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At what level will Facebook close at the end of the following days in 2014?




April 1


Predicted: 62.00

Actual: 62.00

July 1


Predicted: 62.00

Actual: 62.00

October 1


Predicted: 65.00

Actual: 65.00

December 24


Predicted: 65.00

Actual: 65.00

  • refunded

Question ends

December 24, 2014 @ 09:00am PST

Predictions Made


Most by: chelseaboys (4 predictions)


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job   •   Thu Jan 09 2014 at 11:49am PST

My proposal has nothing to do with the grotesque statements about socialism and experiments. It’s just something to make the competition more exciting again.

ecotax   •   Thu Jan 09 2014 at 01:32pm PST

I got that, and I appreciate that you tried to come up with a decent and realistic proposal.
The admins are probably trying to work out something along these lines, I mean, some formula that keeps the ranking intact and doesn’t alienate too many players, but OTOH greatly reduces the number of inkles in circulation.
I think the main problem isn’t coming up with some formula to compute new balances (for example a power function like x^0.6 or something like that would do nicely, IMHO) but the other problem you mentioned as well: what to do about existing markets? That one seems a lot trickier to get right to me.

job   •   Thu Jan 09 2014 at 02:26pm PST

The existing markets can be closed before the reset. The question is at what price. It looks fair if they are paid out at the last inkling price before the decision of reset was taken. So the long term date questions are paid out as if the current predicted date is the richt answer

chelseaboys   •   Thu Jan 09 2014 at 02:50pm PST

Current price on some of the long term markets is well below (or well above) potential closing price. That needs more thought.

job   •   Thu Jan 09 2014 at 03:06pm PST

Any alternative is welcome. My proposal must be seen as a first bid that can easely be changed for better suggestions.

ChloeBurns   •   Sun Jan 05 2014 at 11:10am PST

I actually agree with Michael (MFWinAlford) here. It is a brave new world and we can’t simply roll back the clock now that credit default swaps i mean highly leveraged prediction markets exist.

@ adam, what is the behaviour you wish to curb? My guess is that it is a market that generates too much wealth from nothing. As any Chicago economist will tell you, the best way to reduce a behaviour you do not want is to tax it.

I see two choices here. Either eliminate the pick-a-value style market entirely or penalize market makers for excessive leverage by taxing unreasonable wealth generation. Specifically, if the market maker captures more than $1million inkles in any individual market, he is taxed 110% of his profits.

Ishmael17   •   Wed Jan 08 2014 at 08:17pm PST

Careful with taxes, because you’ll mess up risk-reward calculations, and thus the market’s predictive ability, unless you also let us make our losses “tax-deductible.”

Personally, I don’t think the options markets’ style was the problem. High leverage goes hand in hand with high risk, and booms like these are always cancelled out by the potential for us all to be wrong and collectively lose a billion… except this is Inkling, not the real world. I think the problem lies deeper, you see, since nearly every market out there generates free inkles in the end whether it closed; the options markets simply have such large leverage that they took the small/medium inflation problem and wrote mayhem all over the leaderboard.

A dirty fix would be to calculate some “average” net worth (and I put that in quotes because a strict mean might not be the best) and start all players there rather than at 5K. Or, and I’ll plug this idea again, kill the current trading scheme and let us place orders against each other.

job   •   Sat Jan 04 2014 at 03:20am PST

With no chance to gain a lot of Inkles anymore, competition in the leaderboard is difficult and I’am condemned to stay the number one for ever. So a reset to lower the differences can be attractive. Maybe the following reset system is something to think about.
Up to 100,000 100%
Up to 200,000 …………100,000 plus 50% above 100,000
Up to 400,000 …………150,000 plus 40% above 200,000
Up to 600,000 …………230,000 plus 30% above 400,000
Up to 800,000 …………290,000 plus 20% above 600,000
Up to 1,000,000……….330,000 plus 10% above 800,000
Up to 10,000,000……..350,000 plus 5% above 1,000,000
Up to 100,000,000……800,000 plus 3% above 10,000,000
Up to 200,000,000……3,500,000 plus 1% above 100,000,000
Above 200,000,000…..4,500,000 plus 0.3 % above 200,000,000

