Don’t make new predictions here. Tomorrow I’ll start the thread, open for 10 days, where you can make predictions for 2014.
The winner was chosen for accuracy and difficulty. No use predicting, for instance, “The New York Times will continue to apologize for President Obama even should he be exposed as an ax murderer” because anybody could have guessed that.
We all missed predicting the big events, such as the election of a new Pope and his (temporary?) triumph over the media. The events in the Middle East went in directions not anticipated. The Boston Marathon bombing wasn’t forecasted. Neither were the recent happenings in Russia. Tornadoes were at their nadir. George Zimmerman was acquitted. The Supreme Court told half of Americans that they were hate-filled bigots. NSA announced they were spying on everybody for their own good—and the populace yawned. And so forth.
In the end, it was a close. Though none of us sparkled, the person who best captured the spirit and direction of the world was Sheri (bottom of page). I award her the crown based on one prediction that wasn’t even fully correct: “Pedophilia will be ‘normalized’.”
It wasn’t, not fully, not yet. But the reason it will be, equality, is the driving force of Western Civilization. Equality is the most destructive force known to man. You know I am right if you felt even a small cringe at the word “man” in the previous sentence. All will be, must be, equal. None can be unique, none can be superior, and how dare you think otherwise.
Here are the individual predictions. I’m only quoting the serious forecasts.
(1) “More human beings will die from cold than from heat in 2013”. Nailed it. In the running for this year’s Irony of the Year Award: “Global warming scientists forced to admit defeat… because of too much ice.”
(2) “[Obamacare] mandate will be relaxed for employers and corporations.” Yes!
(3) “Low-hanging-fruit economic prediction: the debt of the USA will soar to new heights.” Raise the debt ceiling, anybody?
(4) We’d become sheeple. “Such a power does not destroy, but it prevents existence; it does not tyrannize, but it compresses, enervates, extinguishes, and stupefies a people, till each nation is reduced to nothing better than a flock of timid and industrious animals, of which the government is the shepherd.” Almost there.
(1) “The long awaited break up of the euro, (and the EU), will still not occur.” It did not.
(2) “The US and European economies will continue their anaemic ‘growth’, but all of this ‘growth’ will be in the public sector.” Long live the government!
(3) “A row will break out among scientists over whether the obesity epidemic is caused by a bacterium or by a poor lifestyle.” Missed this one, but barely, I think.
(4) “The great global warming/climate change/climate extremes/whatever debate will rumble on.” It did, but no points for such an easy guess.
(1) “Highway accidents will kill more people than assault weapons, yet, unbelievably, automobiles will not be outlawed.” Right on the money, but easy!
(2) “While scientific evidence grows that global warming, if it resumes, will not be catastrophic, the Summary for Policy Makers will be as alarmist as ever.” Indeed, it was more alarmist: 95% confidence!
(3) “Republicans will allow tax rates to automatically rise, as we go over the fiscal cliff, so that they can vote to lower those higher rates to a level which is greater than they are presently.” Not quite there, although Republicans proved once more that they are nothing but Democrats with frowns.
(1) “Evil will continue to sow the seeds of its own destruction, and the brilliant rays of truth, beauty and goodness, visible to all those who dare open their eyes, will continue to perforate the gloom and act as shining beacons to those brave enough to use them as their guides.” Got it, but talk about low-hanging fruit.
(1) “Bill McKibben will be discovered to be eating Meat Pizza’s cooked in a Coal fired oven he has installed in an old diesel powered Yellow School Bus that he uses to commune with the trees in remote Vermont valleys that never get any snowfall.” McKibben still thinks it’s worse than we thought.
(1) “Floods in Pakistan will again be tied to global warming.” Yep.
(2) “The floods will kill about a tenth of the number of people killed by terrorism in Pakistan.” Right (as near as I can tell).
(3) “A young man will attack a school in the US, killing about ten people, mostly women and children.” I don’t think we had any this year.
(4) “Young men will blow up about 100 schools in Pakistan, killing about ten people, mostly women and children.” Missed.
(5) “Towards the end of the year, John Vidal will visit a farm in Herefordshire.” I Googled this but could not find confirmation.
(6) “Bo Derek will visit Ecuador again.” Doesn’t look it. She made it to Portugal.
