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.

The HubDub prediction markets on assassinations could be somewhat useful in some cases -now that I am sober and that I think of it.

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I published 3 times my opinion that it is a nuclear scandal of apocalyptic proportions that HubDub allows prediction markets on celebs&#8217- death and assassination. My view is that this will attract strong criticism from people who are very strict on the issue of morality. And the prediction markets don&#8217-t need another polemique at this time.

But after reading Medemi&#8217-s comment, popped up an idea in my mind. Medemi tells about the assassination of Pim Fortuyn, an extremist politician in Holland &#8212-who received many death threats and did not get appropriate protection. His assassination was predictable. (He was indeed gunned down during a political campaign.) If, at the time, a prediction market had been opened on the likelihood of his violent death, the high probabilities would have attracted attention &#8212-and, as a result, maybe the Police would have granted Pim Fortuyn a special protection.

What do you think?