevailed in most historical societies and many present ones.
It occurs to me that instead of saying "down with prestige", one might be better off saying "we should trust prestigious experts more outside their domains of expertise". In other words, give more credence to the opinion of a doctor who has some comment on how the legal system works, or a lawyer who has some comment on how the medical system works. This works with our existing evolved intuitions that prestigious people are great, and takes advantage of the fact that prestigious people, regardless of field, typically have a high level of general ability, while still working to solve the conflict of interest problem. This solution replaces our flawed prestige system with a specific upgraded thing.
A concrete example of how this could work would be to require that the governing board of e.g. a group that regulates medicine consist of at least 50% non-doctors.
I also think that attacking prestige as a whole looks kinda like killing a fly with a stick of TNT. If conflict of interest are what you're worried about, why not just hammer on conflict of interest? Goodness knows humans love to gossip about hypocrisy and conflicts of interest.
This is a really important insight. And prediction markets saying 75%, will be "wrong" about 25% of the time ...
Focus on Outcomes -- sounds simple. But look at politics, it's not.
ok. hope it was helpful
I just did a tv interview with Moises Naim.
Because Robin Hanson is not opposed to pyramid management, he needs to state a replacement. People currently reach the top of the pyramid by accumulating various forms of prestige (through experience, education, and honorary distinctions such as attending a top school). If he wishes to eliminate prestige but not pyramid management, then he needs to propose a replacement method for people to reach the top of the pyramid.
I believe the implied probability of success for remain was ~ 75%. So according to the prediction market, there was a one-in-four chance it would be wrong.
Unsurprisingly, he's also a sore loser: http://econlog.econlib.org/...
What about the strategy you and many other GMU economists seem to use? Bet on outcomes and shame those who refuse to bet. Is it not working?
Count me in Robin!
Did not the prediction markets favor "Remain" up until and including voting day? And on "affiliating with the prestigious," Rene Girard was two generations ahead of you. He called it mimetic desire: we imitate our models. The solution, however, is not to rid the world of models, which in the case of RH would eliminate RH.
And one rule to ring them all.
But you knew that from the fact that their predictions are not 100% confident.
Agreed that prediction markets are the best method out there (and that they should not be illegal), but ... Prediction markets are sometimes wrong: https://priorprobability.co...