Wednesday, June 30, 2004
in which the day of celebrity pharmaceutical wagering turns out not to be at hand
As longtime readers know, I'm a fan of and sometimes participant in prediction "markets", where you speculate on the probability of future events like you were buy and selling actual commodities in a futures market. I think it's the best-known method of producing probability estimates for future events such as the probability the Bush will be re-elected, which is one of the main things I monitor my preferred prediction market site for. The screenshot above was taken just now of the front page of this site. If you look three rows from the bottom, you can see that the market is giving Bush a 58% chance of being re-elected.
Anyway, what caught my eye just now was not that but that there is a futures contract titled CIALIS.WOODS (with an estimated probability of 17.5%). "My God," I thought, "have we really reached the point where you can not only bet on whether Tiger Woods is using some kind of erectile dysfunction drug, but which one? How will they know? Will we soon be able to bet on what antidepressants/antipsychotics various stars are taking? Or is it a bet on whether Tiger Woods will become the Cialis spokesperson?" Turns out, alas, that Cialis is just the sponsor of this week's pro golf tournament (the Cialis Western Open), and the contract is just whether or not Woods will win it.