Archive for December, 2006

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2006 December 19

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That sounds interesting. Have you heard of Yootles?

2006 December 18

I had meant to blog about the myriad things we yootled about over Thanksgiving (a quasi-combinatorial transportation auction to decide how to get from NYC to DC and back, picking the clean-up crew and divvying other chores, and a wagering trivia game). But that’s old news now. In the meantime, Yootles have been rocketed to international fame thanks to the Yahoo! Prediction Market Confab in which Dave Pennock gave a glimpse of the Yootopia Project and the Yootles currency.

Which brings us to today’s blog post, guest-written by Yootles collaborator and co-author, Bethany Soule:

My finals period is winding down and, finding myself with a little breather in my schedule before the next axe fell, the only logical thing to do was go Contra Dancing on Saturday night.

I happened to wear a t-shirt with the phrase “Talk Nerdy to Me” emblazoned across the chest (a birthday gift from my future mother-in-law, I’ll have you know) because it coordinated so well with my Value-Village special Contra swishy skirt. This got a lot of attention from the nerdy and nerd-loving Contra crowd, both men and women alike. I spent a good deal of my time saying “computer science student” breathlessly as I spun wildly around the dance floor.

At the intermission, there were snacks and lemonade, and as I waited to get through the kitchen door, I was approached by yet another inquiry of: “So, what kind of nerd are you?” and responded with “computer science student.” As I wasn’t being spun off to the next section of the dance this time, my interviewer had time to ask what kind of CS. When I responded with my interest in AI including Auctions, Decision Mechanisms, and Game Theory, he asked, get this:

“Oh, so have you heard about this new currency over at Yahoo? Umm..” he pauses getting stuck looking for the name.. “Yootles..” I fill in. “Yeah!” he responds.

Anyway, he didn’t end up knowing much specifically about prediction markets or decision mechanisms, but had seen the slashdot post and was intrigued. We chatted about that a little and he recommended a sci-fi book he’d read about a futuristic dystopia that ran on influence or prestige markets, or something. Then I pointed him over to Danny.

But Dude! All I’ve gotta do is wear a nerd shirt, and I’ve got total strangers trying to clue me in to my own project! How cool is that.

Talk about gratifying.