Is the Greek referendum the ultimate test of crowd wisdom?
Today's referendum will mark the most significant crowd wisdom field experiment in the history of modern finance. In the meantime, some people fight for human rights and for a better destiny, while some others sit on their chairs cynically, judging everyone and making profit. As always, the choice is yours.
By Aner Ravon / zirra.com
Jul 4, 2015

Wow! So the people of Greece are taking back control of their future. The referendum is crowd wisdom governance and that is how the nation’s economic future will be decided next week. How's that for trusting crowd wisdom? Is it a wise decision? Time will tell. In the meantime, let's see what we can learn from the most interesting crowd wisdom field experiment in history.

Step back. Greece is in debt. €370 billion to be exact. The country's creditors have refused funding to save Greece from defaulting on a €1.6bn IMF repayment. On 5 July 2015, a referendum to decide whether or not Greece should accept the fiscal measures proposed by the European Union (EU), the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the European Central Bank (ECB), will take place. The Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras announced the referendum in the early morning of 27 June 2015, and parliament ratified the move the next day. Although Prime Minister Tsipras is a fierce 'nay' opponent, he has decided to entrust the decision to the people and excuse himself of the huge responsibility involved.

Prime Minister Tsipras has given us an unprecedented opportunity to witness crowd wisdom in action. Is the Greek crowd wiser than its government? Can it be as responsible as a committee of senior monetary and financial experts? Can it distill the diverse set of social forces, geo-political ramifications, academic research and policy recommendations into a simple, responsible decision with a positive outcome?

One cannot exaggerate as to the gravity of the issues at stake. On the one hand rejecting the European Proposal will most likely result in Greece dropping out of the Eurozone, to be likely followed by economic pandemonium. However with that comes the hope for Greece to regain control of its own destiny while maintaining its social and national integrity. On the other hand, accepting the deal would mean imminent and profoundly negative effects on the lives of many Greeks, especially for the elderly and less fortunate. Greece would be forced to abruptly deal with its core economic weaknesses - widespread corruption, low worker productivity and a high dependence on social welfare - all in conjunction with unprecedented unemployment and general economic uncertainty.

Supporters believe the choice is accept the deal or die. Detractors claim the proposed deal would kill all possibilities for actual rehabilitation. No one knows, and it is keeping the elite economists and politicians of the continent awake at night. Now the crowd is going to make this decision and vote either 'yes' or 'no' on the specific question of whether to take the deal or not.

Can taxi drivers, hair dressers, dentists, teachers, factory workers, college students and everyone else collectively make better decisions than the government? Let's examine the signals and history.

Initial crowd sentiment to the referendum was extremely negative. World markets tumbled and the Greek Stock Market is suspended until further notice. High cash withdrawals have prompted Tsipras to announce a 'Bank Holiday' to be in effect until July 7th at the earliest.

Surprisingly though, opinion polls show most Greeks support the agreement. In a poll conducted by Alco for the Greek newspaper Proto Thema, 57% of the participants said they would vote 'yes' in the upcoming referendum, in favor of a deal. Another poll conducted by Kapa Research for ‘To Vima’ found that 47% of the population will vote in favor of approving the agreement, while 33% will vote against.

It's very insightful to look to the betting markets for indicators. Memories are still fresh of March's Israeli election and last year's Scottish independence referendum, when the betting sites were right and the opinion polls were way off. In Israel, 2 weeks before the elections, while opinion polls where all favoring the Labor Party, 81% of gamblers were betting on Netanyahu to come through as the victor. In Scotland, while most opinion polls were split down the middle, political betting lines have unanimously experienced much higher "NO" volumes. In this case the current betting jury is out. Predicit is leaning towards a 2015 EuroZone exit while other betting sites are pointing at no EuroZone exit anytime soon.

History shows there is a big difference between how people classify themselves politically and what they actually support in times of crucial decision making. Tsipras' anti austerity Syriza party won the the election handsomely five months ago, but here we are with Tispras himself, the most vocal detractor of the proposed agreement, passing the buck back to the populace. Yet the crowd itself may surprise everyone and prove itself as the responsible adult on the block.