The top 5 after this reset would be as follows:
1. Job ………7.75 million
2. Wstritt…..4,84 million
3. MFW……..4,41 million
4. Ishmael….4,11 million
5. Odysseus..4,09 million

chelseaboys   •   Sat Jan 04 2014 at 08:49am PST

When you say “reset” you have a base of 100K, when Adam says “reset” his base is 5K. I for one, would discontinue playing at 5K even if my current wealth bumped that up to a few thousand more. It just takes way too long to build up the bank to be able to play the markets from that level.

Plus, what happens to all the current markets that do not mature for months or years? We just kill them? Or will there be two “public” games playing out (old and new)?

Job’s plan would solve the first aspect of my comment and I would probably stay on in that case; but, it doesn’t solve the 2nd part….

job   •   Sat Jan 04 2014 at 09:49am PST

Second part can be solved to pay out all the current questions BEFORE the reset at “marketprices”. With marketprices I mean that ALL shares are paid out at the current share price. But there will be more obstakles to resolve, but If we think in solututions instead of problems, it can be done.

London Bridge   •   Thu Jan 09 2014 at 02:42pm PST

Job, I find your proposed schedule to be too arbitrary. I think ecotax’s suggestion of a power function makes more sense. If MFW’s speculation is right that wealth here is loglinear (easy enough for the admins to test out), then perhaps “new inkles” could be a log function of “old inkles” and include existing markets in the conversion. That way all current rankings and relative wealth would be preserved, but at a smaller and more compressed scale, allowing the smaller players to participate more fully, without really penalizing the big guys.

job   •   Thu Jan 09 2014 at 03:11pm PST

It’s a long time ago I learned about the “log function”. How will that work out for the existing values??

amsiegel (ADMIN)   •   Fri Jan 03 2014 at 03:41pm PST

I apologize if people felt the changing of these markets was “heavy handed”, but ecotax is mostly right – when there is already an instrument to predict these prices without having to use the “over/under” mechanisms that have been used in the last 18 months or so (and that have been used to increase people’s wealth so dramatically) it doesn’t make a ton of sense to continue to allow those.

The point MFWinAlford makes is a good one though. We realize we have a very active “1%” group and how can we keep you engaged. The challenge is can we do that only through markets a small number of you can really afford to participate in, or are there other drivers that are keeping you here and will continue to do so, i.e. the nice community of folks that has built up on this site and respectfully comments to each other, the interesting questions that continue to get posted by onedave, sneakypete, bobdevine, chelseaboys, and others…?

Also to the point made of resetting everyone’s balances, we’ve been floating a proposal internally to do just that but to give people credit for how much money they’ve made thus far, i.e. every 100,000 you’ve made is worth X above the 5,000 you would reset to, so you’re still acknowledged for having done well over the last 7 years. We’ve even thought about changing this to some sort of annual thing so we reset once a year, maybe award some prizes to people who do well in various categories, etc. Would be interested to hear people’s thoughts.

Ishmael17   •   Sat Jan 04 2014 at 08:06am PST

I don’t like the reset option. It seems like you’re acknowledging that inkling has a problem, but refusing to fix it at its core, and going for a band-aid solution instead (and one that would indeed need to be reapplied each year or two). Additionally, banning “over/under” markets seems ridiculous, since it’s not the market format but the market scale that caused the wealth spikes. The thing about options in the real world is that high leverage can lead to high gains or losses, but losses practically never occur to the careful trader on Inkling. Which brings me to the reason why: we trade against a mindless “bank,” not other people.

If we just dropped the whole “market scale” thing and traded against each other directly, at least on the public site, then most of the problems would be solved. See, the basic problem with these markets in general is that we know (or can be pretty darn sure) that the end result is not going to be whatever the initial result happened to be, and so there will be free inkles to pick up. That is, the real world changes all the time, and there is a ton of money to be made off of “the bank” simply by bringing the markets in line with those current changes.

