Ideas Futures II

Slashdot posted on the futures markets and the comments, as usual, are all over the place. There’s plenty of this is stupid, the government is just using it to catch citizens, terrorist can use to finance terrorism. But there are some good posts on how it does work. Also a few more links.

Apparently they used this to predict the outcome of elections in Germany (in German).

University of Iowa Tippie College of Business has an Iowa Electronic Markets that has been running since 1988.

There’s a sports idea market.

Here’s an interesting story as well:

The book Blind Man’s Bluff also gives a detailed account of how the lost submarine USS Scorpion was located. All the experts could only narrow it down to a 20 mile radius. With no other options, they resorted to taking real money bets from other submarine commanders on the probabilities of different scenarios. Result? The submarine was found within a couple hundred yards from where they guessed.

Can you imagine some Navy officer going to his superiors at the Navy and explaining that we’re going to try and find a submarine by having a betting pool on it? It sounds completely insane, and personally I can’t believe anyone had the balls to suggest it. But it works. When people have a skin in the game, they tend to give their best, most honest appraisal. If it was up to me, I would require intelligence analyst types to participate in this kind of thing.

Written while listening to “Top”
album Throwing Copper
by Live
Written while listening to “Shit Towne”
album Throwing Copper
by Live