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20 June 2005


Mike Linksvayer

"how to evaluate ideas for solving problems that may not ever get implemented as solutions in the real world"

I think conditional futures -- see http://hanson.gmu.edu/policymarkets.html (last paragraph especially) -- are meant to address just this.

Hanson's http://hanson.gmu.edu/combobet.pdf Combinatorial Information Market Design attempts to lower to cost of obtaining such information.

I'm curious to know what you see as missing from these proposed solutions (apart from all-important implementation...)


As you say, Mike: implementation. I very much like the theory of conditional contracts and the work that Dr. Hanson has done on them. I've talked with clients about them. They're extremely promising. Their complexity gives me pause, however - reminding me of some 'wish lists' of data that some of my market research clients want that try the patience of those providing the data - i.e., customers.

Having engineered more executive workshops than I can count, I'm always amazed at how hard it is to get a group of otherwise brilliant people to understand in a consistent manner the simplest voting rules for evaluating a proposition. And that's when they're all in the same room and I have their attention and the vote is 'yes' or 'no'.

I guess the best response is to say that I'm humble and open to what we all might learn as these things get played with and used more broadly for big corporate (and other organizational) decision-making.

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