Is it possible to reliably predict whose point of view will win out in the infant circumcision debate? If we could identify interested individuals and extract the right metrics, could we then say where the debate over infant circumcision will lead? More to the point, is there some way to determine what percentage of baby boys in the United States will continue to have circumcision imposed on them by looking at who is involved in the debate, how committed these people are, and what’s in it for them?
Prof. Bruce Bueno de Mesquita of New York University has been doing this in a lot of other areas, mostly in the realm of politics, and coming up with a 90% accuracy rating as noted by the CIA. In April, Mr. Bueno de Mesquita gave a TED talk to explain his methodology, using Iran’s nuclear ambitions as an example. It is fascinating.