Over (yes)/underrated (no) intellectuals according to Manifold [resolves to poll]
551
16k
48k
resolved Apr 15
Resolved
83%
Judith Butler
Resolved
80%
Elon Musk
Resolved
80%
Ibram X. Kendi
Resolved
80%
Robin DiAngelo
Resolved
74%
Lex Fridman
Resolved
74%
Curtis Yarvin (Mencius Moldbug)
Resolved
74%
Angela Davis
Resolved
73%
Jordan Peterson
Resolved
73%
Michio Kaku
Resolved
72%
Noam Chomsky
Resolved
72%
Vandana Shiva
Resolved
71%
Malcolm Gladwell
Resolved
70%
Ta-Nehisi Coates
Resolved
70%
Naomi Klein
Resolved
70%
Cornel West
Resolved
68%
Gary Marcus
Resolved
68%
Peter Thiel
Resolved
68%
Michel Onfray
Resolved
67%
Jason Stanley
Resolved
66%
Roxanne Gay

RESOLVES TO POLL

This is an experiment. Hopefully it works. Here’s the concept. I want to know how overrated (or underrated) these intellectuals are (in general), but I also want to know what Manifold thinks of this. I will collect data through a poll. But first, the market seeks to predict how overrated (or underrated) Manifold thinks they are (not how Manifold over/underrates them).

Again: this will resolve to a poll. The market is asking you to bet on Manifold’s perception of over/underratedness, not to express your perception. If you think Manifold is biased towards certain figures, factor that in. If you want to express your opinion, you’ll get a chance to do that in the poll to come.

An intellectual being overrated will be reflected by a >50% probability; underrated by a <50% probability; properly rated by a 50% probability. In short: bet YES for overrated, NO for underrated.

Under/over/properly rated by whom? The actual rating is typically done amongst a more or less large group of people. An underrated person may deserve to be known beyond such a group. An overrated person tends to be more popular than they deserve. A person can be overrated by a niche audience if they are very highly rated by it but does not deserve to known more broadly. And so on.

An intellectual is any individual in any country contributing in any language to public discourse through essays, public lectures, interviews, op-eds, and other writing that is widely accessible (in the sense of being available to the wider public).

I reserve the right to ruthlessly disqualify submitted answers including but not limited to:

  • fictional characters

  • unknown, extremely niche intellectuals

  • well-known people who have not made any meaningful contributions to public intellectual discourse

  • dead people

I will also ruthlessly ban users who post needlessly disparaging comments. This is a calibration exercise, not venting one’s biases and quirks.

On January 3, 2024, I closed submissions, which established the list that will be used for the poll. At market close, I will create the poll with the list of answers. For each option, participants can rate them from 0-100 (underrated to overrated with properly rated as the neutral/50 point). I will later resolve this market according to the poll results (closest percentage). This is when you’ll know what Manifold thinks of these people.

POLL: https://forms.fillout.com/t/sWig7DLk8Pus

The prompt I will use in the poll is:

"Rate the following person as underrated, properly rated, or overrated, on a scale from 0 (totally underrated) to 100 (totally overrated), 50 being the midpoint for properly rated"

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Are the results surprising? They are overall pretty close to what users had predicted except for a few surprises. Does this mean Manifold knows itself well? Is Manifold right about those it finds over or underrated?

Note: As many of you suggested, I ended up dropping most of the 50s. I just kept those that were cast at the beginning and in the end, when it was not the default option.

reposted

Honestly shocked this was only at 65%.

@Najawin That’s one of the surprising results to me. But good for him! Maybe people think he’s not very highly rated so he can’t be overrated.

@NicoDelon He’s kind of a guy people like to trash to look smart at this point. Most of his science content is kinda basic and is targeted to a very normy audience. It’s not really aimed at people with formal education in or longstanding interests in Astronomy or Physics, thus looking down on it can be used to signal sophistication. It is correct and well explained and mainstream however, and he stays away from contrarianism or woo-adjacent stuff. I think the fact he’s commonly ridiculed but he’s making a basically positive contribution is enough to consider him at least neutral.

@NateWatson Ooh yay status signaling games that’s exactly the sort of thing I participate in a prediction markets community for.

(and yes I am status-signaling a contra-status-signaling position, don’t @ me) 😂

@NateWatson "It is correct and well explained"

Ahem.

