July 29, 2003

I'll Take 100 Lots on a Suicide Bombing at a Mall

This is a brilliant idea. Futures markets are incredibly efficient ways of predicting events that a lot of people have small knowledge of. Terrorism certainly fits into that category. While I wouldn't rely on this alone, it certainly would be a good bit of information to use as a guide for targetting other resources. Of course, the usual small-minded suspects are wailing and gnashing teeth at the idea that the Pentagon might be trying something innovative, but that is to be expected, and is criticism easily dismissed.

UPDATE: And like far too many ideas, and as in far too many other cases, the whiff of criticism has caused this program to be scrapped. Way to show some balls, Poindexter.

On another note, what is to prevent private citizens from setting up such a market? Charge a transaction fee of a few cents per contract dollar, and the enterprise would most likely be profitable. In addition, it would certainly be useful to the government, since the market is by its nature open information. Setting up the financial background for this shouldn't be terribly difficult or expensive. Man, yet another idea I'd take up if I had more time to work on it. Oh, well, maybe someone else will.

Posted by Jeff at July 29, 2003 08:57 AM | Link Cosmos

I think it is appalling that they folded so quickly on this one. Its terrible that a potentially useful tool in the fight against terror has to be abandoned due to the mindless moral preening of a pair of obscure Senators who opened their mouths before engaging their brains.

Posted by: James Griffith on July 30, 2003 11:21 AM
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