Bet 5

Duration 10 years (02002-02012)

“By 2012, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times will have referred to Russia as "the world leader in software development" or words to that effect.”

PREDICTOR
Esther Dyson

Winner!

CHALLENGER
Bill Campbell

STAKES $10,000

will go to The Eurasia Foundation (www.eurasia.org) if Dyson wins,
or The Computer History Museum (www.computerhistory.org) if Campbell wins.

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Dyson's Argument

Russia right now is a world leader in unexploited mathematical/logical talent and creativity. My bet is essentially that it will learn to exploit this talent, and that the country will become known for it. Currently, Russia's programmers are beginning to recognize their own capabilities and, being smart and creative, they will no doubt figure out how to organize their marketplace better, putting in place not just software firms but training centers, education loans and the like. I expect them to be recognized as leaders not so much for financial muscle, but as the community to go to when you want creative solutions to tough programming problems. In a world becoming more realtime, optimized and quantified, the Russian talent for algorithms will shine. (Full disclosure: As an investor/advisor to several Russian start-ups, I am trying hard to make this scenario come true!)

My final hope is that these successful and fulfilled Russia programmers will be part of a flourishing civil society, which is why I want my bet to go to the Eurasia Foundation or its successor organization.

Campbell's Argument

As long a there is business opportunity...and I am confident that there will be..... the US will provide world leadership in software development.