Bryan Caplan  

My New Year's Resolution for Robin Hanson

Bernanke's Speech to the AEA... Real Recovery...
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?

Comments and Sharing

COMMENTS (15 to date)
A.S. writes:

Perhaps one day, this post will be remembered as the one that inspired a book that inspired a revolution.

Vladimir writes:

Can I preorder?

Michael writes:

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?

E. Barandiaran writes:

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."

Peter Twieg writes:

I think it's abhorrent that such a book does not exist already.

ZW writes:

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?

Granite26 writes:

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.

Robert Simmons writes:

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.

Mike writes:

Best idea of 2010.

Katie Ham writes:

Just claim it , so that he would do his best to make it. I am hoping too that he will make it.

Mike Gibson writes:


Perfection is the enemy of the good. Tell him to get cracking!

Brad Fults writes:

I'm ready to pre-order as well.

Ryan Singer writes:

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.

Larks writes:

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'.

Chris Hibbert writes:

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.

Comments for this entry have been closed
Return to top