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How to Become an Insta-Expert: A Confession

On?Thursday, I left you with my Oscar picks:

the only close race is Best Picture, and the markets give a slight edge to The Hurt Locker, over Avatar. The other awards are easier picks:?Jeff Bridges will be best actor;?Sandra Bullock will be best actress (as much as I disliked her performance in The Blind Side);?Christoph Waltz is a lock to win best supporting actor;?Mo’Nique will surely win best supporting actress; and?Kathryn Bigelow will beat her?ex-husband to win best director.

It’s time for me to confess: I’ve barely seen any movies this year, and know little about the industry.? But I didn’t want to get left out of the water-cooler conversations about the Oscars.? And so these forecasts were simply a fun application of prediction markets.? By quickly scanning the latest market prices, I managed to become an insta-expert.? In fact, I managed to become such an insta-expert that I’ll be returning to the water cooler today to gloat about my successful picks in all the major award categories.
You can try the same thing.? Can’t be bothered with college basketball?? Check out the prediction markets ahead of March Madness, and you can be sure that your bracket will at least look informed.? Politics bores you?? Forget Politico and FiveThirtyEight; simply follow the markets and you’ll be an insta-expert.? Having trouble tracking the economy?? Follow the futures.? In basically no time at all, you can become expert on just about everything.? It’s all about listening to the wisdom of crowds.