Love, love, love this quick piece by Alex Tabbarok on betting by journalists. Conclusion:

Overall, I am for betting because I am against bullshit. Bullshit is polluting our discourse and drowning the facts. A bet costs the bullshitter more than the non-bullshitter so the willingness to bet signals honest belief. A bet is a tax on bullshit; and it is a just tax, tribute paid by the bullshitters to those with genuine knowledge.

(For context, see Nate Silver, of the NYT blog fivethirtyeight, offer to bet “Morning Joe” Scarborough $1,000 about the results of the election, in response to Scarborough’s rude, dismissive, and idiotic comments about Silver’s methods for predicting the election results. The NYT’s Public Editor criticized Silver, saying betting is “unseemly.” This is absurd, for exactly the reasons Tabbarok lays out.)

Relatedly, this “tax on bullshit” concept is part of the appeal of futures markets and insurance markets (and prediction markets) like those discussed by official brother Tom Vladeck. Think climate change is bullshit science invented by liberals? Put your money where your mouth is. And then, per Alex Tabarrok, pay tribute to those with genuine knowledge.

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