Predictive markets: technology
This looks interesting.
I quote the promotional e-mail I got about it:
Last summer much was made about the Pentagon's plans to launch a market that predicted future acts of terrorism. While terror-themed markets are understandably controversial predictive markets do have powerful applications in fields other than terrorism.
Predictive markets are based on the Efficient Market Hypothesis, which suggests the collective wisdom of a group is greater than the individual wisdom of a single person.
To illustrate, the process of valuing a company is a fairly arduous task for a single person.
That person might speak with company executives, customers, and competitors in order to make an educated guess about the company's future cash flows.
Alternatively, the public stock markets do a good job of valuing companies by aggregating information that a lot of different people have.
The market quickly "prices in" new information by driving a stock price up or down.
A market's ability to aggregate information can be used to forecast a variety of future events.
Technology Review's Innovation Futures marketplace is designed to forecast the outcome of events related to emerging technology and business trends.
I, for one, certainly remember that story (about DARPA creating a futures market in terrorism).
I haven't looked at this market in any detail yet, but I made a quick scan.
I learned, for example, that the Software Market there says there's only an 8% chance that "SCO will be awarded damages in its lawsuit against IBM at the District Court in Utah."
It also looks like you can win some nice prizes.
So far, though as I say this one looks interesting, so far I prefer Long Bets.
Justice (Civil Liberties, so-called Intellectual Property, Privacy & Secrecy); Politics & Government (International, National, State, Local); Humor (Irony & the Funny or Unusual); Science & Technology (Astronomy, Computers, the Internet, e-Voting, Crypto, Physics & Space); Communication (Books, Film, Media, Music & the English Language); Economics (Corporatism & Consumerism); and Items of Purely Personal Note (including Genealogy, Photography, Religion & Spirituality).