Does Ideamarket "measure truth"?

Ideamarket measures things that might indicate the presence of truth, like a telescope measures light waves that might indicate the presence of black holes and planets.

To whatever extent Ideamarket promotes "truth," it does so indirectly and imperfectly — like today's institutions, but with some new features:

  • radical accountability for both information producers and consumers

  • equal consideration of all opinions

  • incentivized intellectual honesty

Ideamarket's results won't be “the truth” any more than scientific opinions are “the truth” — but they will be like the truth in the same way: the product of a rigorous vetting process. The results of "market inquiry" will be as disputed as those of scientific inquiry. Fortunately, as the history of science has shown, a mechanism need not produce perfect results to produce useful results.

What Ideamarket measures — Proxies for truth

Ideamarket hopes to measure something like “attentionworthiness" or “trust."

"Measuring truth" is impossible, so these act as proxies. The idea is that successfully solving for attentionworthiness or trust will implicitly require solving for "truth," without requiring a consensus on how to define "truth."

Why Attentionworthiness

  1. Attention is a scarce natural resource in need of appropriate allocation. Markets are a tool for allocating scarce resources between parties with conflicting interests.

  2. Truth inherently deserves attention, and falsehoods are profoundly boring once we find out that’s what they are. Even attention-grabbing things with little truth value, like kittens and clickbait, are only attentionworthy in a limited context, far beyond which civilization-wide priorities extend. Kittens are boring when stakes are high.

  3. Discerning attentionworthiness, like discerning truth, is subject to priorities. Whether humans have “good priorities” is beyond our scope to decide or control. Instead of passing judgment, we leverage existing priorities (escaping poverty, accumulation of wealth, freedom of speech, etc) to propel a risk-management approach to attention allocation priorities.

Why Trust

  1. Trust is a scarce natural resource in need of appropriate allocation. Markets are a tool for allocating scarce resources between parties with conflicting interests.

  2. Trustworthiness is a visible manifestation of respect for truth — a practicing of truth.

  3. Like truth, trustworthiness seems to defy absolute allegiance to specific content.

  4. Trust is needed to spread truth — without trust, facts are demoted to conjectures.