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Looooong Bets

Via a post on the Freakonomics Blog, we find ourselves checking out Long Bets, a site headed up by the Long Bets Foundation, who use the site as:

a public arena for enjoyably competitive predictions, of interest to society, with philanthropic money at stake. The foundation furnishes the continuity to see even the longest bets through to public resolution. This website provides a forum for discussion about what may be learned from the bets and their eventual outcomes.

Such as what, you might ask? Well, there are predictions and bets both. The predications are ones that nobody’s challenged yet in a formal bet. But bets include Ray Kurzweil and Mitchell Kapor on whether or not a computer or “machine intelligence” will have passed the Turing test by 2029.

And Michio Kaku and John Horgan on whether or not, by 2020, someone will have won a Nobel Prize for a unified field theory of any kind, including superstring and membrane theories.

And Freeman Dyson and Peter Spark over where exactly extraterrestrial life will first be found.

And, of course, Ted Danson and Mike Elliot over whether or not the US men’s soccer team will win the World Cup before the Red Sox win a World Series.

At least we got everybody’s interests in there.