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2011-10-31 19:46:33.322932+00 by petronius 1 comments

DARPA and its predecessor agency is famous for inventing the Internet, but maybe they should be more famous for ingenious experiments in harnessing people's own cleverness. Its obvious that their competition for robot automobiles has jumpstarted the field, for instance. However, man does not live by hardware alone; sometimes he needs organization. This item from Popular Mechanics talks about the Scavenger Hunt. In October of 2009 DARPA announced that they were going to be distributing 10 weather balloons around the nation in a few weeks. The team that found all of them first would get $40,000. MIT did it in less than 9 hours! Their secret? They paid people. However, can some well thought out incentive system aid in quick organization after a disaster?

[ related topics: Robotics Net Culture Social Software ]

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#Comment Re: made: 2011-10-31 20:00:44.676156+00 by: other_todd

This is so MIT. I gotta love them sometimes. "To hell with all these schemes for social networking and contact trees. That's a lot of work for possibly inadequate payoff. Why don't we just offer a lot of people a share of the cash if they find a balloon for us?"

MIT: Bringing You Ruthless Practicality Through Sound Application of Logic. Since 1861.