resolved Oct 13
"The Last Question" by Isaac Asimov
“The Egg” by Andy Weir
"BLIT" by David Langford
'—All You Zombies—' by Robert Heinlein
500 Million, But Not A Single One More
"...And I'll Show You How Deep the Rabbit Hole Goes" by Scott Alexander
The Scorpion and the Frog :)
"The Colour Out of Space" by H.P. Lovecraft
"The Lady or the Tiger?" by Frank R. Stockton
"A Casino Odyssey in Cyberspace" by Roger Williams
Teatro Grottesco by Ligotti

On my upcoming survey, I will ask respondents to rate all the short stories that are options here as either "Excellent", "Good", "Okay", "Bad", or "Haven't read". This will only include submissions that I can verify are actually short stories. Don't worry too much about whether something counts as a short story: When in doubt, I'll count it.

Each story will get a score based on the total number of points from each response. A rating of "Excellent" counts as 2 points, "Good" counts as 1, "Bad" counts as -1, and the other two options count as 0. The story that gets the highest total score wins. If multiple stories are tied for the best score, this will resolve to all of them equally.

See Plasma's Manifold Survey for other questions about the survey.

Edit: The survey is officially out! You can take it here:

That also means new responses to this market won't be considered.

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Wow I just got a unique trader bonus for the answer I submitted here!

@BTE Supposedly, they actually have always been paid out to the user who submits them, ever since fixed payout free response was introduced, but they erroneously gave notifications to the wrong person before.

The survey is now out. That means no more responses will be accepted for free response questions.

Seems like the scoring system will be biased toward stories that people have already read and/or sound interesting, since otherwise they'll just get 0s

@TomPotter It kind of has to be. It wouldn't make any sense for a story that no one has read to be Manifold's "favorite". But if you rank a story as "bad", it gets -1 point, so the method isn't that biased. It counts a story you haven't read as neutral, which seems like the only reasonable thing to count it as to me.

@JosephNoonan Fair.

I think I'm just a nerd who cares less about "favorite" and more about "the ultimate objective subjective quality measure" which maybe doesn't actually exist .. haha 😏

@TomPotter Well, I think that measure would just be range voting, but without the "haven't read" option, where you make the sample of people voting read the story if they haven't already.

@TomPotter But yeah, this is "Manifold's favorite", which is slightly different from "What story does Manifold think is best?" if the latter is interpreted as only counting people who have an opinion on the story to begin with. Though I might make a market on whether the results of the "favorite" markets would be different if we only counted people who had watched/read/played each option, and averaged the score.

@JosephNoonan For sure, sorry I didn't think through the actual meaning of the word "favorite" enough :P yeah it does prob. imply a component of popularity.

I'd definitely be curious of the quantified difference between the two methods, that's interesting to me.

@JosephNoonan Nice! Didn't realize you had 14 different such markets -- that's actually a significant dataset, I'll be very curious to see how it plays out! I think voting methods and their differences in how + what they actually measure, and the biases they encode, is a really fascinating and consequential topic. Thanks for making the new market! :)

"The Last Question" is one of the only short stories I've read that's stuck with me - I read it a decade ago, but still think about it pretty often. "The Egg" is close.

Nightfall by asimov