Way-Outside-the-Box Markets

Casting Calls and Epidemiology

That rainbow song is no good. Take it out.

—MGM memo criticizing the first cut of the movie The Wizard of Oz, 1938

There will be one million cases of AIDS in Britain by 1991.

—World Health Organization 1989 report on the AIDS outbreak [actual 1991 count: 7,699]

THE PREDICTION MARKETS described in previous chapters reflect straightforward, in-the-box thinking; all that is required is application of the premise, “None of us is as smart as all of us.” But as with Google’s tracking of the Evanston tribe (chapter 7), there are applications that move outside the box, and might never have occurred to even an avid proponent of markets. These include casting a musical comedy, tracking ...

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