Stupid Things I Have Read in Wired This Month

Wired Magazine (you remember magazines, they were like websites, only they only updated once a month) usually manages to make several ridiculous or idiotic statements each issue. This month, the first was in the very first article, on prediction markets. It reads "The big blow came in January, when the markets gave Barack Obama a 91% chance of beating Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire. Clinton won..." and proceeds to use this as an opportunity to pour scorn on the very concept.

But wait-- the market predicted a 91% chance. How does the fact that the 9% chance came up refute the very existence of such markets? If the bookie's favourite always came in first, there wouldn't be much point in betting (well...). You expect a basic lack of understanding of probability theory in most mass market publications, but you'd hope for something a bit better in a tech mag. And you'd be disappointed.

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