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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Romney supporter took war with reality to a whole new level

Buzzfeed - Trader Lost Millions Apparently Trying To Manipulate Intrade Data To Favor Mitt Romney
Buzzfeed: One trader lost at least $4 million betting on former presidential candidate Mitt Romney through Intrade, possibly to make it appear he was faring better against President Barack Obama in the waning days and hours of the 2012 election than he was.

That’s what a new study by Microsoft Research’s David Rothschild and Columbia University’s Rajiv Sethi suggests. The study, published earlier this month, analyzed Intrade transaction level data over the course of the final two weeks of the election cycle.


Rothschild and Sethi found that a single trader accounted for one-third of all bets made on Romney during the two week period of the study, which saw about 3.5 million contracts traded. The total election cycle had 7.6 million contracts traded.

The trader bet solely on Romney and constantly sold on Obama, losing about $4 million in the process.
I’ve been thinking off and on about how conservatives often confuse cause and effect. Most recently, the example that’s come up most often has been the argument that violent video games cause mass shootings. But wouldn’t the sort of person who’d commit that sort of crime be attracted to violent video games in the same way that someone who likes boobs enjoys porn? If video games were responsible for crime, there’d be one helluva lot more murderous loons out there shooting up crowds of people. It’s like saying chess is responsible for war.

But this… this is a whole ‘nother ballgame. This is magical thinking. The problem with doing this is the same problem you have with putting out deliberately biased polling; you can’t lie to people about what they think. People knew who they were going to vote for. If you tell them otherwise, how can you expect them to believe you? Polls do influence polls, but this is just some form of sympathetic magic.

I’m at a loss. All I can say is that Mr. Mystery here is probably someone who blew a chunk of their inheritance — because it’s so freakin’ obvious that they weren’t smart enough to earn that kind of money themselves.

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