0.0 ·
0
Trending Today
7 Signs of Tyranny
2 min · 5,149 views today · Consider yourself warned.
How Comedy Can Disarm Bullies
3 min · 4,402 views today · As long as you're funny, it can get you out of almost anything - even getting mugged, as co-founder of Between Two Ferns Scott Aukerman recounts. Unfortunately, not everyone...
How Independent is Hollywood?
4 min · 3,156 views today · A huge number of big-budget Hollywood films, especially those featuring war, conflict or terrorism, are influenced by Hollywood's close relationship with the United States...
How a Lack of Touch Is Destroying Men
Mark Green · 2,151 views today · Why Men Need More Platonic Touch in their Lives
Globalization Makes No Sense
Chris Agnos · 1,645 views today · When I lived in San Francisco, I often would marvel at the movement of goods through the ports across the bay in Oakland. Full container ships would enter the bay one after...
Immigrants For Sale (2015)
33 min · 1,497 views today · The detention of migrants has become a multi-billion dollar industry in which immigrants are sold to the highest bidder and traded like mere products. The Corrections...
Your Lifestyle Has Already Been Designed (The Real Reason For The Forty-Hour Workweek)
David Cain · 1,275 views today · Well I’m in the working world again. I’ve found myself a well-paying gig in the engineering industry, and life finally feels like it’s returning to normal after my nine months...
Proof of Evolution That You Can Find on Your Body
4 min · 1,169 views today · Vestigial structures are evolution's leftovers — body parts that, through inheritance, have outlived the context in which they arose. Some of the most delightful reminders of...
John Lennon's "Imagine," Made Into a Comic Strip
John Lennon. Art by Pablo Stanley · 1,046 views today · This is easily the best comic strip ever made.  Pabl
Today I Rise: This Beautiful Short Film Is Like a Love Poem For Your Heart and Soul
4 min · 1,043 views today · "The world is missing what I am ready to give: My Wisdom, My Sweetness, My Love and My hunger for Peace." "Where are you? Where are you, little girl with broken wings but full...
Touch Isolation: How Homophobia Has Robbed All Men Of Touch
Mark Greene · 738 views today · Homophobic prohibitions against male touch are hurting straight men as well.
A Hauntingly Beautiful Short Film About Life and Death
5 min · 681 views today · The Life of Death is a touching handdrawn animation about the day Death fell in love with Life.
Why Would Any of Us Want to Live like a Savage?
Juan Pablo Quinonez · 565 views today · Let’s not be romantic. Industrial civilization is no utopia. For every creature comfort we have, something or someone pays the price. The wilderness is no fairy tale either...
How Wolves Change Rivers
4 min · 527 views today · When wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park in the United States after being absent nearly 70 years, the most remarkable "trophic cascade" occurred. What is a...
Without Saying a Word This 6 Minute Clip From Samsara Will Make You Speechless
6 min · 493 views today · Can you put this video into words? It's a clip from the phenomenal documentary Samsara, directed by Ron Fricke, who also made Baraka.  If you're interested in watching...
Where the Term "Redneck" Came From
15 min · 481 views today · If you don't know this story, you'll never look at the word the same again.  This is just a window into the sometimes shocking, subversive and untold history of the United...
Stunning Small Homes Form Part of a Communal Compound for Best Friends
Lighter Side · 374 views today · If you’re lucky enough to have longtime friends even as an adult, then you know probably already know how much it means to be able to spend time together. Maybe you even have a...
Compassion, the Antidote
Martin Doblmeier · 365 views today · Thich Nhat Hanh has published nearly 100 books and is one of the best-known teachers of Zen Buddhism in the world today. In the early 1960s his practice of what he termed...
The Top 100 Documentaries We Can Use to Change the World
Films For Action · 252 views today · A more beautiful, just and sustainable world is possible. Take this library and use it to inspire global change!
The Foiled Bomb Plot in Kansas That Didn't Make Trump's Terror List
5 min · 243 views today · When a plot by a pro-white militia to bomb a Somali mosque in Kansas was foiled by the FBI last October, the aborted conspiracy received little national coverage - nor did it...
Load More
What's Next
Like us on Facebook?
Is the Greek referendum the ultimate test of crowd wisdom?