Drawing a parallel between our reluctance to seek advice and the experts reluctance to take the market-generated probabilistic predictions in an un-discriminating, un-critical fashion

No GravatarRobin Hanson:

[&#8230-] We rarely seek out advice, and when we do it is usually on much smaller decisions. [&#8230-] One reason we avoid getting advice is that it lowers our status relative to those who give advice. Of course this is also makes asking for advice a good way to flatter and supplicate. Not sure if this explains the puzzle though. But all this doesn&#8217-t seem to bode well for fielding decision markets on the biggest organizational decisions.

It would not make sense for political experts to spend their work days reading the political prediction markets, only. They are paid to produce poll reports and analysis, which then inform the event derivative traders. The polls and the political memos are the primary sources of information, which determine the direction of the political futures markets.

In the same vein, it would not make sense for us to be seeking advice all the time. We will learn more in our lives by making mistakes and correcting them. Maybe that&#8217-s the reason we don&#8217-t like seeking advice: we know we get better by discovering ideas, making good and bad decisions, and learning from all that on our own.

Previous blog posts by Chris F. Masse:

  • “Annette 15”, the once-hot female poker star sponsored by BetFair Poker, does blog only twice a month on the official BetFair blog… when she blogs at all… if you call that blogging.
  • Inkling Markets bring in awards, honors, advisors, and new clients —leaving competition in the dust.
  • No need of enterprise prediction markets to boost intra-corporation communication
  • Inkling Markets is included in the 2008 list of “Cool Vendors” by Gartner.
  • BetFair-TradeFair has won its second Queen’s Award for Enterprise in its eight-year history.
  • Inkling Markets is one of the “Hot Companies To Watch In 2008”, according to Forrester.
  • Plenty of great news coming from Inkling Markets in the coming weeks

Journalism Failures – Big Time

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In February 2001, Fortune magazine named ENRON the &#8220-most innovative company&#8221-.

In October 2007, Robin Hanson, on the Overcoming Bias blog, re-published the falsehood that James Surowiecki (and 3 other book authors in their respective book) made a mistake about Francis Galton in his book, The Wisdom Of Crowds.

In January 2008, the &#8220-BetFair Prof&#8221- (Leighton Vaughan-Williams) claimed, on the BetFair blog, that the &#8220-betting markets&#8221- foresaw the Republican race in the Michigan primary.

In January 2008, Risk magazine named SOCIETE GENERALE (recently busted by one of its traders, which lead to a loss of 7.2 billion dollars) the &#8220-equity derivatives house of the year&#8221-.


TAKEAWAY: Either by complete incompetence or by lack of investigation means, journalism is not up to its lofty goal &#8212-telling the truth to people.


Risk magazine

(Via Marc Andreessen.)


Jerome Kerviel, soon to be named &#8220-person of the year&#8221- by Risk magazine? :-D

Jerome Kerviel


Societe Generale Logo

Societe General Tower in Paris

Previous blog posts by Chris F. Masse:

  • A second look at HedgeStreet’s comment to the CFTC about “event markets”
  • Since YooPick opened their door, Midas Oracle has been getting, daily, 2 or 3 dozens referrals from FaceBook.
  • US presidential hopeful John McCain hates the Midas Oracle bloggers.
  • If you have tried to contact Chris Masse thru the Midas Oracle Contact Form, I’m terribly sorry to inform you that your message was not delivered to the recipient.
  • “Over a ten-year period commencing on January 1, 2008, and ending on December 31, 2017, the S & P 500 will outperform a portfolio of funds of hedge funds, when performance is measured on a basis net of fees, costs and expenses.”
  • Meet professor Thomas W. Malone (on the right), from the MIT’s Center for Collective Intelligence.