Worried that you might be wrong? That you might be wrong because you are biased? You might think that your best response is to study different kinds of biases, so that you can try to correct your own biases. And yes, that can help sometimes. But overall, I don’t think it helps much. The vast depths of your mind are quite capable of tricking you into thinking you are overcoming biases, when you are doing no such thing.
Typo: extra if "And if even if your"
I'm cheap. Besides, I'm not someone who's opinions will matter. This is basically something I want to do for fun.
Paying critics may create an incentive structure that will work against your goal of getting improvement focused criticism as won't the critic benefit in the longer term by being paid for criticism which doesn't fix underlying problems with the whole idea but instead focuses on relatively inconsequential points in order to gain more income? Whereas a more savage critic will also be unlikely to generate much repeat business. Paying critics at the initial stages of an idea would also massively add to start up costs in terms of time and money and would probably be an innovation killer.
I'm sure if an idea is strong/interesting enough to get some status (or potential status) it will find critics for free. If it's not getting detailed criticism on its own merits (or lack of them) it's probably got something major wrong with it to start with.
Is there a relatively easy way we could create prediction market contracts on a few EA related questions? I'd be willing to put some money into that.
Motivation isn't just found, it is also made. PAY them something.
The lack of interest in critiquing an idea such as prediction markets could possibly be seen as 'gateway' criticism all on its own. Or to put it another way, the idea doesn't have enough current potential status to be worth spending time critiquing in a detailed way. Piketty on the other hand is quite the opposite.
If conspicuous *waste* was actually a goal, even inefficient charities are a relatively bad way to accomplish this. You could imagine burning a big pile of money, buying expensive cars and letting teenagers trash them, etc. There are plenty of more wasteful ways to spend money than giving to charity.
It seems more likely to me that charitable giving is about demonstrating *wealth*, not waste. Giving $100K to an effective charity does this just as well to giving $100K to an ineffective one.
The one which collides most directly with efficiency is (Veblenian) conspicuous waste.
[Added.] More generally, maximizing abstract "good" is thin gruel for most folks. [You need to be a compulsion neurotic of the systematizing type.]
So in concrete terms, what would this look like if implemented? For example, you allow comments on your blog. Does this constitute a sufficient "fig leaf"?
I can think of a few ways a person or organization who wanted to enhance outside criticism could accomplish this:* Give outside critics a platform that's equal to your own. For example, a blogger like you could have a policy that if a critical link got at least 4 upvotes in an open thread (disregarding downvotes), you would create a toplevel post sharing that link and responding to it if you wanted to.* Invite outside critics... brainstorm (and take suggestions) for people who might be capable critics, and then request that they criticize your stuff. Giving them a platform (as described above) could be an incentive for them to go through with criticism. Other incentives might be effective but you'd want to avoid destroying any intrinsic motivation on the part of the critics.
From an individual person/organization's perspective, however, it seems like if you can privately talk to outside critics, that gets you all the benefits of outside criticism without risk of status loss.
What are the other functions of charity?
I can see one advantage and one disadvantage for prediction markets in this matter. The advantage is that a prediction market is (relatively) anonymous and places a penalty on being wrong. This keeps away people who criticize for personal reasons or otherwise don't really have a good reason to disagree. The disadvantage is exactly what you already wrote: there's no explanation of why people agree or disagree with you, or even whether there is any consensus among your critics.
The question is which of the two weighs the heaviest.
You also won't know if a lack of bettors means you're right or if it means few people are interested in the market, but that same problem exists in other forms of fact checking (perhaps you're paper is wrong but no one with the knowledge to criticize has read it) so I won't count it as a disadvantage fkr prediction marmets.
One reason to circulate among friends is that they are at least likely to *read* one's paper. Critics are more likely to respond with silence, which reduces what may infer from hearing only weak criticisms.
Second, a friendly audience is often the best place to start to flesh out big errors or erroneous details. Better to embarrass oneself in front of a small audience who will not give undue weight to a gaff than be written off as a lightweight by a serious opponent.
"Almosteverything" is a considerable overstatement. The "marketplace ofideas"--especially the academic part of it--contains a vast amount ofback-and-forth critical discussion.
The problem is, getting a reputation is necessary to get smart people to respond one way or another, and it's hard to build a reputation without joining a side. Early on you build reputation within a small tribe that advances their parochial interest (say,libertarianism, socialism, the fruitfulness of dynamic programming or the efficiency wage theory), and by then you have the clout to get good feedback from influential people who invite you to conferences and assign reviews to predictably reliable referees. If you become an authority figure, your tentative and opportunistic assumptions have probably become deep prejudices, and seeking truth is less attractive than maintaining your status anyway.
I think anyone seeking success in this world has to accept that one can't say what they really think in public because it would put off too many potential allies. If you are lucky you have a small circle of friends where you can riff on such matters without worrying about damaging relationships AND getting good feedback (eg, my mom would love me no matter what, but her opinion on many issues wasn't that valuable).
People are hypocritical about charity. They say they want to help people, but they also care at least as much about other functions of charity. By exposing such hypocrisy, you might induce people to do things closer to what they say, but you might also harm the other functions, and make people less willing to do charity.
If you're reading this and you're not an effective altruist, it'd be good to hear your criticism:http://effective-altruism.c...