12. October 2008 10:52
Via Twitter, an interesting NYT piece on political prediction markets. Just like real-life market, they are not immune to unscrupulous manipulation attempts. Apparently, in recent days, the McCain value has had odd fluctuations, possibly indicating agents trying to artificially boost its "price". But how can you recognize a regular fluctuation from an artificial manipulation? The New-York Times piece notes that:
The biggest difference between typical market movements and manipulation is that honest traders will usually try to minimize the impact of their trades on the market price; paying higher prices for an asset only cuts into profits. But a market manipulator, intent on buoying the market’s ratings of their preferred candidate, will work to maximize the impact of their trading on the price.
More on price manipulation and prediction markets here.
Edit, Oct 12, 18:43: and how the financial crisis could have been adopted with prediction markets here...
16. May 2008 12:29
I was looking into some information on simulation techniques a few days back, and stumbled across this quote about social sciences in a presentation by Prof. Klaus G. Troitzsch
“the problems which they try to answer arise only in so far as the conscious
action of many men produce undesigned results, in so far as regularities
are observed which are not the result of anybody’s design. If social
phenomena showed no order except in so far as they were consciously
designed, there could be no room for theoretical sciences of society. . . It
is only in so far as some sort of order arises as a result of individual action
but without being designed by any individual that a problem is raised which
demands a theoretical explanation.”