The Center Will Hold: My 10:1 Bet Stands
By Bryan Caplan
Despite much gruesome Schadenfreude on Twitter, I stand by the terms of my 10:1 bet that no European country that was not Communist in 1988 will have a civil war resulting in 10,000 or more fatalities by December 31, 2045. While I am microscopically less sure than I was when I made the bet, I left myself a comfortable margin of error. The dust will settle, and the center will hold.
If you think that makes me a dogmatic fool, accept my terms and await my inevitable impoverishment and humiliation. And no, Francois Hollande’s statement that “France is at war” doesn’t prove me wrong. I bet on numbers – not rhetoric – for a reason.
I am markedly more worried that I will lose my related bet with Raphael Franck that “The total number of deaths in France from riots and terrorism will be less than 500 between May 28, 2008 and May 28, 2018.” But I still think my odds of winning are 80%, down from the 93% or so I initially believed.
I never mean to be insensitive, but if we abandon numeracy, the terrorists win.