"I think there are five levels of infinity"

@Najawin Not sure what point you are making? I am not sure how one could go about making a better (”more correct, or better explained”) exposition of countable vs uncountable infinities.

I found this on Quora, it’s more detailed and a little more precise but I don’t know if that makes it easier, or more complicated, from the perspective of an average Joe Rogan listener.

@MattCWilson Somehow, magically, he has accepted as an axiom of his formal system that 2^(Aleph_4) does not exist. I'm not sure how someone could go about making a more incorrect exposition of countable vs uncountable infinities than stating that they arbitrarily cut off at a certain point. This is rather egregiously wrong, no? Not, as stated "correct and well explained".

Now, if we wish to turn to his many, many, other inaccuracies, we can do just this! (All credit here goes to my favorite histsci blog for ease of access, but oh boy are there more.) For instance, where he completely misrepresents the history of Newton's various discoveries to the public, including the timescale involved and the methods used, blatantly lying about etymology while trying to savage is #EpicOwn on social media, and misrepresenting the story of Giordano Bruno to countless viewers watching at home.

If you want to argue "well, okay, but he's fine within a margin of error, even if a fair bit of what he's saying is technically just complete and total bullshit", I mean, you're welcome to make that argument. But surely science communicators fabricating completely false information ("five levels of infinity") is exactly what we'd want to avoid and what would make them overrated, no matter how "normy" they seem, no? It can ultimately do a substantial amount of harm.

(And it's not like he hasn't been contrarian, let's be serious.)

Are the results surprising? They are overall pretty close to what users had predicted except for a few surprises. Does this mean Manifold knows itself well? Is Manifold right about those it finds over or underrated?

Note: As many of you suggested, I ended up dropping most of the 50s. I just kept those that were cast at the beginning and in the end, when it was not the default option.

@NicoDelon Yeah they were pretty close to the market... in fact my main strategy was to check the ratio of yes:no bettors on each option and bet in that direction.

@ItsMe Congrats!

@NicoDelon I bet mostly towards 50% which worked pretty well. Glad to know you excluded the 50’s which were there by default so I don’t have to feel bad about ill-gotten gains.

This is an experiment. Hopefully it works.

What is the result of the experiment (I mean, if it was something else than seeing the result of the poll) ?

@dionisos The experiment was the market format. The takeaway is don’t do it.

reposted

I regret many things about the time I have wasted on here. Creating this market is chief among my regrets. Getting people mad over tiny amounts of fake money is overrated.

@NicoDelon thank god I haven't been following closely! from my perspective it was a well-run market which had a reasonable poll and good corresponding resolution, but maybe that's just because I had very little stakes:) thanks for running the market!

@AndrewG Seconded. It was a fun market, and resolved perfectly reasonably.

did you disqualify voters who claimed Justin E.H. Smith was over/underrated?

@Adam There were just so few responses it didn’t seem fair

Post all the negative reviews you want, I’m leaving soon and I don’t care what you think if you can’t be bothered to read descriptions 🥳

@NicoDelon The percentages isn't even the problem. The problem is that you made it abundantly clear many times that you couldn't be bothered to put the work in that would have been necessary to poll this fairly, because – as you said – you are on your way out and don't care.

@CertaintyOfVictory That’s a blatant lie but ok

@NicoDelon Most of the results are actually pretty close to the predictions and none are particularly surprising. If I botched it Manifold is pretty good at predicting botched results!

PS: I excluded the 50s except for those that were outside the window in which it was the default option.

@NicoDelon That is not a lie. You said yourself you don't want to poll it here on Manifold because it's too much work and someone showed you a better way to set the poll up using your own polling tool and you weren't interested. It's all in the comments.

We didn't even see a poll result.

@CertaintyOfVictory What are you talking about? The resolutions are based on the results! The suggested polls in the comments either wouldn’t work with the resolution criteria or would have forced people to take the poll again. As for Manifold polls I hope you realize that creating individual polls for each option is just dumb, will diminish participation and does not allow for numerical scoring. But I should stop pretending you’re arguing in good faith. Next negative comment you’re blocked.

@NicoDelon Don't threaten me.

@NicoDelon Too late. I threatened you and acted on my threat.

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