Is this the Future? You can bet on it
bettingexpert blog editor. Always taking the alternative route to finding the value.
Email: andrew at bettingexpert.com
Do you have a firm prediction about the future of the planet, society or human progress? Want to pose a wager on it? Today Andrew takes a look at a novel website and lists his favourite 'long bets'.
Will we oneday be ruled apes? Or will it be some form of artifical intelligence of our own design that will reign over us? Will humanity even live so long as to see out this destiny? Or will immortal mice save us from impending doom?
Despite the rapid growth of exotic markets and proposition betting at any number of bookmakers, it's safe to say that you'd be hard pressed to find a bookmaker offering odds on questions like these.
But then there's Longbets.org.
What is Longbets.org? Well, it's kind of like Betfair for futurists. Created by the LongNow Foundation in 2002, it's a place where those with a keen eye on the future and a far reaching vision, present long-term future propositions in the hope that someone might take their bet on. There's predictions and propositions of all kinds posted by economists, scientists and to put it politely, the imaginatively adventurous.
Sure, you might have doubts about your ability to claim any winnings on a bet to be resolved in the year 2100, but then Longbets doesn't promote itself as a 'betting' site. Winning a 'long bet' is more about the presitge at stake for those involved, including the likes of Warren Buffet. And before you think you could clean up on your belief that we will be pets to a race of superior alien beings by the year 2050, all winnings are to be donated to charity.
Today I look at my top 5 favourite, mostly amusing Longbets.
“Google Earth / Street View will become a video gaming platform, where users can play Grand Theft Auto-like games virtually in their own neighborhoods...."
Posted by Jason E Cafer
Not withstanding the fact that I have lived in actual neighborhoods that presented a similar landscape of criminal mayhem as that which takes place in Grand Theft Auto, I think this proposition is one to stay away from. The proposition was posted in 2009 and will resolve in 2013. So we're still looking at another 15 months of video game development, in which time I can easily see a Google Theft Auto coming to fruition.
Verdict: Take the Over in the 'Double digit version revisions until it's worth playing' market.
Posted by C.L
This will definately happen. And It took us until 2015 to create disease frequented vermon that cannot be killed? Brilliant. There's no way this could go wrong. And the mouse-trap budget at the immortal mouse labaratory must be astronomical.
Not to mention the issue of determining whether or not a being can meet the claim of immortality? How could this ever be resolved?
Verdict: Take the Over on the '1.5 global immortal mice plagues in the next 100 years' market.
Posted by Baris Karadogan
First of all, this will make for an awesome if not arduous Maury Povich episode. Secondly, it assumes that a man who has fathered 150 children will still be alive in the year 2036. Although this taking place in the U.S is possibly a lock.
And I'm not sure if I buy Mr Karadogan's reasoning that advances in social networking will ultimately lead to a tipping point where the 'best' women will be able to easily access the 'best' men in order to father their children without any demand that the father to be involved in the child's life. But it's a tremendous idea for a reality show.
Verdict: Take the Over in the '149.5 of these children end up hating their father' market.
“By the year 2150, over 50% of schools in the USA or Western Europe will require classes in defending against robot attacks.”
Posted by Alex K Rubin
The first thing that occurs to me about this proposition is that it is "50% of schools in the USA or Western Europe", which leads me to suspect that Mr Rubin sees the rest of the world as a potential haven from which hostile enemy robots could attack.
And I'm not entirely sure how threatening a robot could be if a few high school self-defense classes are enough to thrwart their un-wanted advances.
Verdict: Handsome odds on offer I suspect for Arnold Schwarzenegger in the 'First celebrity to act as peace negotiator in the humans v robots war' market.
By the year 2040, AI will appear on computer viruses that will communicate with each other using a universal Internet language and will be programmed to fuse together and mutate into Computer Organs that will later be controlled by powerful search engines (Systems) diffused through out the Internet.”
Posted by Diogo O Baltran
First of all, I'm pretty sure that this scenario has already taken place on my old backup laptop computer.
Secondly, although I'm not sure if this scenario will actually occur by the year 2040, I am prepared to bank the house on this premise forming the basis for a trilogy of films starring Keanu Reeves by the year 2013.
Verdict: The first film in the trilogy will be great. The second will lose its way. And the third will make no sense at all.
You can follow Andrew on Twitter @AndrewBexpert
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