Ever since the AlwaysOn Conference, I've been meaning to write about The Long Bets Foundation. It's a fantastic organization that has brought together some of the brightest people on the planet to make predictions about the future. Not only does one need to explain the basis of their prediction, they also have to put their money where their mouths are and pay to post a prediction and be prepared to take a bet if somebody decides to challenge.
Some highly recognizable, and off the charts smart, people such as Nathan Myhrvold, Eric Schmidt, Vint Cerf, Gordon Bell, Ray Kurzweil, and Freeman Dyson are on the site with their predictions
Freeman Dyson, probably the most notable of the group, has a very interesting and creative predictions. I humbly cut and paste it here.
Bet 30: The first discovery of extraterrestrial life will be someplace other than on a planet or on a satellite of a planet.
Here is his explanation: If extraterrestrial life exists, it might have adapted to living in vacuum and spread widely over cold regions far from the sun. If so, it must grow optical concentrators, lenses or mirrors, to focus sunlight and keep itself warm. The concentrators will reflect sunlight in a narrow beam back toward the sun. If we point our telescopes directly away from the sun, we might see life as bright reflecting points, like the eyes of animals caught in headlights.
I finally gathered the courage to put a prediction myself. A few months ago I wrote about how the internet would change male female relationships. Well, now I am putting money on that prediction on Long Bets. You can find it here, and I challenge you to bet against it.