Intrade Being Scammed?
One of the more interesting developments in the ‘Many Minds’ area of Web 2.0 is the futures market, where people basically bet on an outcome of a particular event, such as an election or, recently, whether Hurricane Gustav would hit New Orleans. Sites like Intrade have been praised for their ability to draw from the wisdom of crowds to make surprisingly accurate predictions. The logic behind this is laid out very well by people like Clay Shirky, who’s speaking at Picnic tomorrow, and in Cass Sunstein’s book Infotopia.
Now there’s a post at fivethirtyeight.com about a possible scam going on at Intrade.com, making the U.S. presidential election seem closer than it is. Apparently, someone is betting heavily at regular intervals that Hillary Clinton will still become the Democratic nominee, bringing down Obama’s odds substantially. The blogger at 538 suspects this is just some obscure troublemaker, but also wonders whether the FBI might be interested in knowing what this troublemaker knows.