Tag Archives: wired

Talk is cheap…so make a Long Bet (for charity) to prove your prediction

Pronouncements about the future come easy. Even when made with an air of authority, they’re usually just cheap talk, rarely revisited. Only the tiny fraction that have proven correct tend to be remembered, when their authors want to take credit.

But what if there were some cash at stake?

The Long Bets Foundation, a new project masterminded by Well founder Stewart Brand and Wired editor-at-large Kevin Kelly, hopes to raise the quality of our collective foresight by incorporating money and accountability into the process of debate.

The idea is simple. If someone makes a grandiose claim, any skeptic can challenge it – “Would you bet on that?” – and the Long Bets Foundation will keep tabs on the wager, whether it takes five years or five decades to come to pass. If proven right, a predictor can relish the victory; if wrong, the challenger gets the glory.

 

 

The Bets:

- Over a ten-year period, the S & P 500 will outperform hedge funds, when performance is measured on a basis net of fees, costs and expenses. – $1,000,000 – (Warren Buffet vs. Protege Partners, LLC)

 

- At least one human alive in the year 2000 will still be alive in 2150. – $2,000 (Peter Schwartz vs. Melody Haller)

 

- Large Hadron Collider will destroy Earth. – $1,000 (Joe Keane vs. Nick Damiano)

 

- By 2020, a professional sports team (NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, MLS) will integrate and have a woman as a team member/player. – $500 (Thomas Leavens vs. Martin Nisenholtz)

 

- By 2025, the states will have voted on at least one constitutional amendment to cede US federal power to a global government. – $800 (Thomas Quigley vs. Steven Midgley)

 

See more on the record bets.

 

By preserving the terms of the wager in public view, Long Bets promises to be more than a service for confident prognosticators. Over time, it hopes to foster better understanding of how predictions in aggregate work out in reality – what kinds of truths are easiest (or hardest) to forecast, and what kinds of people are right (or wrong) most reliably.

According to the Long Bets Foundation, all stakes are treated as charitable donations, tax deductible when the bet is made. Bettors designate nonprofits to receive the proceeds. Meanwhile, the foundation holds the funds in an investment account for the life of the bet, with half of the growth covering administrative costs. A competition designed to thrive in the public eye, Long Bets uses time as a teacher.

via Wired, May 2002

Is live streaming going to take over?

Famed author and technology journalist, Steven Levy, posed a question/bet on his Google+ stream:

My bet (literally) is that most of the video we watch in 10 years will be live — whether a persistent connection with friends or co-workers, streams from the cameras of friends and strangers, or the increasing amount of pro entertainment that will be streamed live on the unlimited channels of YouTube, network carriers, or the web. It will be more unusual for something NOT to be streamed live than the alternative.

Personally, I think we are witnessing the rise of on-demand, but he may be right with sporting events and parents live streaming their sleeping babies…

Living on a Stream: The Rise of Real-Time Video

A couple of weeks ago, I was talking to a friend about streaming. I was marveling how easy it’s becoming to beam a live video feed, anywhere, not only to a friend or a group, but, essentially, the entire world. The province of the network news team with satellite truck has now extended to anyone with a smartphone.

I ranted that we’re only at the beginning of a process that will transform the way we watch moving images, not to mention what those images are and how we produce them. We are well clear of the world of television — where video meant sitting down in a living room and watching carefully scheduled, professionally produced “shows” — and now are about to move from our more fluid, DIY and YouTube-infused paradigm into something different: an explosion of video as its happening now.

Whether the point is to share an environment with friends or co-workers for an extended period of time, to indulge in a slickly produced event enhanced by the knowledge that it’s live, or to drop in on the most compelling events on the planet at any time, more and more of what we see will be seen as it happens.

via Wired Opinion

 

 

// Photo – Fibonacci Blue

Sensors, Feedback Loops & The Humanity of Surveillance

Speed Radar Sign

In Wired’s July 2011 issue, it talks about how feedback loops are providing an exciting opportunity for changing human behavior, presenting the case of dynamic feedback displays, or driver feedback signs, where a speed limit is posted along with a radar sensor that reads your approaching speed and displays it on a digital sign. The comprising technology is not new or revolutionary but the use of them to influence behavior is pretty inventive considering no police officers or cameras are around to issue tickets. And it appears to be working.

The key is the loop and components themselves:

  • First you need DATA – evidence and measurement of a behavior.
  • Next you add in RELEVANCE, or social context, that provides a proxy for meaning. In the case of driver feedback displays, posting the speed limit next to your actual driving speed. This is called informational design.
  • The next step is CONSEQUENCE. The information must be tied to some larger goal or purpose.
  • Finally, you have ACTION where the party can calibrate a behavior, make a choice and do something. That action is measured and fed back into the loop where it can run again.

What’s been fueling the feedback loop revolution is the cost, availability and use of sensors. They’re drastically coming down in price and an increasing in quality and utility. Ostensibly a world with ubiquitous sensors could dramatically improve human behavior, allowing people to set and achieve more definable goals, curb destructive behaviors, monitor performance and continuously improve the process. You can imagine modifying everything from eating and drinking behaviors to work patterns to energy consumption to dating.

Regardless, by outsourcing our decision-making process, we are moving towards an existence where, more and more, technology performs a seemingly “human” role. And this isn’t necessarily a bad thing if it helps us save us from ourselves.

 

Sensors, Feedback Loops & The Humanity of Surveillance

Speed Radar Sign

In Wired’s July 2011 issue, it talks about how feedback loops are providing an exciting opportunity for changing human behavior, presenting the case of dynamic feedback displays, or driver feedback signs, where a speed limit is posted along with a radar sensor that reads your approaching speed and displays it on a digital sign. The comprising technology is not new or revolutionary but the use of them to influence behavior is pretty inventive considering no police officers or cameras are around to issue tickets. And it appears to be working.

The key is the loop and components themselves:

  • First you need DATA – evidence and measurement of a behavior.
  • Next you add in RELEVANCE, or social context, that provides a proxy for meaning. In the case of driver feedback displays, posting the speed limit next to your actual driving speed. This is called informational design.
  • The next step is CONSEQUENCE. The information must be tied to some larger goal or purpose.
  • Finally, you have ACTION where the party can calibrate a behavior, make a choice and do something. That action is measured and fed back into the loop where it can run again.

What’s been fueling the feedback loop revolution is the cost, availability and use of sensors. They’re drastically coming down in price and an increasing in quality and utility. Ostensibly a world with ubiquitous sensors could dramatically improve human behavior, allowing people to set and achieve more definable goals, curb destructive behaviors, monitor performance and continuously improve the process. You can imagine modifying everything from eating and drinking behaviors to work patterns to energy consumption to dating.

Regardless, by outsourcing our decision-making process, we are moving towards an existence where, more and more, technology performs a seemingly “human” role. And this isn’t necessarily a bad thing if it helps us save us from ourselves.