My New Year's Resolution for Robin Hanson
I don’t make New Year’s resolutions. If I think I ought to change my behavior, I do so without delay. Fortunately, that doesn’t stop me from making resolutions for other people. Here’s a resolution I just proposed for Robin Hanson:
In 2010, he should write a book called Disagreement: The Problem and the Solution. Robin has spent several years deciding on a topic. Prediction markets? Disagreement? My solution: Combine both in
one grand book.
Part one of Disagreement explains the problem of disagreement, and answers all the
attempts to explain away the problem. Part two explains how prediction
markets are the best solution to disagreement. Part three introduces futarchy – and defends it despite the massive disagreement it provokes.
Think of the book as a Hansonian Anarchy, State, and Utopia.
Am I right?
Jan 4 2010 at 1:48am
Perhaps one day, this post will be remembered as the one that inspired a book that inspired a revolution.
Jan 4 2010 at 5:41am
Can I preorder?
Jan 4 2010 at 6:39am
Has an abrasive ring about it Bryan. Does not set a great example for classroom discussion. Isn’t it something you could discuss with Robyn one-to-one over lunch?
Jan 4 2010 at 7:33am
Be positive: The problem is agreement.
I suggest that you write a book that expands on Tom Sowell’s Knowledge and Decisions. As Sowell wrote in the preface to the 1996 edition: “How a variety of social institutions and processes coordinate innumerable scattered fragments of knowledge, enabling a complex society to function, is the central theme of the first half of Knowledge and Decisions.”
Jan 4 2010 at 9:04am
I think it’s abhorrent that such a book does not exist already.
Jan 4 2010 at 10:31am
Indeed, I would like to pre-order, too, but is there such a thing for a book that has not only not yet been written but not even agreed to by the author? Would RH be persuaded if we started sending him $20 up front?
Jan 4 2010 at 11:48am
Is it possible that the value of a New Year’s resolution isn’t in a set time to START making changes, but a convenient time frame for the changes to be made within?
It does seem silly to put off making needful life changes until an arbitrary point. The value of the tradition could be the surety that at the end of the next year you’ll be looking back on the year.
While it’s easy to forget about resolutions you make throughout the year, one made at the new year comes with a built in timer and a guarantee that you’ll be looking back when the time expires.
It creates an otherwise absent ‘fail’ condition.
Jan 4 2010 at 11:58am
Following up on Granite26’s point, it also serves as a convenient time to take a good look at your life, and figure out what changes need to be made.
Jan 4 2010 at 2:24pm
Best idea of 2010.
Jan 4 2010 at 4:30pm
Just claim it , so that he would do his best to make it. I am hoping too that he will make it.
Jan 4 2010 at 6:26pm
Perfection is the enemy of the good. Tell him to get cracking!
Jan 5 2010 at 1:54am
I’m ready to pre-order as well.
Jan 5 2010 at 2:04am
Could someone please list this book on Amazon as published by GMU and not yet released? This way, we can express interest in a way that will actually form a dollar figure.
I’d preorder in a heartbeat.
Jan 5 2010 at 6:40am
What we really need is a prediction market, so we can bet on things like, ‘writing this book will make Hanson lots of money’ and ‘writing this book will save the world’.
Jan 5 2010 at 2:01pm
Thanks, Bryan. This is a great synthesis of two (three?) of the many topics that Robin should write about. I think focusing on disagreement will actually provide a cohesive core for the book.
Robin, this seems like a strong enough suggestion that you should at least take an afternoon and see whether you can come up with a coherent outline around it. If you can, then the unpublished book should be listed on Amazon, so we can all provide an incentive for you to finish it.
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