Thursday, July 31, 2003

A Bit Too Outside the Box-I still think the Future Markets Applied to Predictions idea was sound, but that was the tipping point for John Poindexter's stay at DARPA. It might have been that the civil rights overreach involving Total Information Awareness put his butt at the door and the prediction futures thing was the official shove out the door. Firing Poindexter over TIA might have been too much of a hot-potato, so they waited until the next faux pas came up. Even if limited to experts, the futures market would have honed estimates of the likelihood of something happening. The analogy of the setting of Vegas sports odds comes to mind; the expected point spread is posted among some of the big players in town, who then place their bets. If one side is getting too much action, the spread is adjusted accordingly before the official Vegas line is published. The internal event futures could serve the same purpose. Someone earlier today mentioned that the last time DARPA really thought outside the box, we got the Internet. TIA seemed a couple notches too Big Brother for a lot of people, and deserved the treatment it got.

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