Will Biden's classified documents be largely forgotten in 3 months? (on April 14)
resolved Apr 15

Some of Joe Biden's lawyers discovered in his Delaware home some classified documents he kept from Obama's presidency. Biden's team returned the documents and claims it was an accident. However, Kevin McCarthy called for the launch of an investigation. Here's the Wikipedia article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joe_Biden_classified_documents_incident

Resolves YES if this whole situation is largely forgotten by the media and the popular zeitgeist 3 months from today (on April 14th) and NO otherwise. N/A if it's especially ambiguous. This is a subjective market, but I'll do my best to resolve fairly.

Conservative media outlets will be weighted modestly: if liberal/mainstream media stops covering it but it's a very frequent talking point on Fox News, for example, this will probably resolve NO, but YES if it's only an occasional Fox talking point. Other factors I may consider include: level of awareness among people I know (including those who don't follow politics), level of conversation on Twitter, and number of Manifold markets made on the subject.

I will not bet on this market unless I feel it is very mispriced.

General policy for my markets: In the rare event of a conflict between my resolution criteria and the agreed-upon common-sense spirit of the market, I may resolve it according to the market's spirit or N/A, probably after discussion.

Feb 3, 7:00am: Will Biden's classified documents be largely forgotten in 3 months? → Will Biden's classified documents be largely forgotten in 3 months? (on April 14)

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Resolution Explanation

Media: 1.5/6

Going to NYT/CNN/Fox webpages: 0.5/4 (Going to the webpages, I seem some articles about classified documents, but not Biden’s - the Jack Teixeira national security stuff, so I’m saying 0.5 points.)

Two-stories bonus: 0/1

Google search: 1/1 (https://www.nytimes.com/2023/04/11/us/politics/congress-trump-biden-classified-documents.html)

Popular zeitgeist: 0.5/6

People I know: 0/2 (I polled people I knew in three places (fine, some of them were strangers on a crossword Discord server) about the classified documents. With the options being “Yes”, “Maybe briefly”, and “No”, the results were 0-1-4, 0-5-12, and 1-11-19. These clearly meet my cutoffs (>50% in the last category and >75% in the last two), so no points. I realize now that I phrased the points for this in the opposite way that I meant to, since the points are meant to represent remembering, not forgetting. Oops. So technically I’m inverting the points. Anyway, zero.)

Google Trends: 0.5/2 (It’s saying 2% for the last week, and (2-1)/2 = 0.5.)

Manifold: 0/2 (literally couldn’t find any from the last two weeks)

Poll: ~2.8/12

Result was 7-2 YES-NO unweighted. Of the voters, I only identified jack as also being a shareholder, but some people voted whose Manifold usernames I don’t know. (I shouldn’t have used this exact criterion.) I’m just gonna call it 13-4, since (spoiler) the exact result doesn’t matter too much. That’s (4/17)*12, or about 2.8. Even if all the YES voters were shareholders, it’s only about 4.3 points.

ConfluX-factor: 1/6

There are certainly still some news articles about it here and there, but what impressed me today is how few people have thought about it at all recently. The classified documents aren’t not literally forgotten in the sense that no one remembers them, but, like so many news stories that feel super major at the time they break, they seem to be mostly out of The Discourse, which is what this market was intended to measure.

Therefore, with about 5.8 memory points out of a needed 10, it's not super close, and I am relieved from the duty of getting into the weeds: it is clear that the classified documents were “largely forgotten”, and I’m resolving this market YES! Thanks everyone for participating. Next time I'll try to have clearer resolution criteria from the start, I think :)

predicted YES

For anyone wondering, discord poll closed at 7-yes, 3-no. Which I believe is 3.6 points (out of 12 possible for the poll, and 10 needed to resolve as "No")

@JamethonNobel Thanks for the update! Clarifications: (a) I believe it still has one more hour, (b) you have to subtract 1 from yes and no since I added reactions to start

predicted YES

@Conflux Ah, sorry. I was trying to vote and couldn't so I mistook it for closed. Probably just cause I'm new to the discord. Apologies again - been sitting home in a germ induced fog al day.

