Betting The Future

The Pentagon is backing away from a planned terrorism futures market as a way of predicting the next method of terrorist attack. The system is based on a kind of market in which "shares" are bought and sold, with each share corresponding to one method of attack. A similar system was developed by Iowa State University to track elections, and has had a very good record of predicting the outcome of several major elections.

Of course, the usual suspects were decrying the program, despite the fact that none of them seemed to show any understanding of what it really was or how it worked.

One would think that when we’re in a war with a very devious group of religious maniacs that we’d reward original thinking. Then again, original thinking is not usually a hallmark of government activity.

I can only imagine the reactions of these people in the 1940’s. "What? You mean that drug comes from *mold*! Well, forget that idea!"

I’m sure the lesson has been learned well. DARPA won’t bother coming up with anything really innovative, lest the dullards in Congress end up running around the halls of the Capitol like chickens with their heads cut off. Sure, a program like this could help agencies raise their level of preparedness and help policymakers prepare for future events. But the people in Congress decided that kneejerk reactions and soundbites are more important than rewarding initiative and creativity.

I’m becoming more and more convinced that our leaders are still stuck in September Tenth mode…

4 thoughts on “Betting The Future

  1. You’re right that too many of our legislators are still stuck in “September 10th mode.” Just look at how many of them pretended we’re in the middle of the war and passed another round of multi-billion dollar tax cuts this year. There’s nothing more “September 10th” than trickle-down tax cut ideology.

  2. Ok, Mitch. You got me on this one. I’m not hip to your archaic cliches, so you’ll have to clarify the meaning of this one before I can effectively rip it to shreds.

  3. Mark, with all due respect (and I love ya, ya big lug, you know it?) you couldn’t (rhetorically or logically) tear a wet ply of toilet paper.

    Your post at the top was a non-sequitir. I answered it with another one. I consider it a deft use of mankind’s common tongue, humor, to reach a common understanding.

    In response to a (dead-on) post by Reding, you posted some talking-point cant (I mean that in the nice way, ya big lug!) about tax cuts (which is not only irrelevant, but facially wrong); you sideslipped the topic with a strawman.

    Just keeping ya honest, bigfella!

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