Is There No End to the Depths of PredictIt’s Inhumanity?


As some of you probably know, I live in Los Angeles, which is a fantastic place where lots of people from Oklahoma, Guatemala, and Korea all pretend to be surfers and wear dumb hats that say stuff like, “If You Can’t Tone It, Tan it” and “Pray for Surf.”

Recently, I have been spending even more time than usual being a poser and slamming beers in one of my dum hats with other fellow Okies. This is because Zoltar has been keeping your eyeballs busy by taming the Rules Cuck Panther in the 2020 Census Market (look for the real dinger on that next week), while I have been getting some much needed R&R after all the heavy action on the Dem Debates last month. I guess before I go on I should mention this: Zoltar isn’t the only trader I’ll publish, though he is basically my best friend due to the fact that I talk to him every day but don’t actually know his real name. If you’ve got a hot take or think I am full of it, DM me on Twitter or hit me on the contact page and we can talk about getting your POV uploaded.

Anyway, I decide it was time to start buffing-up again and was checking PredictIt for free money when I ran into these markets, which a few of you have been trading over the last week:

Social Media Rank

My immediate reaction was to be completely outraged. Is there any depth that PredictIt won’t stoop to to goad me into betting on totally bogus polling data? I don’t know about you but I am an absolute gambling purist. I want to wager on substantive things, like how many of the 12 appropriations bills will pass in regular order and if Mitch McConnell will spawn in the fall or spring this year.

mcconnell turtle

That said, I am trying to figure out if these social media markets are worth the time or just more fake news. Per the rules, these markets are tied to a survey that Scott Rasmussen does on a four-day rolling basis. Here is his methodology of Scotty R’s “Social Media Support Index:”

Screen Shot 2019-07-16 at 9.24.31 AM

I am sorry, but what in tarnation does that even mean?

“The system’s methodology is dependent on both sentiment and volume of mentions.”

“Each account’s mentions will be analyzed to determine the candidate the account owner is most likely to support.”

I personally find this to be bonkers. Who is gauging “sentiment” and who is deciding the candidate that all of these jokers on Twitter are “most likely to support?” That sounds a lot less like a poll and a lot more like some pink puffy cloud of woke clickbait that Scott Rasmussen’s unpaid intern is tracking on his Twitter scope. I honestly have no clue what I am even betting on. I guess that is sort of flattering because usually you have to be extremely smart and rich to bet on things that no one understands and are based on nothing, such as crypto currencies, credit default swaps/collateralized debt obligations and shares in Lehman Brothers. But I am not totally giving up on these markets. There are a few situations where we might be able to use them to our advantage should PI keep them around:

(1) If the news cycle starts to favor a topic that one candidate has a massive advantage in. This is a tough one to crack though because of where we are in the political cycle… summer… when things usually slow down in DC and people are too busy eating hot dogs at the beach to really give a shit.

(2) The next Dem debates on July 30-31. If PI renews these “social media support markets” for another few weeks they could be another venue to bet on debate performance.

(3) Negative Risk. Joe Biden’s market is getting close to being one where a little savvy could net a few nickels of return by betting NO across the board.

Honestly i think these things are stupid. Congrats if you make money. I’m going back to the beach where I can slam a few in a dumb hoodie. Zoltar will be back next week with another round of Census info. If any of you want me to publish your take then be funny and smart and I’ll roll with it.



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