Wisdom of crowds in popular culture, again

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&#8220-The wisdom of crowds&#8221- has apparently seeped a bit into popular culture, or at least the geekier end of it.

On the heels of British illusionist Derren Brown&#8217-s invoking of &#8220-the wisdom of crowds&#8221- as a (false) part of his explanation of how he appeared to predict winning lottery numbers, last night a character in the American TV show House invoked the wisdom of crowds as part of an explanation for how he obtained a diagnosis of his medical condition.

(The character &#8211- a highly intelligent, geeky, successful video game designer &#8211- posted his medical symptoms on the internet and offered $25,000 for a successful diagnosis. Then, mentioning &#8220-wisdom of crowd&#8221- based reasoning, concluded that the most frequent diagnosis appearing in emailed responses was likely correct. As the story turned out, the crowd-sourced diagnosis was incorrect. Instead, the correct diagnosis was submitted by series main character Greg House, working from home after quitting his job at the hospital.  The &#8220-wisdom of crowds&#8221- element doesn&#8217-t make it into the official episode summary.)

Although the crowd was wrong (the better to highlight how clever our main character is when, later, he provides the correct diagnosis), at least the basic &#8220-wisdom of crowds&#8221- logic illustrated in the episode was correct. As a fan of the show, I appreciate that it doesn&#8217-t insult my intelligence by dressing up clever cons with misleading science-based patter.

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Max Keiser is going to practice (an entertaining form of) prediction market analysis for BBC World News.

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Max Keiser:


Max Keiser looks into the future every Friday on BBC World . . . coming soon

BBC World News is working with Max Keiser, the creator of the Hollywood Stock Exchange, to produce &#8220-The Oracle,&#8221- a weekly entertaining look into the future with the help of today&#8217-s headlines and prediction market charts.

The Oracle&#8217-s partners include Eldorado Pictures, the production company of Emmy award winning star, Alec Baldwin.

BBC World News Head of Programmes, Paul Gibbs, says: &#8216-If Max had been on our screens a year ago the current global financial crisis would not have been a surprise. It might not even have happened.&#8217-

Alec Baldwin, who has enjoyed a relationship, both personal and professional, with Keiser for nearly 30 years says, &#8220-I&#8217-m excited to be working with Max on The Oracle. Keiser combines blazing intellect, total irreverence and searing honesty to put forth news and commentary like no one else can.&#8221-

The Oracle is planned to air every weekend from early 2009 on BBC World News. Celebrity and expert guests join Max to pore over the prediction market charts to see where people are predicting today&#8217-s news might lead.

Max Keiser, has a long and amazingly accurate history of looking at market prices in order to predict the future.

As the creator of the world&#8217-s first prediction market, the Hollywood Stock Exchange, Max presented &#8220-Rumble at the Box Office&#8221- for NBC&#8217-s Access Hollywood accurately predicting box office.

Max went on to predict the present economic turmoil in a series of ten films for the Aljazeera English magazine series, People and Power.

As early as 2006, Max predicted in these films –

* the crisis in the global banking system to be triggered by subprime debts,
* the rescue of the financial system by wholesale government intervention,
* the rise in the price of gold,
* the Russian invasion of Georgia,
* economic meltdown in Iceland,

* and more.

Max continues to stay one step ahead of the game with his weekly radio show in London on Resonance 104.4 FM and in his writing for the Huffington Post and Intrade, the prediction market site.

The producers of the program will be in Mipcom and available for meetings.