Sunday, February 26, 2012

Putting some credibility behind predictions of Libya's future

In the spirit of William's sea ice bets, I'd like to see if the people who call intervention in Libya a mistake, based on what will happen in the future, are themselves willing to put some money behind those predictions.  It's the same idea of betting elsewhere, I think it concentrates the mind and reduces some level of over-expressed certainty.

So, Freedom House gave Libya the worst possible ratings in 2010 on a scale of 1 to 7, with a 7 for political rights and 7 for civil rights.  I predict at the end of 2013 there will be at least three grades of improvement, e.g. political rights could improve to at least 5 and civil to at least 6, but it could be in other combinations.  My guess is that it'll be more like four or five (and one has already happened), but I think three grades clearly represent a benefit to the country.

I'm looking at small scale bets, $50-$100, where the actual bet is ego-based and the money is just to make it a little more real.  You can judge my lack of confidence in making huge bets (and my lack of huge assets) accordingly.  Bets open to people who seem real to me, and especially open to people who posted their various predictions of doom on the web.

UPDATE September 2013:  still standing by this bet offer, despite the latest bad news. I'm open to other objective measurement standards for people who don't trust Freedom House. One possibility is the first credible nationwide poll taken in Libya after January 1 2014 that asks whether people are glad or regret that Gaddafi failed to defeat the movement against him.


Marion Delgado said...

Once you go down the road of using Freedom House, Brian, what set of people are you attempting to have a dialog with?

Marion Delgado said...

I would prefer a list like this:

vs. letting Freedom House or Heartland or AEI or the Hoover Institute decide. But that's just me.

Brian said...

#1, 8, 9, 13, 14, and possibly 16 are bad ideas, but what Libya will do in the future is up to them. I expect some of those would continue, some will get better.

5, 10, and 15 are broader indicators. I could see constructing a bet over them, although it might need longer than 3 years to register improvements.

JW Mason said...

Freedom House is not credible. The content of this bet is that at the end of next year, people who supported intervention will think it worked out well. As I am sure they will.

If you actually want to talk with people who don't agree with you, you ill need to find a more objective measure.

Brian said...

JW - got a suggestion then?

Anonymous said...

I don't claim to know a helluva lot about Libya. But the arguments for non-intervention seem convincing to me. Diana Johnstone and Jean Bricmont were very prescient.
This is a war about oil and empire.

Here's a chilling look at the new, post-Qaddafi Libya, in which black people are caged like apes in a zoo.!

Brian said...

That youtube video is disturbing. I didn't see a reference as to when it happened, but in the context of a civil war, it could be worse.

If you think it's a prediction of the future, then the civil rights rating of Freedom House shouldn't improve.

BTW, I agree with others that that FH used to have a conservative bias, I don't know if it still has one, and I disagree with the claim that it's useless.