Subject: Re: Tom W. Bell paper
From: "Rich Bodo" <>
Date: Fri, 1 Sep 2006 17:19:47 -0700

> I don't think that prediction markets help very much and
> here is why:
> Prediction markets are zero-sum markets:  some traders
> win by the exact amount that other traders lose.  They are
> not gambling markets because skill is involved.  That
> is to say that  they are more like poker than they are like
> the lottery.  These markets do not give a reward for
> discovering a new vein of gold -- they give a reward for
> guesstimating when the next vein of gold will be discovered.

O.K. but don't you think that a spex would encourage the generation of ideas?

I'm in sort of an informal betting pool on the next thing that will
come out of google.  If we had an on-line pool that bet on the
implementation of these ideas, and members could describe the ideas in
a public wiki, then this could be an incubator for prior art.

This kind of spex would have both a cash incentive, *and* a bragging
rights incentive.  You could bet on stuff and work on stuff at the
same time.  Then, you would have all kinds of interesting dynamics,
where people would try to solve the problem *before* google solved it,
and the betting games would involve knowing the who the best and the
brightest users were, which would just feed the bragging rights fire,

If we can get the ideas out there *before* that 20 year government IP
franchise is granted - rock on.  As with any on-line resource, the
implementation of the spex matters, and will have a tremendous effect
on the outcome.

> If I had the start-up capital, I'd start a lab that would
> be funded by newsletter subscriptions and paid
> on-site visits.   Indeed, if there are investors who
> would be interested in such an approach, please
> get in touch -- we can start quite small.   I'd be happy
> to describe my own "systematic approach" in the
> field of practical, open source R&D.

That would have to be one cool lab.