I have continued to probe at the idea of Predictions Registries, in hope that it may eventually lead to some kind of accountability engine (or arena) that would help evaluate a very critical question that may determine the future of humanity and civilization... is there any way to identify which individuals tend to be right a lot - distinguishing them explicitly from those who mask with flashy legedermain the fact that they are often terribly wrong?
What possible service would be more valuable? It is a GENERAL concept, that could enhance every other human endeavor, from government to philanthropy. And yes, with profound potential commercial uses, as well. The first to invest in such a process might benefit profoundly. So why have people only nibbled at the edges?
(I believe this is closely related to the mypoia that has kept people from studying the fundamental common elements of markets, science, democracy and law, treating each of them as completely separate when, in fact, their basic processes have deep, common roots.)
All I can do is keep tossing out there items that seem relevant, hoping they may add up. Here are a few interesting sites I have found so far (one of them admittedly self-serving):
1. Marketocracy Data Services is a research company whose mission is to find the best investors in the world and then track, analyze, and evaluate their trading activity. (I'm going to get my son an account.) At www.marketocracy.com folks compete to become the best investors. For over 3 years they have tracked, analyzed, and evaluated their virtual trading activity and have accumulated a massive database; following over 10,000 stock positions at any one time and more than four million trades. Marketocracy constantly analyzes and ranks the stock picking ability of members using a complex algorithm that incorporates long and short-term performance, as well as an attribution analysis that accounts for market, sector, style, and trading contribution so that they can isolate comparative returns.
These guys appear to be the closest to the real thing so far. You could squint and imagine their software and approach being applied on a much broader scale to predictions across a huge range of topic areas, from politics to sports... and even to science. If I ever find time, I may try to contact them about this possibility. I can think of few endeavors that have greater potential for helping a society in flx, than to come up with methodologies for identifying people who are right a lot... and those who are too often wrong to deserve our credibility and trust
2. Then there's this: "Prediction Company is bringing two main forces to bear against this changing environment: world class technology and world class science. Our technology allows us to build fully automated trading systems which can handle huge amounts of data, react and make decisions based on that data and execute transactions based on those decisions - all in real time. Our science allows us to build accurate and consistent predictive models of markets and the behavior of financial instruments traded in those markets." http://www.predict.com/
Unfortunately, all is not as it seems, in a group's self-serving public statements. I have it from other sources that these guys followed an all-too familiar course, betting so heavily on their computer model's infallibility that they did not take into account any model's inevitable failure. Still, gotta envy their URL.
3. Someone recently pointed to the Technovelgy Site - a very cool attempt to cite technological predictions made in sci fi novels. This is nothing like the systematic approach to registering predictions that I am urging but it certainly is a step... though a glance at my own entry seems fairly skimpy, given that my novel Earth just had its 14th predictive "hit".
(Alert! Danger! Egomaniacal preening is about to begin!) Right off the bat I can think of plenty of other items that someone (ahem) might suggest to the site manager. (I think they also want to cite an actual passage from the book, making this process more complex and too time consuming even for an egotist like me, alas.) For example:
Subvocal user-computer interface shown in EARTH (1989) which NASA reports inventing in 2003.
Personality profiling (SUNDIVER) which is now a hot topic using PET scanning... though no one is using yet the inherently superior method of eye-tracking.
Uplift genetic engineering of animals (um....)
WOM or Write Only Memory (Brightness Reef) a recording device that is required to be carried on all ships or cars, that cannot be read until the owner releases the information, or for an extended time.
Predictions Registry (EARTH) hey, might as well get credit for this, too.
EMILYPOST viral politeness programs (EARTH) target rude internet users.
Information sieves (EARTH) - programs that sift the Net for content according to your tastes and priorities, learning as they go. They can either enhance productivity or be used to exclude all incoming information that might disagree with your favorite illusions. (Sound like Rush dittoheads?)
Illusion-breaker programs that pierce these sieves and force Net users to perceive news or opinions outside their tailor-made perception range. (EARTH)
Hostage Gas (The Uplift War) forces a population to voluntarily go to internment camps in order to get antidotes to a toxin.
Waldo Whale (Sundiver) lets a human swim like a dolphin or orca.
Waldo walker and tools (Startide Rising) allows dolphins to move and work outside of water.
Needle-Gym - A simulation-exercise room with needle floor ("NatuLife"). A million needles on the bottom of a tiny, closet-size "exercise room" rise and fall to simulate any ground or surface, from a street to forest trail, acting also like a treadmill, so that you can run and feel under your feet any surface that the computer shows you in your simulation goggles.
Tether space station. A station in two parts, separated by a 100 mile tether, will orbit the Earth in a way that aligns along a radius, deriving "gravity gradient" forces that let liquids settle and provides a sense of up and down. ("Tank Farm".)
A Womb with a View. Intra-utero teaching unit. Installed to help a fetus learn before birth and get a leg-up on other pre-pre preschoolers. ("Dr. Pak's Preschool")
Fabricows - cattle and other creatures that create gene-designed biomachinery in their wombs. Also complex synthetic chemicals instead of milk. Poor women might also do this, creating super-advanced organic entities the old fashioned way. ("Piecework").
GAZER or gravity laser (EARTH) uses singularity "mirrors" to tap the higher energy levels within the Earth and emit tuned, focused, coherent graviton beams.
I just dashed these off. Any others occur at a thought? Anybody care to compile and tell these guys? (I guess this topic thread can be continued here while we move on.) Hey, these days, below a certain level of fame, you gotta do your own $$#@! preening.