[ExI] online betting on ideas futures

spike at rainier66.com spike at rainier66.com
Sun Feb 9 21:24:45 UTC 2020



From: extropy-chat <extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org> On Behalf Of Dave Sill via extropy-chat
Sent: Sunday, February 9, 2020 12:19 PM
To: ExI chat list <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org>
Cc: Dave Sill <sparge at gmail.com>
Subject: Re: [ExI] online betting on ideas futures


On Sat, Feb 8, 2020 at 10:31 AM spike jones via extropy-chat <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org <mailto:extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> > wrote:


There was a critical political primary in Iowa Monday, although I do not recall the name of the party.  There were a large number of contestants but it came down to two fellers who came out ahead of the pack.  Problem: it was and still is unclear who won that.


>…It doesn't matter. Iowa isn't deciding the ticket. It's sufficient to know who the contenders are and who didn't make a good showing. Further primaries will clarify who's in the running. It's completely irrelevant which of the top two happened to score a couple hundred or thousand more votes.





Dave, on the contrary sir.


The party in question had 32 candidates announce their intentions, so the betting was generally a few cents a share.  When he entered, one of the two in question had shares available for 2 cents.


If one likes a dark horse candidate, one can justifiably decide that should that candidate win the first caucus (in the admittedly weird primary system) then those 2 cent shares would be worth a dollar each.  So plenty of people are now using the first primary as a proxy war.  They take the 20 bucks they would have sent to the candidate, buy 1000 shares that he or she will win in Iowa.  Then if he or she does, that candidate gets 1000 bucks.  If not, he or she gets nothing, but it doesn’t matter, since that candidate would have no chance anyway.


There were over 6 million shares of that stock trading hands this week on this, one of the smaller betting sites.  Conclusion: winning that caucus is worth millions of dollars to the winner.


I will issue the standard claimer: I too bet on these things (not on this one but others.)  I have a philosophy and method similar to the one I shared above with a slight exception.  Similar to the others in that if my candidate loses in Iowa, he or she gets nothing.  But if my candidate wins, my candidate gets my cheerful vote.  Then I keep the money.


Hey, that’s the way we unapologetic capitalists do things.


We still don’t know who won that first caucus and the results have high importance.





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