Kevin Roose from New York Times just published an article about our Manifest conference, forecasting and prediction markets. And despite what you might assume from "NYT covering weird rationalist-y event", the article is very fair, perhaps even positive! It is paywalled; here's an archive.is link, and excerpt below:


I had never before attended a business conference with a 28 percent chance of an orgy.

But those were the official orgy odds when I arrived at Manifest, a self-described “gathering of forecasting nerds” that the forecasting start-up Manifold Markets put on last month in Berkeley, Calif.

By the second day of the conference, the odds had risen to 47 percent. And on the third day, they reached 100 percent — because there had, in fact, been an orgy. (No, I was not invited.)

This strange blend of data and debauchery — equal parts Math Olympiad and Burning Man — was the dominant vibe at Manifest, which was held in a converted hotel and populated by a crowd of about 250 tech workers, bloggers, economists, students and assorted wonks.

They were there to celebrate prediction markets, online platforms where users can wager on future events — everything from “Will Ukraine regain control over Crimea before the end of 2024?” to “Will Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg have a physical fight in 2023?”

On Manifold Markets, users can create a market on any topic and invite other users to bet on it. Winners get bragging rights along with units of Mana, the company’s play-money currency, which they can convert to charity donations or use on other bets.

Prediction markets aren’t a new idea, nor is the hope that betting could produce useful information. Gambling on elections and other political events was common in the United States during the 19th and early 20th centuries. And in countries where political betting is still legal, odds are often cited alongside polls and surveys as a meaningful data point.

But in recent years, prediction markets have caught the attention of a crowd of Silicon Valley empiricists who believe we can fix much of what ails society by betting on our future the way we wager on stocks or sports games.

These people believe the world is full of bad information — biased news, out-of-touch punditry, loony conspiracy theories. Much of this information is spread by people without skin in the game. (Or worse, people with incentives to lie.) And many people have lost faith in the experts and institutions, such as the government and the media, that once served as trusted referees.

Prediction markets, they believe, offer a better way to search for truth — rewarding those who are good at forecasting by allowing them to make money off those who are bad at it, while settling on the facts in an unbiased way.

(Continued in the article)

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Cool!

the article is very fair, perhaps even positive!

Just read the whole thing, wondering whether it gets less positive after the exerpt here. And no, it's all very positive. Thanks you guys for your work, so good to see forecasting gaining momentum.

Thanks for sharing this, I had the same question

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