Are prediction markets on deaths and assassinations SOMETIMES acceptable?

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Will Patrick Swayze die before April 15, 2008?

It was settled on &#8220-no&#8221-.

HubDub CEO Nigel Eccles thinks that his traders &#8220-quickly came to the conclusion that the [early 2008] story [giving him 5 weeks to live] was bogus.&#8221- And Nigel Eccles asks, &#8220-Is this an example where a death pool prediction market is actually socially valuable?&#8221-

In my view:

  1. It&#8217-s the opinion makers external to HubDub who should decide this. If most people and/or lawmakers decide that prediction markets on deaths and assassinations are disgusting and unacceptable, then they should be pruned. We need goodwill towards the prediction markets if we want the real-money prediction markets to be legalized everywhere.
  2. Would Nigel Eccles accept a prediction market about when his wife (or kid) is going to die?
  3. Is there a social utility in knowing when exactly a celebrity is going to die (supposing that such a prediction market could be accurate)? For a head of state, a running politician, or a Justice, that information might have a value. However, in the case of a Hollywood celebrity, I don&#8217-t see where the value lays. A prediction market on the upcoming death of a celebrity would participate in that big, stupid circus that occurs today, with paparazzi and tabloids taking an importance that they shouldn&#8217-t have in the first place. Our youth would be better off browsing and betting on prediction markets about science and technology. We should elevate our global civilization. I don&#8217-t see any (social or individual) benefit about knowing in advance when exactly Patrick Swayze is going to die. I am scratching my head right now &#8212-and I still don&#8217-t see any reason why we should spend our precious time blogging on this issue, betting on that, or collecting probabilistic predictions on that. I just don&#8217-t. (If you have a counter argument, do publish a comment below.)
  4. The very best wishes to Patrick Swayze, by the way.

6 thoughts on “Are prediction markets on deaths and assassinations SOMETIMES acceptable?

  1. Nigel Eccles said:

    1. Whether or not users trade play money predictions on the death of someone will have no bearing on whether real money prediction markets are legalized in the US.

    2. It isn’t up to me however it would be against the current Hubdub rules which only allow markets of this sort in response to an existing news story. As I’ve mentioned before these rules are created through consensus of the Hubdub user base. This is one issue that still has no consensus and the rules potentially could change.

    3. The story was bogus and the market called it out as such. Patrick Swayze recently condemned the  shoddy reporting surrounding his illness:…..89&c=1. My point is that one thing that markets can be good at is pointing out bogus stories, of which this was one.

    4. Very best wishes from me as well. Of course everyone has seen Dirty Dancing but his real classic was Roadhouse:

  2. Prediction markets on deaths and assassinations at HubDub | Midas Oracle .COM said:

    […] F. Masse December 3rd, 2008 Following my post on Midas Oracle .ORG about this issue, here a list of the prediction markets at HubDub that deal […]

  3. Medemi said:

    “Our youth would be better off browsing and betting on prediction markets about science and technology.”


    I see huge potential on the educational front. Alas, I’m probably one of very few who believes  that the department of education has a big role to play in this.

    Too often we’re taught what a teacher thinks is best for us. But, in order to get closer to the truth we have to collect all the half truths that are out there. Collecting, sharing and trying to fit the different pieces of the puzzle is also a fun way of processing information. You can bet, that this way, our children will grow up a lot faster than we did.

    Unfortunately, since most of us grew up with a clear understanding of what’s right and wrong, good or bad, I suppose prejudism against prediction markets will prevail in the foreseeable future. And we wouldn’t want to spoil our God-given right, as parents, to mold our children into decent intelligent, but ignorant and brainwashed children, would we ? For a better understanding of that, and the lack of innovation that comes with it, a trip to a fascist country like the UK could be helpful. You may also want to take a look at child happiness around the globe, specifically in a country like the UK.

  4. Chris F. Masse said:

    Would Nigel Eccles accept a prediction market about when his wife (or kid) is going to die?

  5. Nigel Eccles said:

    You should read the comments on your blog some time before posting. Read the comment above.

  6. Chris F. Masse said:

    Apology. I did read your comment but didn’t realize that each of your “1, 2, 3, 4″ points were in response to each of my own points. I thought you were making your reasoning in many points. I understand better your comment, now. Thanks.

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