by AL Whitney (C) copyround 2014
Permission is granted for redistribution if linked to original and the AntiCorruption Society is acknowledged
To understand the significance of the National Academy of Science’s admission, one simply has to take a close look at the Delphi method of consensus – developed by the private RAND Corporation – and consider whose interests the RAND Corporation was created to serve.
The Delphi method
The Delphi method was developed by the RAND Corporation, the Robber Baron’s private think tank.
The Delphi method is a structured communication technique, originally developed as a systematic, interactive forecasting method which relies on a panel of experts. [Item # 1] The experts answer questionnaires in two or more rounds. [Item 2] After each round, a facilitator provides an anonymous summary [Item #3] of the experts’ forecasts from the previous round as well as the reasons they provided for their judgments. Thus, experts are encouraged to revise their earlier answers in light of the replies of other members of their panel. [Item #4] It is believed that during this process the range of the answers will decrease and the group will converge towards the “correct” answer. Finally, the process is stopped after a pre-defined stop criterion (e.g. number of rounds, achievement of consensus, stability of results) and the mean or median scores of the final rounds determine the results. [Item #5]
Delphi is based on the principle that forecasts (or decisions) from a structured group of individuals [Item #6] are more accurate than those from unstructured groups. The technique can also be adapted for use in face-to-face meetings, and is then called mini-Delphi or Estimate-Talk-Estimate (ETE). Delphi has been widely used for business forecasting and has certain advantages over another structured forecasting approach, prediction markets.
Who selects the panel of experts? By determining who is an “expert” and by cherry-picking those so-called experts, the final result can be easily rigged. Continue reading