Betting with strangers. Here’s a curious site – Long Bets lets bettors put money on how they think the future will unfold. Requiring a minimum $1000 (each), a yes or no theory and a set of rules to judge it, bets are placed on “societally or socially significant” outcomes that may or may not occur in at least the next two years. All proceeds go to charity. Perhaps most interesting about this though is the cross-section of topics that people (some big names too) are putting money on. For example:
The US men’s soccer team will win the World Cup before the Red Sox win the World Series.
At least one human alive in the year 2000 will still be alive in 2150.
In a Google search of five keywords or phrases representing the top five news stories of 2007, weblogs will rank higher than the New York Times’ Web site.