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March 10, 2006


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Eh Nonymous

A fun piece, but you totally lost me when you wrote that as the size of a group goes to Large, the probability of the group predicting the right Best Picture winner goes to zero if most people, using their own private information, were not 50% or more likely to be correct.

Falls to zero? In a field where one of five will win? The possibilities are discrete, not continuous, and you weren't talking about the nominations, were you?


I think the key to that statement is if the group uses majority rule.


Although HSX doesn't have an economic incentive for accuracy, there is definitely a prestige incentive that comes along with having a high bankroll with which to buy, trade, and sell your stars and movies and, ultimately, reach that leader board.

I do agree, however, that they (Hollywood and the voting members of the Academy) probably told the media what they believed others believed while thinking they were the only ones who voted for the non-Brokeback nominees.

Couldn't it also be a function of who is the voting body, though? They're mostly located in LA, and maybe they could more easily relate to the "Crash" complexities than they could to Brokeback. Perhaps it was a much closer race than the non-LA-based predictors anticipated.

Chenyun Zhu

"how prediction markets do on issues of relevance to public policy?"
Prevailing optimistic mental state and crow-dominated world are ongoing. However, they are oriented by phase-final statistics.


majority rule is irrelevant, it's about local maxima. and the local maxima shift further away from the right answer if a large percentage of the group is wrong.


What if the Academy picked Crash only because everyone thought Brokeback would win?


One thing that might be learned is that when one seeks to predict the results of a subjective judgment by a specific group of individuals, one might be well advised to forget about it.


Yeah. As lessons go, doesn't "Don't Believe The Hype" just about cover it? [cf. C.Ridenhour, It Takes A Nation Of Millions... (DefJam 1988)]

Raw Data

Just for the record, I called it correctly.

Kimball Corson

Raw Data,

That should not have been too hard. I made it through half of Brokeback Mountain before leaving. It wasn't the homosexuality that bothered so much as the cardboard characters, the endless pamoramic shots of sheep and the sense I got someone was using my purse and time to make a political statement. I haven't seen Crash, but with effort, I am sure I could have sat through all of it.

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