(7) “Chile’s Mount Melimoyu will erupt.” It didn’t.
(1) “We fall off the fiscal cliff on 1/1 and no one notices.” Half right. Over the cliff we went, but some of us went screaming.
(2) “GDP growth for the year will be positive.” Final numbers aren’t in, but this is a solid.
(1) “Iran will perform a nuclear test shot in North Korea.” A miss, but not too far off in spirit.
(2) “Syria will end up under the control of radical Islamists of a sort favored by the Saudis.” Russia stopped this.
(3) “Nothing of substance will be revealed about the Benghazi incident.” Hillary: what difference does it make?
(4) “Unemployment in the USA will spike savagely, although the government will do what it can to camouflage the problem with BS as the economy.” Half right. Unemployment didn’t spike, but the government did play with the numbers.
(5) “Civil unrest of a kind and degree not seen since the Depression will appear in the USA and increase.” Didn’t happen, thank goodness.
(6) “Texas, Louisiana, and perhaps other states will take strong measures to counteract federal influence and protect themselves.” Call this a partial hit. Some states ran as fast as they could from Obamacare, for instance.
(7) “Obama will sieze the moment and attempt to ram through gun control and various extreme leftist measures, sidestepping Congress and ignoring the Constitution.” Call this 90% right. Obama repeatedly expressed exasperation that he could rule dictatorially.
Heltau (A non-native English writer, I think; I corrected his spelling.)
(1) “2 cities will be attacked by Islams.” More than two.
(2) “Tens of thousands of people will be slaughtered by the ‘peace and light religion of Islam’.” Depends on how you count (do we total the bodies in Syria?), but it’s close.
(3) “Sharia law will be applied throughout America as a helping hand in killing the ‘living Constitution’.” If this was England, it would be a partial hit.
(4) “Christian churches will be attacked and set afire by Islams and the church’s leaders will forgive Islam for their acts.” Half right. Many churches attacked and Christians killed. No word on forgiveness yet.
(5) “And tomatoes will be 5 dollars a pound.” Not in the States, anyway.
(1) “The Nobel Prize in Literature for 2013 will be awarded to a US citizen.” Is Canada still considered a foreign country? Alice Munro won.
(2) “The Nobel Peace Prize for 2013 will be awarded to a non-US citizen or organization.” Nailed it. The Nobel committee previously gave the award to a building in Brussels. This time to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.
(3) “The Nobel Prize in Physics for 2013 will be awarded to a person from Europe.” Peter Higgs is, somehow, not an American.
(1) “Wiggins will win the Giro d’italia.” Nope.
(2) “Froome will win the Tour de France.” Yep.
(3) “ANTIFRAGILE: THINGS THAT GAIN FROM DISORDER by Taleb won’t make #1 on the NYT.” I think was right.
(4) “Fewer fatalities will occur on Mt. Everest than last year.” Yes, but apparently this was an easy one.
(1) “The Great Recession will deepen and continue.” It didn’t deepen, but much malaise yet.
(2) “Turkey will start to position itself as a counter to Iran.” No, but strange things happening there. Keep an eye out.
(3) “Patriots will lose Superbowl.” Did they even play?
(4) “Red Sox will lose in post season on a wildcard. Yankees will not make it into post-season.” Half right. Dammit, says this Tigers fan.
(5) “China will have violent protests against variously communism and capitalism, not enough to be called a revolt or uprising but too much to be ignored by the international community.” Yes. But not too violent.
(6) “Chile will emerge as the hot new SA economy predicted to become the USA of South America.” A prediction of a prediction?
(7) “Municipal bankruptcies in the US will take off, expect over 20 significant ones by the end of the year.” Right in spirit, but I think the number a tad high. California in particular saw a few.
(1) “Winter in the Northern Hemisphere will not end till mid June.” Nope. But stick around for this winter.
(2) “First week of September will be the Northern Hemisphere’s hottest for 200 years.” Nope.
(3) “Winter will start early in N. Hemisphere on September 28 2013.” Too vague, but it was early.
(4) “A volcanic eruption off the coast of Antarctica will cause some public unrest at the end of the year.” Nope.
(5) “China and Japan will come to arms over some insignificant South China Sea islands.” Very close. Maybe this year the fireworks begin.
