Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Experimentation: The Death of Ideology and Pursuit of Rational

In this TED talk, Esther Duflo (founder of MIT's Jameel Poverty Action Lab) explains how controlled experiments can be used to discover the best ways of fighting poverty. The same principles can be used to test many social policies and I would encourage politicians to become experts in this aspect of social science.
Interactive Democracy can also benefit from controlled and randomised social experiments. Perhaps each topic of debate should include a web site tab to propose and discuss how it can be tested. Apart from setting up experiments contributors may highlight comparisons with foreign government policy in order to shed more light on the subject.

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