Contrarian Like a Conformist
By Bryan Caplan
Robin Hanson is guest blogging this week at Marginal Revolution. In his first post, he explains how he chose his big post-tenure research project: He took the unconventional step of asking other people what they thought, and averaging their responses:
Having just got tenure here at GMU economics, I tried to seek the wisdom of a larger crowd on my first big post-tenure project. I wrote up a paragraph on each of ten options, and emailed the set to lots of friends, family, and associates, asking for advice. 56 wrote back, and I coded each response as assigning a number from zero to one for each option. Four different ways of weighting the responses gave the same answer: writing a book on disagreement was just a bit better than writing a book on idea futures. And so that is what I will do.