I know that there may not be enough volume on Inkling to move to a classic order-book trading scheme, but if you lower the scale on all (future?) markets to practically zero, then it would accomplish basically the same thing. I wouldn’t terribly mind a partial reset like job said only if site mechanics changed considerably along with it, because then the game itself would truly have changed and it would be time for the leaderboard to reflect rankings under the new, rather than the old, system.

job   •   Fri Jan 03 2014 at 02:42am PST

Sorry for all who invested in this and other questions of me, but I will refund all my questions that has been changed so much that they have become more the “Admin’s Questions” than my questions. I liked to run my questions, but if they are changed so much it’s not worth all the time and efforts. Maybe it’s time to retire.

MFWinAlford   •   Fri Jan 03 2014 at 08:29am PST

Understandable. I bought 100 shares of each, just to be polite. But they were not very interesting questions, and the prospective ROI was pitiful.

Seems like a heavy-handed way of moderating the questions. I think they should have asked you to change them rather than do it themselves. Of course, you would have declined. It’s going to be tough to maintain my interest, quite frankly, if all I can invest in are questions that represent a tiny fraction of my cash on hand.

Yes, it’s still fun to try to outsmart the other players in certain sports or political markets, but it’s hard to keep them competitive when there are a few of us that can dominate them by the sheer weight of our inkles.

Years ago, when I was studying the stock market for the purpose of investing pension fund monies, I came across Gibrat’s Law of Proportionate Effect. Gibrat was investigating the growth of businesses, but his analysis applies to any process that is driven by random change. Essentially, it explains how, if short-term changes are normally distributed, the long-term effect over multiple time periods is a wealth distribution that is lognormally shaped. I think that is exactly what we have seen here on Inkling. Of course, it wasn’t all just rolls of the dice. Job worked very long and hard to gather his wealth, for example. But some of us were just lucky. And others (who are no longer here) were unlucky. In any case, my hunch is that if you plotted the value of the 15,000+ Inkling players on this site on a log scale, you would see a pretty straight line.

The same would probably be true if you similarly plotted the wealth of the world’s population. It’s a natural outcome of the wealth creation process. What it means here is that those of us in the 1% control the vast majority of inkles. That creates an obvious dilemma, as illustrated by this aborted market. I think the Admins have to come up with a creative solution to keep us entertained rather than trying to shoehorn us into the old pre-billionaire world. I don’t have any specific suggestions, but stifling experimentation will not get us there, I suspect.

Goose   •   Fri Jan 03 2014 at 09:50am PST

Some interesting work exists on emergence in peer-to-peer networks. A music sharing network split its community into 8 groups and discovered that the end result did not depend on quality but on random perturbations early in the process. Would be interesting to repeat that experiment here. Restart the game every year and see if the same traders are able to generate above average returns.

ecotax   •   Fri Jan 03 2014 at 12:21pm PST

A complete restart would be an interesting experiment, but a bit harsh on the players that are around a long time. Something less draconic than a complete restart, but more than doing nothing, might be a more realistic option.

Goose   •   Wed Jan 08 2014 at 09:01am PST

The experiment only works with a total reset. Otherwise the advantage from previous success persists in the new round.

Adam, if you are really going to do this, you would have to provide a real world incentive. Any player that signs up for round two cashes out round one inkles at $1 to 1 million inkles (with a cap of course). Perhaps this would only work in the private markets. Too bad. I would like to see if the Warren Buffets here are really Warren Buffett or if it is just survivor bias.

chelseaboys   •   Wed Jan 08 2014 at 11:07am PST

This is a game, not a socialist state. Complete restart = quit.

Goose   •   Wed Jan 08 2014 at 04:59pm PST

Why is “socialist” the knee-jerk reaction with you people? A socialist state is one in which the government owns the means of production. There is no government here only a private company. Are you arguing that the CEO of Inkling is not allowed to decide how his product is designed?

The purpose of a reset is to test skill. Does it persist or is it solely the result of luck early in the game? This seems a perfectly reasonable format for a game. In fact, this is how tournament poker works. Stack size matter but so does skill.

