That’s the sound of the shortest new idea in futures research being quickly purged from the collective memory. FutureMAP is no more, it is a dead project. It has passed on, ceased to be, run down the the curtain and joined the bleeding choir invisible. It is an ex-project.

So, who’s going to be the first to resurect it? If I spent the next couple of days, I’m betting I could put together a rudimentary system that would allow for futures trading. I probably wouldn’t use real cash. Perhaps the person with the most points at the end could win a gift certificate of some sort. I wonder if the government would then try to shut me down. Anyone want to take a shot at it?

Of course, this is what Blogshares orignally was going for, but I don’t know that it made it–people were too interested in gaming the market.

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  1. Posted 7/30/2003 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

    They really need to get rid of this Poindexter idiot. The only place he belongs is in a federal prison.

  2. Posted 7/31/2003 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

    Apparently he is expected to resign.

  3. Posted 7/31/2003 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

    Good riddance.

  4. Bram
    Posted 8/1/2003 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

    Artificial markets have started to become fairly popular, the entertainment industry ones particularly. (Blogshares seems a bit more amateurish, and an example of why market design isn’t necessarily piece of cake.) There’s a growing body of work in experimental and behavioural economics on the subject; cf esp Pennock‘s commentary on this.

    I think the interset in artificial markets kind of starts from the realisation that as much as marketplaces, from souqs and shuks to the set of all grocery stores in town, act as social mechanisms for exchanging things — generally, commodities for money — the aggregate record of their transactions constitutes a really useful set of information. Once markets began to get computational (think securities exchanges), the regularised aggregation of this information become do-able. Welcome to Dow Jones.

    The research company I used to work for was purchased by a bandwidth exchange under similar principles: that the aggregated transaction data was generating data on bandwidth and minutes pricing that normally doesn’t exist — and that analysing the movement of this data over time can tell us things we hadn’t known before.

    Anyway, from looking at the transaction data from real markets it wasn’t too far a stretch to wanting to create artificial markets in order to obtain transaction data in the first place. The hard bit is to get people to be as serious about it as they are when it’s their money involved. HSX and so on have tried to do that by building a sense of community and turning it to a game. The Pentagon fellow couldn’t see any other way than to have people put real money up, which is what I think shocked folks.

  5. Posted 8/1/2003 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

    I had forgotten about HSX. I was one of the early players, but it looks like they no longer have me on file :(. Too bad, too, since I had picked some winners.

    I don’t know that it was the money that put people off as much as the subject matter. Had the examples they gave been a bit more tame–predicting foreign election results or the development of industrial sectors–I don’t think there would have been the same kind of response. There is, however, something inherently distasteful about any sort of a dead pool, even moreso when it directly involves assasination.

    Thanks for the links: I’ll look forward to some reading and playing around a bit with the Foresight Exchange.

One Trackback

  1. By this is the samaBlog on 8/1/2003 at 1:52 pm

    Terror Futures
    The terror futures idea may have been shelved and gotten Poindexter fired (finally), but the math behind the idea was sound, and there’s nothing stopping somebody else from implementing it. Like this guy….

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