Science: Space: Asteroid
Indirect Crowd Funding for Meteor Defense Systems   (+4)  [vote for, against]
Harness human nature to insure survival

The odds of a massive meteorite strike wiping out life on the planet are a bit long but it's not something we should ignore, long or not if it happened we'll all be dead.

This would be a complete disaster, I'd have no one left to annoy.

And yet no one appears to have any plans with a reasonable chance of spotting & stopping such an event. I have the answer..


If everyone placed a bet for one pound (or your national equivalent) with any publicly listed commercial gambling organisation they'll be so worried about the financial loss they'll incur if it happens that the industry will unite to establish an organisation to build us a meteor defense that works so they never have to pay out on all the bets.

And with all those bets placed with them they'll have the money to do it too.

Problem solved.

Now some might suggest this is silly & won't work, because they know they won't have to pay out anyway if everyone's dead.

To which I say "piffle".

It's clear corporations (inasmuch as they can be said to think) just don't think that way, as evidenced by all the companies driving climate change (& mass extinction through that) in pursuit of profit that will do them no good (after they've killed us all), clearly any thoughts of anything other than a very narrow definition of the bottom line get lost in translation somewhere along the way so this should definitely work.

Now if someone can work out what we should bet on happening to encourage them to deal with the companies causing climate change we'll be golden.

I'll just be off now, have some shares to buy in LadBrokes..

Idea inspired by a passing comment from [hipppo].
-- Skewed, Mar 23 2018

Massive Apocalypse Insurance Massive_20Apocalypse_20Insurance
[hippo, Mar 23 2018]

Volunteer's dilemma https://en.wikipedi...lunteer%27s_dilemma
I think this is the link you meant to use [IT] [Skewed, Mar 24 2018]

Great idea [+]. There is a small danger that these gambling organisations, instead of grouping together to build a meteor defence shield instead group together to build something which will kill all those people who have placed these bets, in such a way as to make it look like they died in the meteor impact.
-- hippo, Mar 23 2018

Do we detect the merest trace of cynicism in your annotation, [hip] ?

OK, here's the deal.

You and [Skewed] set up the front company.

We prod a large non-extinction orbital body onto an intercept trajectory.

You announce the winner of the lottery - it doesn't need to be rigged - and then we tweak the path so that, guess what ? The winner gets vapourized before they can claim.

You just need to draft the T&C's so that the ticket isn't transferable, thus there's no inheritance and the pot just keeps getting bigger.

We'll take a 70% cut as after all we're doing all the work shoving space rocks around.
-- 8th of 7, Mar 23 2018

//and then we tweak the path so that, guess what ? The winner gets vapourized before they can claim.// Yeah, that's what they always say. Remember that tropical paradise of Tua-Tua? No, exactly.
-- MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 23 2018

//expensive// the point (well.. one of them, if you can actually call any of them points) is kind of that it's only £1, so where on earth do you live where that's expensive [IT]?

I need to know so I can pop over with a tenner & buy up all your local real-estate, I've a yen to be a slum landlord :)
-- Skewed, Mar 24 2018

One Japanese Yen is equivalent to about 0.67 British pence. So if you're prepared to spend ten quid, that's acutally 1500 Yens, suggesting that you're quite keen on the project.

As to property prices, anecdotal evidence suggests that [IT] occupies an abandoned section of sewage outfall pipe somewhere on the periphery of Docklands, thus placing it in the "premium executive residence" category.
-- 8th of 7, Mar 24 2018

Shush [IT], stop trying to put people off, just go with it, buy some shares in LadBrokes & encourage everyone else to bet their £1 like me :P
-- Skewed, Mar 24 2018

He'll be too busy greeting passers-by with his time-honoured cry of "Spare a pound for an cup of tea, sorry I mean an integrated planetary meteorite defence system, Guv ?"
-- 8th of 7, Mar 24 2018

Does it add up sufficiently to finance the purchase of, for example, a second cup of tea ?
-- 8th of 7, Mar 24 2018

[Ian] I think you might like this [link], Volunteer's dilemma, probably what you where really looking for before.

Of course to model the game for what you really want to say we need modify it a touch.. a specific number of calls ("bets") have to be made before the payoff is received & each individual can make as many calls ("bets") as they want, that should do it I think.
-- Skewed, Mar 24 2018

// A second teapot //

Does not that represent a dangerous level of escalation in tea-production capabilitity ?

What exactly are your intentions ? There are UN conventions regarding Weapons of Mass Tea Production, and you shoud respect them. Have you no shame ? What are you going to do with all that hot, freshly-brewed tea ?

Think of the children ....
-- 8th of 7, Mar 24 2018

random, halfbakery