[extropy-chat] Futures idea game (was Nano-assembler feasibility - politics)

Harvey Newstrom mail at HarveyNewstrom.com
Mon Apr 5 03:56:51 UTC 2004

On Sunday, April 4, 2004, at 09:53 pm, Alejandro Dubrovsky wrote:

>> 100%: Original Star Wars rereleased in theatres
>> <http://www.ideosphere.com/fx-bin/Claim?claim=SW1b>
> This supposedly wasn't a wrong prediction.  It got judged at a 100 (it
> paid one cent per million dollars in tickets in the US (up to 100 off
> course))

OK.  I see how to read the judgments now.  That will help a lot in 
interpreting these!

But I am still confused how the original Star Wars was judged 100% to 
have been re-released *in theaters*.  It says "If the Star Wars movie 
is not re-released to theatres by 1/1/99, the claim pays $0."  Was 
there a theater re-release of the original Star Wars that I missed?  I 
thought they just released a DVD.

>> 100%: MiniDisks will outsell CDs
>> <http://www.ideosphere.com/fx-bin/Claim?claim=MdCd>
> Check the graph, some weird anomaly where it jumped from  2% to about
> 100 and back instantly. some kind of interface screwup most likely.

If the data graphs are not trustworthy, it throws my entire attempt at 
historical analysis out the window!

>> 100%:  Terrorists have nuclear weapons
>> <http://www.ideosphere.com/fx-bin/Claim?claim=Terr>
> It was at 100% for less than a day at the start.  Have a look at the
> graph.

I know.  This doesn't invalidate my claim.  "Predictions" that seem 
100% obvious at first can quickly cool off and be thought of as silly 
later.  This prediction still peaked over 60% several times.  It 
clearly was a common belief, and many people still expect terrorists to 
get nuclear weapons any time now.

>> 100%: Hillary Clinton runs for president
>> <http://www.ideosphere.com/fx-bin/Claim?claim=HClOff>
> Correct (don't read the title, read the claim).  The actual claim is
> that she would run for some position int the 2000 election, which did
> occur, and it got judged at 100.

Ouch.  So the title are sometimes inaccurate, too?  It is really hard 
to use this "data" with all these inaccuracies that we have to ignore.  
I admit that I quickly scanned the titles, dates and graphs.  I didn't 
realize that any of them could be wrong or superseded by other data 
elsewhere in the claim text.

>> 100%: Non-Intel PCs dominate market
>> <http://www.ideosphere.com/fx-bin/Claim?claim=NIPC>
> Another one where it looks like an interface screwup.  Look at the
> graph.  It jumps from about 35 to 100 and back instantly (twice 
> though).

How can people quote this stuff as authoritative for their claims, but 
then ignore it for opposing claims?  If the graphs aren't reliable, why 
trust any of them?

>> 90%: Colin Powell will run for President
>> <http://www.ideosphere.com/fx-bin/Claim?claim=CPfP>
> Real top value about 80%, but yes, wrong prediction.
>> 90%: Unix irrelevent 
>> <http://www.ideosphere.com/fx-bin/Claim?claim=UNIX>
> So is this one

Even with your other points about anomalies or inaccurate titles, there 
are still numerous claims like these that were widely supported and 
just outright wrong.  My point that these predictions don't prove 
anything still stands.  Widespread market consensus is not good 
evidence that the prediction must be right.

>> 85%: Mac clone sales outnumber Mac sales
>> <http://www.ideosphere.com/fx-bin/Claim?claim=MacC>
> Only right at the start, quickly drops

Again, this supports my point.  Predictions that are widely believed to 
be "obvious" at the time quickly disappear after a little analysis.  
(Unless your point is that these initial peaks are anomalies as well.)

>> 80%: Netscape wins browser war
>> <http://www.ideosphere.com/fx-bin/Claim?claim=NSWN>
> Read the claim. It got judged at 54, so 80% at top is not bad.
> You can go through the rest at your own time.   Main point:  don't read
> the title, read the details, and look at the graph

Yes, I admit that I did skim these very quickly and expected the title, 
date and graph to be accurate all the time.  It now appears to me that 
they are full of errors or anomalies, and only the text and final 
judgment can be trusted(?).  Even so, you refuted less than half of my 
examples.  There are still many obviously wrong ones.  All I am saying 
is that these predictions are often wrong.

Certified IS Security Pro, Certified IS Auditor, Certified InfoSec 
NSA Certified Assessor, IBM Certified Consultant, SANS Certified GIAC
<HarveyNewstrom.com> <Newstaff.com>
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