Ishmael17   •   Wed Jan 08 2014 at 08:10pm PST

Language evolves. In the USA of late, “socialist” and “extreme left wing” have become synonyms outside of a 19th/20th-century-history context.

Secondly, let’s dispel this myth once and for all: there is no appreciable Inkling snowball effect. The more inkles you have, the lower rate of return you’ll be able to get on the additional ones, and your total growth rate actually slows. Yet the top 10 are consistently on the “highest growth %” chart, and the others are just relatively small players who can invest all their worth in one question and get massive returns (at which point they make the chart) or get massive losses (in which case they don’t). Yet the only consistent inhabitants of said chart are the top players. It seems we at the top are good at finding ways to use our money despite the effective penalties against us.

Your poker point deserves a mention. Players in poker can afford to be selective about the hands they play if they have a large enough stack (20BB, if memory serves?). This gives them another option, and thus, early luck is a snowballing advantage. But on Inkling, there are no blind buttons rotating around the board, cutting into lower players’ balances and forcing them into desperate maneuvers, so the analogy doesn’t work here.

Goose   •   Thu Jan 09 2014 at 12:25am PST

So “socialist” now means “fair”, “just”, and “majority rule with minority rights?” What red-blooded American would want to be anything other than socialist?

chelseaboys   •   Thu Jan 09 2014 at 09:29am PST

I think your view of socialism, Goose, and before I did a little reading maybe mine too, is a bit limited. It is not necessarily a “government thing”, and it certainly isn’t all about fairness. It is a market system that is basically, the opposite of capitalism.

From the Stanford University Press ( Bockman, Johanna (2011). Markets in the name of Socialism: The Left-Wing origins of Neoliberalism):

“The original conception of socialism was an economic system whereby production was organised in a way to directly produce goods and services for their utility (or use-value in classical and Marxian economics): the direct allocation of resources in terms of physical units as opposed to financial calculation and the economic laws of capitalism (see: Law of value), often entailing the end of capitalistic economic categories such as rent, interest, profit and money.”

Since this game is supposed to be about the prediction of results by “the masses” but is judged by the accumulation of money/inkles, it would seem to me to be on the opposite side of the spectrum from socialism and that any attempt to wipe out that accumulation of inkles and “reset” the game for the benefit of the Inkling Community would be socialistic.

I think the main difference lies, and where my analogy fails, is in the fact that the accumulated wealth of the players will just disappear. It won’t be re-distributed to the “proletariat”. So, it really isn’t Socialism, per se, but it certainly has a deleterious effect on the desire to succeed and accumulate inkles, and is thus anti-capitalistic.

Goose   •   Thu Jan 09 2014 at 04:36pm PST

This is a private company. Adam owns it. He alone determines the rules of the game. That is pure capitalism.

Best Record   •   Wed Jan 08 2014 at 06:55pm PST

Goose yourself. I will probably quit. It’s been a nice ride, but I am not interested in being “fair” to the proletariat.

chelseaboys   •   Fri Jan 03 2014 at 03:25am PST

What happened? Did they change the scale?

job   •   Fri Jan 03 2014 at 03:38am PST

I had 8 items, all asking how many dollars facebook will be closing above or below 55.

ecotax   •   Fri Jan 03 2014 at 04:33am PST

Just guessing, but possibly the admins are having a problem with the fact that this is a differential value, not an absolute one, making this some kind of derivative financial instrument other than a stock price, and more something like an option.
And maybe they don’t want those around, to prevent you from breaking the 63-bit barrier :-)

MFWinAlford   •   Fri Jan 03 2014 at 08:33am PST

ecotax, you’re exactly right — that’s how many of us doubled our wealth (or more) over the past few months; through Job’s options markets.

historical trend

Click on possible answers in the right column to hide/show them on the graph. You can also hover over any line to see current value at that time. Graphs will begin to show data one hour after the question has been open. The Historical Trend chart does not display all prices ever reached since it is only updated at discrete time intervals, (hourly/daily/weekly, depending on the date range).