Converting Data to Dollars

At work today we were talking about what you would do if you had $10,000 to spend right then and there. Nick said he would probably get a CD.

Of course, he didn’t mean a record album. It led to a more interesting conversation, though.

Is there some piece of data that fits on a Compact Disc (about 700 MB or so) that you would pay $10,000 for? Various people suggested celebrity sex tapes, blackmail fodder, lists of secret and double agents. I tend to think more sci-fi so I said the list of winners of sports events or elections in the next 50 years. After I suggested that, people suggested algorithms that beat encryption or prove that P = NP.

Is there anything else that we’re missing? I’m sure there are tons of things but I can’t really imagine what they are. (you’d think that most of the possible things that are worth buying someone’s already come up with and tried to sell).


One Response

  1. Plenty of things that fit on a CD are easily worth $10,000 or more. To start with, any accurate information about the future that can be betted on. Also, proofs of various famous math problems, not just P vs. NP, but to start with, any of the million dollar Clay Institute problems, plus a bunch of others. You could probably also include proofs or results from other disciplines. Business secrets of just about any major corporation. Celebrity pictures — not necessarily sex — People sometimes pays millions of dollars for celebrity photo shoots. Any information that could be used in a major lawsuit or criminal case. Design plan for a more efficient computer chip. Dirt on a major political candidate. A well-written short story, assuming that you get the intellectual property rights to it. The whereabouts of Osama bin Ladin. The list goes on and on.

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