Friday, August 01, 2003

ongoing · The 1975 Idea-Futures Market

ongoing · The 1975 Idea-Futures Market "There’s been much ado in recent days over DARPA’s notion of setting up a futures market where people could speculate on the likelihood of geopolitical events: terrorism, rebellion, death, and so on. The oscillating waves of opinion were kind of amusing: initial puzzlement, followed by reflexive horror and denunciation, with recently a few quiet voices saying “Maybe this wasn’t such a bad idea.” This note is to point out that the idea goes back at least as far as John Brunner’s 1975 scifi novel Shockwave Rider, which some of you might enjoy reading for its own sake.
Anyhow, you can count me among those who thought that this DARPA thing was obviously worth trying. It wouldn’t cost much, it might be fun, and if it could predict a few bad things before they happen, we might be able to keep a few of them from happening."
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