I guess I thought the reasons to be appalled at the terror futures market thing were self-evident and would surely cut across ideological lines, but apparently not. So: it may have been effective as a predictive tool, in a general statistical kind of way I’m in no way qualified to judge that, but it’s not really the point. And I wasn’t especially concerned about the point Josh Marshall raised, that terrorist groups could use it as a way to profit from their own activities, since anyone who made too accurate a prediction/bet would clearly receive a visit from the FBI soon thereafter.
No, for me it was the Publisher’s Clearinghouse moment. Imagine if this system had been in place before 9/11: Congratulations, John Public! 3000 people are dead in lower Manhattan and you’ve just won a million dollars!
Anyone not made queasy by that thought is spending a little too much time in a closed feedback loop environment, I think.