Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, and all the Giving Pledge billionaires, should rather do what Peter Thiel does -go investing their cash and/or (liquidated) fortune in futuristic projects. – [VIDEO]

This morning, I wrote that I disaprove Bill Gates and Warren Buffett&#8217-s Giving Pledge operation, because I rather favor billionaires investing in young startups lead by visionaries. Well, just after the publication of that post, I stumbled on the &#8220-Audacious Optimism&#8221- event, which satisfies my request.

The Thiel Foundation is encouraging philanthropists to donate more money to scientific pursuits that could lead to big breakthroughs in medicine, artificial intelligence, and nanotechnology, among other fields.

Note that Peter Thiel draws a distinction between “extensive” technologies, which “take things that are working and replicate them&#8221-, and “intensive” technologies, which try to “take the things that are best in the world and make them qualitatively and dramatically better&#8221-.

Subsidizing real-money prediction markets and real-money conditional prediction markets

Should Google subsidize the Lunar X Prize contract on InTrade?

John Salvatier,

Our good friend Bo Cowgill might have already re-created those prediction markets on Google&#8217-s internal prediction exchange at a marginal cost of zero US dollar. No need for him to &#8220-subsidize&#8221- external prediction markets.

[As an appendix, I precise that I am in favor of opening the enterprise prediction markets to external traders, for some questions.]

Subsidizing prediction markets is an old Robin Hanson idea that carries quite a heavy price tag.

Conditional prediction markets is a great idea on the paper. Many people (e.g., Mike Linksvayer) like the idea. However, here is what the uncritical Robin Hanson fanboys blogging on Overcoming Whatever won&#8217-t tell you:

  • The first problem is that nobody trades those things.
  • The second problem is that subsidizing those conditional prediction markets costs an arm and a leg.
  • The third problem is that no major news media outlet has ever quoted the prediction market prices / probabilities generated by those conditional prediction markets.

Peter McCluskey could have rent a French mistress (or a French gigolo) for a full year with all the money he is spending on Robin Hanson&#8217-s idea. Or vaccinated the whole African continent against Malaria. See Peter&#8217-s comment, at the middle of the webpage, here.

Philanthropy and prediction markets are not mixing well &#8212-yet.

Why Emile Servan-Schreiber is on to something with Bet 2 Give -and why InTrade, TradeSports and BetFair should each have a philanthropy wallet.

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