@JamethonNobel No worries! You can vote by clicking either the checkmark or the X: you've got fourteen minutes :)

@JamethonNobel (and there's also the double-counting-if-no-shares thing, forgot about that)

predicted YES

@Conflux Ah, that's what I get for trying to math with a fever. Looking forward to the resolution - I like the way you've structured the evaluation.

Thanks for betting on this market! I’ll try to have a resolution tonight based on my point system.

I have not thought about Biden's classified documents at all this month, saw this market was about to close, so voted Yes.

predicted YES

@FedorBeets Same experience. There's now some specific criteria, but as some one who loosely follows the news it took me a minute to remember that this was a thing.

I don't really agree with the terminology "forgotten" to mean "stopped covering".

It has come to my attention that this market could have clearer resolution criteria. Therefore, I've prepared a point system!

RESOLUTION POINT SYSTEM (which I will carry out April 14) 

I will award up to 30 "memory points" measuring whether the documents are "largely forgotten by the media and the popular zeitgeist". 10 memory points will be required for a NO resolution. Fractional points are possible in some cases. Anything that says “currently” etc below is actually as of yesterday.

Media (6 points possible)

I will survey the following media sources:

I will count the number of total articles mentioning the classified documents (I'll adjust upward for prominence if they're top headlines, or downward if they're hiding in small print) on these webpages (without hitting "show more" etc) mentioning the classified documents. Each article is worth 1 point, capped at 4. An additional 1 point is available if at least two different “stories” are included. 

(Currently I see 1 on Fox, which I might adjust downward since it's in the sidebar and just says "Biden visits University of Pennsylvania campus for the first time since classified documents controversy", and none on the other sites.)

Then, I will google “biden classified documents” and spend a few minutes trying to find an article from April from NYT, CNN, or Fox. If I find one, 1 point.

Popular zeitgeist (6 points possible)

I promised "level of awareness among people I know (including those who don't follow politics), level of conversation on Twitter, and number of Manifold markets made on the subject". So let's do that!

  • I will ask a sample of people I know whether they've thought at all about the classified documents in the last couple weeks. I will try to make the sample reasonably representative of people I interact with in terms of political awareness. If a majority of people say they haven't thought at all about it, 1 point. If a 3/4 supermajority of people say they haven't thought much about it, 1 point.

  • In lieu of the Twitter thing, I'll check jack's Google Trends thing. To do so, I will compare the April 14 search volume to the January 12 peak. (Right now it's like 1%.) I'll subtract 1 and then divide by 2 to get the number of points, for a max of 2. 

  • I will, by searching relevant keywords, count the number of Manifold markets made in the last couple weeks about the classified documents. I will ignore markets which I believe were created to manipulate this one. Max of 2 markets per creator. I'll divide this number by five, and give that many points, for a max of 2 points. (Currently I see a couple from NicoDelon and no one else.)

Poll (12 points possible)

I will do the simple thing and just post a poll on the Manifold discord with this wording: "Do you feel that this market (link) on whether Biden's classified documents have been largely forgotten by the media and popular zeitgeist should resolve YES?", with emoji reactions for YES and NO. Number of points is 12 times the proportion of NO voters. The vote of anyone who's not holding a position on this market counts for double. 

ConfluX-factor (6 points possible)

This is a market about my subjective opinion, after all. I'll go by vibes. (Currently I'm feeling like 1-2 points.)

I'll tabulate these points, and if there are at least 10 (that's 1/3 of possible points), I'll resolve this market NO. If there are under 10, I'll resolve YES.

I reserve the right to change my mind about this if clear flaws are found in this point system, or override anything that ended up being a clearly flawed metric. Certainly it's very complicated. But I think it should be an objective thing that captures what I see as the spirit of this market!

@jack @Gabrielle @NicoDelon @MatthewRitter et al, thoughts?

predicted YES

@Conflux thanks for the very detailed point system! I think that helps a ton with making sure everyone is on the same page about what we're predicting. I don't see any obvious flaws.

predicted YES

I created a version based on Google Trends data:

predicted NO
predicted NO

>>> This tweet text is misleading <<< But evidence that the story is still being widely discussed, with quantified reach:


#BREAKING: Nine more boxes of Biden classified docs found in Boston


1,824 retweets and 6,817 likes


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