>From the IP list...URL at the bottom to Wired News article.


---------------------------- Original Message ----------------------------

>Date: Mon, 04 Aug 2003 11:31:55 -0700
>Subject: Remedy for TIA? Try GIA...
>Though there was an outcry over the Pentagon's terrorism futures market,
a  similar online exchange is in the works to predict what the U.S. 
government is up to.
>The American Action Market will offer various Washington "futures" that 
can be bet upon and traded. Examples include:
>?Which country will the White House threaten next?
>?Who will be the next foreign leader to move off the CIA payroll and onto
 the White House's "most wanted" list?
>?Which corporation with close ties to the White House will be the next 
cloaked in scandal?
>The AAM will begin registering traders in September and plans to open for
 business Oct. 1 -- the same launch date proposed for the Pentagon's 
terrorism market, until it was shelved.
>Like the Pentagon's scrapped Policy Analysis Market, the AAM lets traders
 "bet" on future events by buying and selling futures as though they were
 stocks. The higher the price, the more likely the market believes the 
event will occur. But instead of predicting terrorist strikes, the AAM 
will predict things like the next White House staffer to quit.
>"The idea is to answer some of the most pressing questions in the world: 
What will the White House do next?" said one of the founders, Andrew 
Geiger, an American programmer living in Paris.
>The AAM market is the brainchild of a half-dozen academics from various 
colleges, including the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Yale 
University, New York University and the University of Montreal. Most, 
however, are keeping their identities quiet until they get an
>institutional go-ahead.
>The market was organized on Nettime, a politics and culture mailing list.
>"It's quite amazing, the Pentagon and the White House are very fertile 
imaginative fields these days," Geiger said. "(The AAM project) sounds 
humorous, but that just shows how far things have gone. We've entered the
 realm of fiction. Things really are Dr. Strangelove."
>The AAM project complements another academic project, the Government 
Information Awareness project. The GIA was built in response to the 
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's Terrorism Information 
Awareness program.
>Its organizers hope the market will attract academics, politicians, civil
 servants and other insiders to provide accurate predictions of White
House  behavior. Geiger said even those who read the newspapers are
qualified to  be traders.
>"Our goal is to have people with insight into how the White House works,"
 said Geiger. "There are a lot of people who spend a lot of time thinking
 about what's going on in the world these days. A lot of that thought
could  be transferred into the system, giving you trading data that will
tell you  what's really going on."
>Geiger added, "Who knows whether it will reveal stuff? Anyway, it will be
>The public, he noted, will be able to follow trades on the market's website.
>David Pennock, a senior research scientist at Overture Services, said 
futures markets have proven to be very good predictors of many different 
kinds of events, from the weather to election outcomes.
>"It's one of the best, if not the best, way to predict the future," he 
said. "It's a good, well-known method for getting information that's 
distributed around the world."
>Bob Forsythe, a University of Iowa professor who helped organize the Iowa
 Electronic Markets, which speculate on election results, agreed that 
futures are reliable indicators of what's going to happen next -- if the 
traders are knowledgeable.
>"You have to have informed traders or they don't work very well," he
said.  "Who are the informed traders in an assassination market, for
example? The  same's true for predicting the White House."

   David A. Ulevitch -- http://david.ulevitch.com
  http://everydns.net -+- http://communitycolo.net
Campus Box 6957 + Washington University in St. Louis

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