So, an international standards body recently held a vote as to whether a proposed standard from Microsoft should be “fast tracked” into acceptance, skipping the usual procedure for the standards the body regulates. The vote was “no”, as many still have gripes about Microsoft’s proposal. This is getting more coverage than it deserves, because Microsoft has evidently been manipulating the process. In an interesting study, a Finish group reports a high correlation between countries who voted “yes” in this vote with high levels of corruption in their governments.

I don’t particularly care about any of this, but the Finish study suggests an interesting idea: could you reverse the direction of the study to detect corruption? Could you, in essence, set up a “sting”, where anyone rational would say “no”, but someone who was bribed would say “yes”?