I've made a site for publishing predictions and publicly offering to bet on them. LessWrong seems like a place that might be interested in such a tool, and I expect at least 4 people will be interested enough in this site to play around with it a little. It's a little rough around the edges, but I'd be delighted if my target audience (you) found it intriguing enough to try it / offer feedback!
What's it do, more specifically? Well, there are two basic flows:
- Offer bets: Alice has some belief that other people might disagree with! She operationalizes it into some statement like "by Sept 1, I will have 2k karma on LessWrong"; she figures she's 60% sure, and willing to lose up to $50. She creates a prediction on Biatob with those parameters, then publicizes that prediction (e.g. by pasting a little HTML snippet into a LW post).
- Take bets: Bob reads Alice's LW post and sees the little "[bet: $50 at 60%+]" link. He thinks her goal is unrealistically high, but he respects Alice and trusts her to pay up if she's wrong. Bob clicks the link, signs up, and bets $20 against her $30.
Then, on Sept 1, Alice gets an email reminding her to check whether the prediction came true or not. When she does, Biatob tells her how much money [she/Bob] owes [Bob/her], and they settle up offline. (Notice that this is all honor-system: you can only bet against people you trust, but at that cost, you don't have to trust my janky web site with your money.)
For example: I signed up, created a couple of predictions (like the above one about a afew LWers signing up), and copied some HTML into this post. Now I can say things like "I doubt anybody will even be interested enough to make an easy $10 by betting against me." (That prediction is a bit tongue-in-cheek, but I'm completely serious that I'll pay up if you go to the trouble of signing up to bet against me. I'm hoping to get some user feedback from you.)