Great article.
Leon Clark
11

I love Bastiat. I also love Hayek and Adam Smith.

Imagine that you made a list of all your favorite economics books, articles, papers, stories and videos. I’d be interested to know the intensity of your preference for each item on your list. You could provide this information simply by deciding how you’d divide $10 dollars among all the items on your list.

For example, if you allocated $5 dollars to Hayek’s essay… The Use of Knowledge in Society… then I would know that the intensity of your preference for this item equals the intensity of your preference for all the other items on your list. Clearly you consider Hayek’s essay to be very important.

Now imagine that I also created the same type of list. You’d be able to tell from my valuations just how relatively important I considered the items to be.

Now imagine that we combined our lists and added our valuations. If my valuation of Hayek’s essay was $1 then this would be added to your valuation ($5). The total valuation for Hayek’s essay would be $6 dollars and this would determine his essay’s ranking on our combined list.

What would be the point? We both really want people to learn about the benefits of freedom. However, there’s a nearly unlimited supply of material on the subject… but people’s supply of time is very limited. Therefore, by using our limited money to prioritize relevant information… we would be helping people to prioritize how they spent their limited time.

Recently I developed a very rudimentary system to help test the idea of using money to prioritize information. If you’re interested in helping me test this idea, then you can join the OTP forum and spend $10 dollars to become a VIP member.

You’d create and valuate threads in order to help me improve this list. If nothing else, we’d be using our money to bring valuable information to each other’s attention.

Please let me know if you have questions! No worries if you aren’t interested. I figured it wouldn’t hurt to let you (and anybody else who happens to read this) know about an innovative way to fight for freedom.