Friday, August 01, 2003

Policy Analysis Market : Will CNN provide the spectacle to fuel the carnival?

A lot of people seem to writing about DARPA's Policy Analysis futures market. I thought the idea was pretty good. How else could one possibly create an ad-hoc classification schema for dealing with a mountain of data? I found Tim Bray's review of the John Brunner book Shockwave Rider particularly interesting. Apparently Brunner formulated a similar idea back in 1975.

I have to wonder, however, about the the actual functioning of a speculative market in today's environment. The market mechanisms we all put our faith in seemed to let us down back in 2001. I realize that DARPA didn't propose a "real" market but I feel that particular influences will act on any market. I wrote an article (pdf) articulating my ideas but I relied heavily on some heavy weight thinkers like Hayek, Adorno, Bakhtin, and even a little Phillip K. Dick (just to mix in some paranoia). Maybe DARPA's scheme would be a means for fully incorporating the spectacle of mass media into actual behaviour... sort of like medieval peasants actually engaging in the carnival of Bosch or Dante. If the DARPA marketplace moderated some event highly enough, would CNN feel compelled to actually provide it?

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