Saturday, July 22, 2006

predictions, predictions...

Found this on the Strategy Page BB's Predictions Market, one of many predictions they have listed (some plausible, some clearly ridiculous):

A nuclear weapon (A-bomb or H-bomb) will be used in anger somewhere in the world before midnight Dec. 31 2009. Dirty bombs don't count.

PRO VALUE: $3.35 CON VALUE: $1.43
DATE POSTED: 8/25/2005

So, we've got folks who are willing to gamble on the possibility that someone will NUKE someone else in the next few years ... and thereby profit if it happens? WTF?

That concept is very twisted, but what's interesting here is that 29.8% of those who bought futures on this question think it will happen. That's very close to figures I've seen scientists give when asked to predict the probability of that very same thing happening. Unfortunately, I can't remember where I saw it... ##

One of the guys I work with (rather, worked with; I got laid off Friday) told me he's telling friends not to make plans more than a week in advance because of the war in Lebanon. As he put it, it could explode into WW3 or essentially fizzle out, but it's really hard to tell which.

Jenn (my gf) and I have been talking about this lately, about what our options are if the shit hits the fan. She's known about my interests in this area for some time, but only with the chaos in the MidEast climbing to a new level of brutality has it become something she's beginning to be concerned about. I think we're at the greatest risk of WW3 than at any time since Ronnie Reagan pumped so much $$$ into nukes in the early 1980s.

Being in Massachusetts, we're in target-central if people start tossing nukes around. Although we don't live in one of the cities & therefore are very unlikely to get hit directly, we sit right on the Springfield-Worcester-Boston axis and would get significant fallout from any of them. As I see it, there are at least nine targets within 50 miles of us: those three cities, Hartford, Providence, New London Sub Base, Westover ARB, Hanscom AFB, Bradley Internat'l Airport. Of them, I suspect Boston, New London, and Hanscom would be first-salvo targets. Maybe, if shooting starts, we'd get lucky and have it fizzle out after that salvo.... Worst case scenario, of course, is that everything gets launched, in which case almost any community over 15,000 could have a bomb with its name on it. Obviously, in that case, we're toast.

Short of that worst case, I intend to try to survive... but would obviously rather not have to deal with such events.

## (Added 7/31:) I forgot about this post from last year. It doesn't have the specific figure I was seeking, but does indicate the threat we face...

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