Arnold Kling  

A Betting Arena

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Since Bryan is impressed with people who bet on their ideas, I thought I would remind folks about longbets, a site that encourages exactly that, focused on long-term predictions. For example, Kevin Kelly writes,


The biggest driver of the shift from large families to small families is communication technology and education. As these techniques come into place the switch to lower birth rates is faster than what demographers have expected. And they are more permament.

...the earth's population will reach its peak sooner than official forecasts predict and because there is no visible counterforce compelling the majority of couples to have more than 3 kids each, world population will rapidly fall after reaching its peak.

Kelly does not know about Bryan's next book, which is going to convince everyone in the world to have more kids. Bryan should bet soon, before his book comes out.

The silliest bet is that within ten years the large Hadron collider will destroy the earth. In that case, winning the bet won't mean anything.

Many predictions do not have opposing bettors (including several predictions that already are false). One of the interesting not-yet-false predictions comes from econlog reader Mark Bahner.


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COMMENTS (5 to date)
Kurbla writes:

I bet someone will accept the first bet offered in the comments of the Arnold's "A betting arena" post.

€ 5

Any takers? Its your opportunity...

Steve writes:

Kurbla,

I accept your bet.

When do I get the money?

Kurbla writes:

Good, Steve! But it appears we disagree who won, so we must find the judge. I propose Arnold, because this is his jurisdiction. If he doesn't want, the 2nd best is enlightened democracy, everyone is welcome to comment, but we count only people identifiable in the real world who already posted or commented here.

So, guys, help us: who won?


Snorri Godhi writes:

The silliest bet is that within ten years the large Hadron collider will destroy the earth. In that case, winning the bet won't mean anything.

There would be fewer suckers if more people were familiar with Pascal's Wager.

Jess Riedel writes:

The problem with LongBets is that once a person has posted a prediction (which costs only $50), they have no obligation to accept any challenge bets. There are some standing predictions that are almost certainly wrong. (And yes, I *did* challenge someone...to no response.)

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