Can you imagine a consumer finding a prized object and signalling to other consumers to come and bid for it?
Here’s some real research into how to address the problem of minority votes, where a minority has more to gain (or lose) in total than the majority…
This paper on Quadratic Voting is an object that you found. Do you prize it? Why else would you bring it to my attention? You shared it with me because you think the paper is useful. However, just because you shared the paper with me does not mean that the paper will no longer be available to you. In economic terms, the paper is non-rivalrous.
In economics, a good is said to be rivalrous or rival if its consumption by one consumer prevents simultaneous…en.wikipedia.org
The fact that the paper is non-rivalrous means that there’s absolutely no need for consumers to compete for it.
However, it is necessary for consumers to quantify how useful the Quadratic Voting (QV) paper is to them. Knowing the paper’s social usefulness can help other people decide whether it’s worth it to read the paper for themselves.
The question is… how to best quantify the usefulness of papers? Currently the usefulness of papers is quantified by citations. A citation is basically a vote. Google took the system of scholarly citations and applied it to webpages…
It is obvious to try to apply standard citation analysis techniques to the web’s hypertextual citation structure. One can simply think of every link as being like an academic citation. So, a major page like http://www.yahoo.com/ will have tens of thousands of backlinks (or citations) pointing to it. — Larry Page, The PageRank Citation Ranking: Bringing Order to the Web
This paper has been cited over 10,000 times. According to the democratic definition of usefulness, this paper is very useful.
But where’s the reliable scientific support for the democratic definition of usefulness? There is none. If there was some, then this would negate the need for markets.
The point of the market website that my friends and I are working on is to directly compare the market definition of usefulness with the democratic definition.