Update Predictions are closed for this year. Come back New Year’s Eve to see how we’ve done.
We’ll change the rules slightly this year and ask that everybody now predict the winner of the 2012 USA presidential election. This can be as simple as Obama or not-Obama, or an actual prediction of who the not-Obama will be. My own prediction is Mitt Romney.
Do not give a conditional prediction, other than conditioned on the potential candidates. Do not say, for example, “If the economy improves, Obama will win.” Say “Obama will win” or say who else will. After that, feel free to give a conditional prediction, but know that “economy improves” is unbearably loose.
Update Clarification. Here is what your “unconditional” prediction should be: When we all wake up on 7 November 2012, who will be the newly elected President of the United States? This prediction is conditional only on the supposition that a person will be named on that date, and no nonsense like what happened with Gore will repeat.
Yes, this is hard and, yes, nobody knows who this person will be. That is what makes it a prediction. When asking for predictions like this, the natural tendency is to hedge, or offer a range of conditionals, “If Hillary replaces Biden, then Obama’s chances are better.” Better they may be, but this is not a prediction of who will be president. Generating (loose) conditionals is one way people convince themselves that they are better forecasters than they really are. Right, IPCC?
Look to this space for an important prediction app once the Republican nominee becomes known.
Here’s the rules from last year (with dates changed):
We shall aim for truth. Be as facetious as you like, but affix genuine predictions (if any) with the letter RP, for “real prediction.” No real predictions about personal status, please! No “forecasts” along the lines of, “After 2012, I will be one year older. Har har.”
To maintain as wide an interest as possible, let’s try to keep national or international in scope (this includes surmises about specific technology). If it is not otherwise obvious, provide directions for unambiguous verification of your predictions. We don’t want anybody hiding behind the excuses of the type, “That’s what I really meant.”
Once 2013 rolls around, and if I still draw breath and am able to edit this site (covering all bases, here), we’ll see how well we did. There will be no evading the ignominy of a failed prediction by calling it a “scenario” here. Limit yourself to events falling withing the calendar year of 2011. No official entries past two weeks (all comments close at this point automatically).
I expect full participation, gang. Fire up those engines of infallibility and get forecasting! I’ll post my own predictions in the comments section with everybody else’s.