Could prediction markets help our society to become more truthful?

No Gravatar

[…] [About the Iraq war] – “There is no question that America is living a nightmare with no end in sight,” retired Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez told a convention of military journalists on Friday. […]

But why didn&#8217-t he come forward before, then?

[…] Asked why he did not speak out about his concerns, Sanchez said general officers take an oath to carry out the orders of the president while in uniform. “The last thing that America wants, the last thing that you want, is for currently serving general officers to stand up against our political leadership,” he said. However, general officers do have the option of stepping down if they disagree with the country&#8217-s leaders. Sanchez said he felt he could not resign and go public with his reservations while he was in Iraq, because he feared that move could further jeopardize troops serving there. “I think once you are retired, you have a responsibility to the nation, to your oath, to the country, to state your opinion,” he said.

Associated Press:

Retired Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez

We can&#8217-t rely on retirees to tell us the truth. We need an anonymous information aggregation mechanism that gives an incentive to people who come forward with advanced information: the prediction markets.

2 thoughts on “Could prediction markets help our society to become more truthful?

  1. Michael Giberson said:

    As a believer in civilian control over the military (rather than the other way around), I have to agree that we don’t want general officers standing up against political leadership. However, it seems like there must be ways for contrary information to flow from the military to the political leadership short of rebellion.

    Overall, it seems like an extreme case of the ‘blocked flow of information within organizations’ discussed in a previous post.

    I agree with Chris that “anonymous information aggregation mechanism[s] that give[] an incentive to people who come forward with advanced information” may be called for. It occurs to me that journalism (both traditional and new) can also provide an “anonymous information aggregation mechanism,” though the incentive structure doesn’t always direct rewards toward those who reveal the most useful information.

  2. Chris. F. Masse said:

    Knight Ridder was the only US journalistic outlet that came up with contrarian information, before the Iraq war.


    Knight-Ridder reporters were some of the few journalists that questioned the basis of the 2003 invasion of Iraq, as discussed in the episode of Bill Moyers Journal entitled “Buying the War”. However, due to the lack of presence of Knight Ridder reporting in the newspapers of major media cities such as New York and Washington, DC, their reporting did not have as much of an impact as it would have had it come from The New York Times or The Washington Post.

    And EJSS will tell you that the prediction markets is a new form of journalism. (Up to you to discuss that, if you wish.)

    Just an aside on “journalism”. With declining newspaper circulations and the free Web becoming the dominant model, the “journalism” is passing thru a crisis, it seems. People who read news websites and blogs for free don’t realize that.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *