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Online gaming sites may have inside track on new pope

April 6, 2005

Information Week reports that online gambling sites may be the best odds in predicting who the new pope will be.  There’s good reason to think that when large numbers of people are willing to bet on an outcome, they form a sort of de-facto supercomputer integrating very large numbers of variables.

The article reminds me that few years ago, John Poindexter proposed a “terrorism futures market” to help predict terrorist events.  The idea is based on sound science and would probably have worked, but senator Barbara Boxer (D – California) denounced it as “sick” and in the ensuing media mess, it was scrapped. 

Oh well, rationality falls to mob mentality every time.

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