Betting on the End of the World

There’s a new John Tierney column out today, a good one, on doomsday predictions (mostly concerning biological weapons), and who’s backing up their predictions with cash (including Tierney) on LongBets.org. There’s more information on Tierney’s blog, including a link to this interesting essay by Steven Pinker about the overall decline of violence in modern times.

Leave A Comment

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.

 

COMMENTS: 6

View All Comments »
  1. TheDoctor says:

    John Tierney’s column and Steven Pinker’s essay reminded me of a thought I had while reading Jared Diamond’s “Collapse”—which is that no one ever wrote a best-selling book or gained a legion of followers by predicting that the world would be pretty much the same in 30 years. All the incentives are in favor of people making predictions of doom and gloom or some other radical change.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  2. TheDoctor says:

    John Tierney’s column and Steven Pinker’s essay reminded me of a thought I had while reading Jared Diamond’s “Collapse”-which is that no one ever wrote a best-selling book or gained a legion of followers by predicting that the world would be pretty much the same in 30 years. All the incentives are in favor of people making predictions of doom and gloom or some other radical change.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  3. nainil says:

    Recently the term “Biosurveillance” a.k.a. “Population Health” has been widely used in the Health Care Industry.

    The idea behind it is to identify new tools and methods to enhance health information sharing and ultimately leading to the adoption of a Nationwide, technology-based, integrated health care surveillance system. It is argued to detect emerging public health threats quickly and more efficiently.

    “Betting on the End of the World” seems quite realistic and is something that will be a very debatable point for the times to come.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  4. nainil says:

    Recently the term “Biosurveillance” a.k.a. “Population Health” has been widely used in the Health Care Industry.

    The idea behind it is to identify new tools and methods to enhance health information sharing and ultimately leading to the adoption of a Nationwide, technology-based, integrated health care surveillance system. It is argued to detect emerging public health threats quickly and more efficiently.

    “Betting on the End of the World” seems quite realistic and is something that will be a very debatable point for the times to come.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  5. Gaijin51 says:

    Tierney’s last paragraph was:
    “I even think one of us might survive to see the payoff, although my techno-optimism has its limits. I hope some version of me will be around in 2100, but I wouldn’t bet on it.”

    I would. You can’t lose that bet, because if it doesn’t come true you don’t have to pay because you’re dead.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  6. Gaijin51 says:

    Tierney’s last paragraph was:
    “I even think one of us might survive to see the payoff, although my techno-optimism has its limits. I hope some version of me will be around in 2100, but I wouldn’t bet on it.”

    I would. You can’t lose that bet, because if it doesn’t come true you don’t have to pay because you’re dead.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0