(6) “Someone shoots at the US President — FBI hugely criticized.” Now, now.
(1) “In 2013, with the city Detroit finding it has no support of a winning MLB team, has announced it will be relocating. Current choice is San Francisco.” This isn’t too far off.
(1) “Detroit will make a comeback, so is American economy partly due to the increasing number of rich people in China who prefer products made in USA.” Should have listened to DAV.
(2) “The debt-to-GDP ratio will decrease.” If by “decrease” you meant “increase”, you’re exactly right.
(1) “The drought will continue in the Midwest.” In the summer it did.
(2) “The government and the Fed will continue to maintain a zero-interest-rate policy by printing money.” Too easy.
(3) “Inflation in food prices will be even worse in the coming year. By the end of the year, $200/week or more will be considered normal for groceries for a small family.” From this accurate prediction, we guess Joe does not work in academia.
(4) “At least one U.S. state will declare bankruptcy.” Nope.
(5) “At least one state will vote to ‘nullify’ major provisions of the Obamacare law.” Not quite, but close.
(6) “The Israelis will re-elect Netanyahu.” Yep.
(7) “Israel will find itself at war with one or more of Egypt, Turkey, or Iran.” Not yet, anyway.
(8) “Bing will start to get more search traffic than Google.” Let me tell you about the dangers of drinking and predicting…
(9) “Facebook will not go out of business in 2013, but it will be in serious trouble by the end of the year and at least one major publication will be predicting its imminent eclipsing by some rapidly-growing rival.” Snapchat is at its heels.
(10) “New Jersey and Virginia will elect Democrat governors.” That depends on how you classify Chris Christie.
(11) “Rush Limbaugh will retire. Mark Steyn will become a full-time talk radio host.” Two solid misses.
(12) “There will be a terrorist incident somewhere involving a shoulder-launched surface-to-air missile.” I don’t think so.
(13) “There will be at least one major conservative victory in the Supreme Court, and Obama will talk about it obsessively for months.” Sadly, no. Not even a hint of one. Nothing but bad news all around.
(14) “The E.U. will try to ‘legally’ ‘force’ Ireland to legalize abortion. Ireland will refuse.” A bust, but only because Ireland beat the EU to it.
(1) “I foresee the Angels making it to the World Series, and they might even win.” Let me guess which is your favorite team.
(2) “The Jacksonville Jaguars bring Tim Tebow on board as a backup quarterback and have a .500 season.” Nah.
(3) “The brain damaged apes we call Congress and the well meaning lackeys we call the Federal Government will prevent any real recovery.” Yes, but too easy.
(4) “Gasoline will cost more than $4.20 a gallon by the end of the year.” Looks to be lower.
(5) “The Islamic Brotherhood will consolidate power in Egypt, seriously threaten war will Israel or send troops into Gaza but the Egyptian Army will not quite cooperate. This will lead to a power struggle and purge of the military. Israel will not actually be attacked by soldiers.” Glad you were wrong on this one.
(6) “Assad of Syria will flee to Iran. Hamid Karzai will not be running Afghanistan by the end of 2013.” Two misses.
(7) “The media (and the Taliban) will portray the US leaving Afghanistan as another Vietnam. ” Might be true if we actually left.
(8) “The artificial pancreas will be announced and diabetes will be cured.” A cheerfully wrong prediction.
(1) “In spite of Obamacare, the infant death rate will not budge much from 6 per 1000 live births.” Correct: 6.14.
(2) “‘Peer progressive’ will join ‘creative class’ in the popular lexicon.” Right, more or less
(1) “Julia Gillard will not be Prime Minister of Australia by the end of the year.” Yes, thank God.
(2) “The increasing tension in the South China Sea area will see an increase in US forces based in Australia.” Near hit. Increased US forces in the area, but not in Australia.
(3) “The Australian economy will still be strong with the Aussie dollar still buying more than one US dollar.” Well, the Aussie dollar fell with respect to the US dollar over 2013.
(1) “Pedophilia will be ‘normalized’.” Almost. Make the same prediction for 2014 and we’ll see.
(2) “The Congressional Budget will continue to look like a crayon drawing of a 2 year old.” Too high by a year.
(3) “The blurring of political parties will continue, with ‘Republicans’ and ‘Those who vote with Democrats’ being the labels used.” Spot on.