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Dan Goodman's prediction and politics journal.

Monday, July 12, 2004

Monday July 12, 2004. The Foresight Exchange (http://www.ideosphere.com) is a market in future futures. That is, people bet on what they think the future will bring. There's a theory that such markets can be extremely good prediction mechanisms.

Someone has done a statistical analysis, and arrived at the conclusion that the Foresight Exchange is predicting ten times as great a chance of nuclear terrorism against the United States if Kerry is elected President than if Bush is re-elected.

While some people are skeptical (among other reasons, because Foresight Exchange bets aren't in real money), others are discussing why this is true.

Decades ago, there was a mainframe computer program which could be set to give either kneejerk conservative or kneejerk liberal answers to any question. It was not dignified with the name "artificial intelligence." Most of the commenters in this discussion seem to have something like that program running in their heads.

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Subject: Re: Used Once, Not Well
Date: Mon, 12 Jul 2004 12:37:09 -0500
From: Dennis Lien

At 09:24 PM 7/9/2004, Dan Goodman wrote:
>Sometimes a story has an unusual idea, but doesn't develop it properly.

My horrible example is Theodore Sturgeon's "Helix the Cat," unsold for many years before first appearing in the JOHN W CAMPBELL MEMORIAL ANTHOLOGY. The protagonist learns early on that everything we've thought about death and the afterlife is a lie; what actually happens (to all but a tiny minority of lucky escapees) is that upon death one's soul gets eaten by some monster. One would think he might brood a bit on this, but in practice it's just background for a meant-to-be-funny-mostly chase and escape plot and is pretty much forgotten.

Denny Lien
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Writing: daily exercise -- Done.

"Well Met, Well Met, My Own True Love" -- More converted from zero draft to first draft. One scene removed, the essential content added to another scene. Another scene may be removed.

"They Might Be Windmills" --

"History Line" --

"Port Useless" --
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