Take Your Consensus and Shove it

Arnold discusses how analysis of aggregate data yields a lot of BS:

I think it’s pretty rare that one can make a definitive ideological point based on aggregate data. When people try, it is usually easy to come up with a reason to question their perspective.

Robin Hanson calls a world in which policy is decided by betting markets a futarchy. He figures that people clear out their biases when there’s money on the table. A powerful idea.

Not fooproof, of course, because broad consensus is probably just as clear an indication of crap. here’s Merkel on the current environment:

But when you hear little difference in the spread of opinions, it should make you re-examine your theses, because it is possible that all money has been committed to an idea, and even if the idea is right, we should see a counter-rally the other way before the smart money is proven right.

Another way of saying that debate is meritorious in of itself.

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