Bookmarks for March 14th through March 15th

These are my links for March 14th through March 15th:

  • Google Refine – a power tool for working with messy data (formerly Freebase Gridworks)
  • Interpreting Prediction Market Prices as Probabilities – While most empirical analysis of prediction markets treats prices of binaryoptions as predictions of the probability of future events, it has recently been argued thatthere is little existing theory supporting this practice. We provide relevant analyticfoundations, describing sufficient conditions under which prediction markets pricescorrespond with mean beliefs. Beyond these specific sufficient conditions, we show thatfor a broader class of models prediction market prices are usually close to the meanbeliefs of traders. The key parameters driving trading behavior in prediction markets arethe degree of risk aversion and the distribution on beliefs, and we provide some noveldata on the distribution of beliefs in a couple of interesting contexts. We find thatprediction markets prices typically provide useful (albeit sometimes biased) estimates ofaverage beliefs about the probability an event occurs.
  • Category Theory and Metaphysics | The n-Category Café – Since I heard in the mid-1990s about the metaphysical theory of structural realism put forward by various philosophers of physics, I have thought that category theory should have much to say on the issue. For one thing, a countercharge against those ontic structural realists, who believe that all that science discovers in the world are structures, maintains that the very notion of a relation within a structure involves the notion of relata, things which are being related. Structures must structure some things. Category theoretic understanding ought to have something to say on this matter.It’s interesting then to see a recent paper by Jonathan Bain – Category-Theoretic Structure and Radical Ontic Structural Realism – which argues that the countercharge can only be made from a set-theoretic perspective.So there’s one question: If we adopt the nPOV on physics, can we say what we are committing ourselves to the existence of?

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