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Ordinal Utility

economics is not a science and this can help explain why...
  (+11, -1)(+11, -1)
(+11, -1)
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This is a nifty little idea for economics students so they can understand how silly utilitarianism can be. This web site is established to, in an interactive, neat sort of way, explain and give an example of ordinal utility.

I propose a web sites with (to begin with) one hundred commonly understood nouns like "Mondays", "pornography", "bunny rabbits", "mobile phone ring tones", "McDonalds fast food restaurant chain", et cetera.

Each time a user visits the web site and logs in they are faced with a simple question: "Which do you like more, [nounX] or [nounY]?" For example, "Which do you like more Mondays or pornography?" The user chooses which they like more, and as in a bubble sort algorithm, the list items are swapped. (The algorithm used is arbitrary, so long as the most liked items float to the top of the list, and the least liked to the bottom.) If this is done often enough by a wide enough group of people, theoretically, we can obtain a snapshot of most people's preferences.

sdm, Sep 02 2001

Glossary http://users.bigpon...ew/hb/glossary.html
[sdm, Sep 02 2001, last modified Oct 04 2004]

streamofconciousness dotcom ver2 http://www.futurebi...rdstream/index.php3
I'm betting futurebird makes this site first [reensure, Sep 02 2001]

an implementation http://procrastitro...scripts/utility.php
Look at this, you'll get the picture. [sdm, Sep 02 2001, last modified Oct 04 2004]

whatsbetter.com http://www.whatsbetter.com
Baked. This website does exactly that. At time of writing, Christina Ricci is top, Pedophile Priests bottom. [pottedstu, Jun 20 2002, last modified Oct 04 2004]


       But, but, but, the vocal Monday minority will discover your site and through various schemes (ballot-stuffing) vote Monday's to the top of the list. Thus the only thing you can be sure of is the preferences of those people who visit your site.
pathetic, Sep 02 2001

       ssh. Don't spoil the surprise. Aside from being ponderous (what would happen if you put "love" and "sex" in the list?) This idea is supposed to constitute a lesson in the frivolity of so-called classical economic thought.
sdm, Sep 02 2001

       "Please explain?" Actually, don't. Couldn't resist the sound bite...
sdm, Sep 04 2001

       Of course, if we accept that economics is not a science (just as we apparently accept that it is not a plural), whatever becomes of its catchy nickname? Do we call it "the dismal pseudoscience?"... "the dismal humbug?"... "metaphorica mathematica?"... "the propagandistics of boredom?" Or worse, "the dismal art?"
whatsbruin, Sep 04 2001

       "Armchair expulsion"
sdm, Sep 04 2001

       It's science, in that it is the science of determining under what well defined set of conditions an individual will make the worst possible bet.   

       Acceptance of the notion that economic forces are like chimeras, either well behaved mules or ill mannered bastards, has led thinking people to desert their study and pursue counting cash.
reensure, Sep 05 2001

       What would be the incentive for surfers to visit this website?
joarvat, Jun 20 2002

       joarvat: Pictures of Christina Ricci in a bikini, apparently.
pottedstu, Jun 20 2002


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