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Blog Archive for the ‘Long Bets’ Category

Decision: Blogs vs. New York Times

by Alexander Rose - Twitter: @zander on February 1st, 02008

  Long Bets has arrived at a decision for Long Bet #2 between blogger Dave Winer and Martin Nisenholtz of the NY Times. At stake is US$2000.00 plus half the interest that has accrued over the last 5 years in the Farsight Fund, all of which will go to the charity of the winner’s choice. […]

Accountable predictions

by Stuart Candy on January 8th, 02008

…by Bill Gates.

Image from the International CES website

Perhaps the central feature of the Long Now’s Long Bets project is accountability — tracking the fortunes of predictive statements and the arguments made in support of them. In a mediasphere with an attention span as short as ours, pundits, CEOs and other “thought leaders” can. . .   Read More

The Future of Futurology

by Alexander Rose - Twitter: @zander on December 31st, 02007

The Economist has a nice piece on the future of forcasting. Good reading for the upcoming seminar with Paul Saffo and later with Nassim Taleb. The article does a good job pointing out the value of certain types of short-termism: The next rule is: think short-term. An American practitioner, Faith Popcorn, showed the way with […]

Blogs vs. New York Times

by Alexander Rose - Twitter: @zander on December 21st, 02007

Roger Cadenhead over at the Workbench wrote up his analysis of one of our Long Bets yesterday that is up for review (thanks to Chris Anderson for sending this in). Cory Doctorow over at BoingBoing also did a nice write up. We here at Long Bets will be making our own analysis of course, but […]

The next (last) 100 Years

by Alexander Rose - Twitter: @zander on December 3rd, 02007

I was recently reminded of this great prediction article by John Watkins published in the 01900 Ladies Home Journal.

Particularly interesting for how much it gets right and wrong, sometimes in the same prediction. Some examples of the 29 predictions:

There will be air-ships, but they will not successfully compete with surface cars and. . .   Read More


by Stephanie Gerson on November 22nd, 02007

Futarchy is an untried form of government proposed by economist Robin Hanson, in which officials define measures of national welfare while prediction markets determine which policies are most desirable. In Hanson’s words, “we would vote on values, but bet on beliefs.”

Futarchy is based on the assumption that poor nations are poor because their. . .   Read More

Predictions & Prescriptions

by Austin Brown on November 21st, 02007

Good Magazine ran an interview recently with a man they call The New Nostradamus. Bruce Bueno de Mesquita uses a mathematical model that is based entirely on game theory to predict the outcomes of political conflicts. He takes a very literal interpretation of the phrase “political science” and focuses his analysis strictly on issues of. . .   Read More

Long Bet: The Cost of Energy

by Alexander Rose - Twitter: @zander on September 14th, 02007

We have recently resolved Bet 117 on Long Bets about the adjusted cost of energy. It was an interesting case where we had very specific criteria for who would win the bet, yet we could not adjudicate it when the time came. The bettors cited the Department of Energy published numbers to resolve their bet. . .   Read More

Six Rules for Effective Forecasting

by Alexander Rose - Twitter: @zander on August 7th, 02007

An amazingly in depth article by Long Now board member Paul Saffo on the intracacies of Forecasting appeared in the July 07 Harvard Business Review. The whole issue entitled Going The Distance is about long term thinking in the business realm and is highly recommended. Below are some highlights of Paul’s forcasting article…
The. . .   Read More

Open Source Bets

by Stephanie Gerson on July 30th, 02007

For the past few years Chris Hibbert has been working on Zócalo, an Open Source Toolkit for Prediction Markets. He writes, “my purpose in the project is to build prediction market software that people can use as a foundation for deploying many markets of this type. As I said in my proposal to CommerceNet, the […]