Context : OnMarkets
A discusison on TribeNet got me thinking about what we mean when we talk about markets.
Two possible alternatives :
- 1) A large number of buyers and sellers of things. When we're talking about prediction markets which process other kinds of information we are thinking about buying and selling futures or predictions.
- 2) A more general idea. Any kind of system which tries to integrate information from a large number of people using their individualistic local choices. For example : a reputation market which aggregates reliability indicators. The link-structure in the blogosphere or PageRank which aggrogate a lot of opinions about which pages or blogs are worth reading.
I'm pretty sure GrahamLally is thinking of definition 2) when he's talking about MetaMarkets. And I was wondering whether there was a particular problem to be solved. Because I was thinking about definition 1). The only way to aggregate the information from several markets is to buy commodities on one and try to sell it on another. With enough people doing that, the information should get equalized anyway.
With type-2 markets, where the aggregation is already being done by some sort of explicit averaging calculation (eg. PageRank) then it's a different story.
I think both types are interesting and worth discussing. But probably worth keeping in mind which you have at the back of the mind when.
Hmmm. One way of looking at this in conjunction with TypesOfHierarchies. A MetaMarket in my type-1 sense would be a hierarchy of scale. It would simply be a market covering a wider geographical area or a larger number of people. The active agents would be at the same scale (individual buyers and sellers) and the market would aggregate as the prices over the wider area became equalized.
In the type-2 sense, markets and meta-markets could be something to hierarchies of power and control, (or maybe sensing). An institution (in this case, the MetaMarket) is somehow above another (the market) which reports to it and maybe accepts information.
: aside : could this relation be classified more like client / server. The meta-market as service to market?
Another way of dividing types of markets is in what is traded. Eg. money, reputation, attention, property.
Each economy is a market is a platform with it's own stuff flowing through it.