Archive for November, 2008

November 16, 2008: 9:32 pm: internet, podcast, Technology

Last week on CNET’s The Real Deal podcast, I realized that a lot of my favorite podcasts have no topic. In fact I do a podcast called East Meets West that intentionally has no stated topic. So I’ve decided, without their approval, to start a trade group for these podcasts called Podcasts without Portfolio. Here are the charter members, whether they like it or not.

You Look Nice Today
Had the idea for this trade group while listening to the latest episode. While ostensibly about emotional hygiene, it’s really about saying funny things.

No Agenda
Was this podcast with John Dvorak and the Podfather, Adam Curry cerated created as an homage to East Meets West? Only history can judge.

Tangential Convergence
Smart Canadians talk about smart things while usually drinking.

Jawbone Radio
I never knew that life living near Cleveland could uncover so many universal truths.

Honorary Membership: Extra Life Radio
It’s a gaming podcast, but really it’s much much more.

November 5, 2008: 2:12 am: Politics

This year was special. I’ll admit that I am a fan of elections. I love to watch the race and see how things play out. And I tried throughout to hold my feelings in check. I tried to keep my perspective and my skepticism. Many previous Presidential candidates have promised much.

But in the end, I think this year was different. We saw the first viable female candidate who almost won the nomination. She was only trumped by another historic first African-American nominee. We saw a man wronged by dirty campaigning and lies in 2000 rise above his party’s pettiness and extremism to seize the nomination. We even saw our second female Vice Presidential candidate.

Our two presidential candidate were both unique. Both sincere men. John McCain is someone who truly has gone his own way, defying his party when he felt they were wrong. He is a man of conscience and integrity as shown many times when his own party tried to get dirty about his opponent, even right up to his concession speech. Barack Obama is a competent, intelligent man who can inspire in a way few since Reagan have been able to.

With President-elect Obama’s victory, my feeling is one of hope. Hope that he can fulfill the expectations of a man who can truly bring the country together and bring it forward. That he can capitalize on the goodwill the world has immediately shown us on his selection. These are huge expectations to meet. I hope and pray they will be met. Our country needs this. Our world needs this.

November 2, 2008: 5:38 pm: Politics

Two days before the election, I call upon the media to dump the polls. Forget the discussions of the Bradley effect or the reverse Bradley effect and go to something that while not infallible, has proven much more reliable than polls. Look at the predictive markets!

Predictive Markets allow people to put real money on the outcome of the election. The two most popular are the Iowa Predictive Markets and Intrade.

I am going to review two markets from the Iowa Predictive Market over the past two Presidential elections. One is called vote share, where market participants attempt to nail what share of the vote the candidates will get. The other is called Winner Take All. this is simplest, where you put your money on who you think will win.

Two days before the 2000 election

Vote Share Prediction
Al Gore – 49.6%
George Bush – 49.4%

Winner Take All
Al Gore – 27.3%
George Bush – 74.9%

This market had it almost dead right. Al Gore got 48.4%, George Bush 47.9% but Bush won.

Two days before the 2004 election

Vote Share Prediction
George Bush – 51.7%
John Kerry – 48%

Winner Take All
George Bush – 55.2%
John Kerry – 45.3%

Again very close on the vote count which ended up with George Bush getting 50.7% and John Kerry pulling down 48.3%

So where does the current election sit in the predictive market two days before the 2008 election? As of this writing here are the figures.

Vote Share Prediction
John McCain – 47%
Barack Obama – 53.5%

Winner Take All
John McCain – 11.2%
Barack Obama – 88.3%

Remember that the markets only predict what is likely to happen if the vote were taken at that moment. So the day of the election is the day to watch. Of course, it’s possible that the predictive market could suffer it’s first major error. If not, it looks right now, as if Barack Obama will be the next President.