Re: Vote on Valuess, Bet on Beliefs

From: Bostrom,N (
Date: Wed Aug 02 2000 - 12:58:07 MDT

Robin wrote:

>>On a smaller point: Robin says (p. 29) that one should not require
>>to agree on a proposal for too long a period before it can be
>>approved, because "Otherwise speculators early in the period may
worry that
>>speculators later in the period will know substantially more, and
bias their
>>estimates thereby." It's not clear to me why this would be a
problem, or
>>what the bias referred to would be.

>This was intended to be a non-technical paper, and I don't know of
a way
> to explain it that isn't technical, beyond what I already said.

But why, then, does not a similar problem arise in plain idea futures (not
linked to decisions)? There, too, early speculators know that later
speculators will have more information, but that doesn't introduce any
biases. The fact that the final odds are linked to a decision seems
immaterial, since what the decision will be is determined by the later odds,
and the only way to guess the decision is to guess the later odds. If there
is some technical point here that I'm overlooking, could you please give a

Nick Bostrom
Dept. Philosophy, Logic, and Scientific method
London School of Economics
Homepage: <>

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