This post is one that has been restored after the hacking. All original comments were lost.
Time to tally. As has become our tradition, each New Year’s Eve we see how well we’ve done on our predictions made last New Year. Here is a direct link to the predictions we made in 2014. And here is a link to our results from the predictions we made for 2013.
And be sure to stop by tomorrow and for the next week to register your predictions for 2015.
This on-going exercise has proved that guessing the future is hard business. Without further blah-blah-blah, the results—but only for the serious prognostications and in the order they were made. The winner is announced at the bottom.
(1) “Big earthquake in California.” Blew it. Lots of small ones, but none newsworthy.
(2) “Transgenderism on the rise. There will be at least one memorable media flap where some dinosaur announces words to the effect, ‘A man who likes to wear a dress and who has had his pertinents sliced off by a med-school-diploma-wielding sadist is not a woman.'” Nailed it. But in fairness, this was low-hanging fruit.
(3) “The Democrats will retain the Senate, the Republicans the House.” Blew it. Only half right. I figured the tricks of delaying new regulations until after the election would work Democrat wonders. Nope.
(4) “China and Japan will come to blows (at least one death) over disputed territories in the Pacific and South China Seas.” Nope. But I’m making this a prediction for 2015.
(5) “No terrorist attacks anywhere near the winter Olympics in Russia.” Got it. But another easy one.
(6) “The government will get caught using information on an individual or group which it could have only come by immorally or unconstitutionally, as for instance via the NSA or TSA, but the majority of citizens won’t care. What about the children!” Nailed it. Agents of the NSA were recently revealed to be spying on their girlfriends and lovers. Results? None. The government continues to spy on its own citizens. It’s for your own good.
(1) “There will be another terorist attack in the US.” Yep. A No True Muslim attacked cops once in Queens (hatchet) and another time with a gun (Brooklyn). Lots of No True Muslim attacks throughout the world this year.
(2) “The war in Syria will bring Western countries to the battlefield.” Didn’t happen, though any amount of money and materiel undoubtedly shifted hands.
(3) “France will face a economic crisis bringing all the EU into chaos”. First part right, with the removal of the millionaire’s tax, second part wrong.
(4) “Democrats will retain the Senate”. Nope.
(5) “Catholic Church will face chaos with Pope Francis, beacuse his way of governing”. Amen to this. The Synod was a spiritual disaster.
(6) “Venezuela will face civil war”. Didn’t happen.
(7) “Fidel Castro will die”. Nope.
(8) “There will be economic crisis in China”. The opposite is true. Now the world’s leading economy.
(9) “Brazil will not win the soccer world cup.” Deutschland über alles.
(10) “Obama will be so terrible that MSNBC will call him cracker.” Cracker is the racist term blacks apply to whites, but one which whites at MSNBC pretend they never hear.
(1) “Jordan will become 2013’s Syria, followed by Saudi Arabia.” Not really.
(2) “Violence on Chechnya as the independence movement grows”. Some, but Ukraine outshone it.
(3) “Egypt will become a true military dictatorship after another mass uprising”. Didn’t happen.
(4) “Catalonia will vote for independence, touching off violence in Spain that will spill over into France”. There was a Catalan self-determination referendum, which was widely supported but non-binding. No violence.
(5) “India, Pakistan, and China will once again fight over land no one really wants”. To say that India and Pakistan will squabble is like saying it will rain in Seattle. China sat content this year.
(6) “China and US will begin a cold war of sorts over islands that Japan and China claim but no one really wants”. China and Japan, yes, to a small extent. But not US.
(7) “Russia will look externally for war, so as to justify a clamping down on internal dissent, but only after the Olympics”. Nailed it.
(8) “The NSA will state that it will continue to spy on US citizens without judicial warrant and the greater mass of the youth will not care — since they already expose everything via the internet”. The explanation may be wrong, but the thing happened, is happening, and will continue to happen.
(9) “The Republidemocrats will hold the House against the Demorepublicans”. Another Seattle rain.
(10) “Krugman will hack the Fed and add another zero to monthly QE program”. What’s a “Krugman”?
(11) “The extremely cold winter of 2014 will prove with finality that man is irrevocably warming the atmosphere”. And not only that, they’re calling 2014 the “warmest year ever.”
Rexx Vernon Shelton
(1) “Blacks mass killing of whites in South Africa”. Nope.
(2) “Jahadest increase the number of Christians they are killing world wide”. Oh my, yes. ISIS and other No True Muslims went on a rampage, slaughtering Christians by the 1,000s. See John Allen’s The Global War on Christians: Dispatches from the Front Lines of Anti-Christian Persecution.
(3) “Assad wins his way in Syria”. Yep.
(4) “Iran makes an A-bomb”. Not that we’ve been told. But who knows?
(5) “Inflation in the US picks up to above 5%”. Didn’t happen.
(6) “The Repubs take the Senate and increases their seats in the House with a lot of TEA Parties members”. Partly right. The Tea Party is on the outs.
(7) “And impeach Obama”. Nope.
(8) “Temperature hiatus/pause goes away with a drop in the average.” Nope. The “pause”—a word which nobody should use—is still with us.
(9) “The knockout game will grow into full fledged race riots is several large cities, but will not spread into the country.” Not quite. The race riots were to protest the cops against black criminals, not black criminals against whites.
(1) “Israel will launch an initially successful preemptive attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities, but will be universally condemned by the international community, face sanctions, etc.” Didn’t happen.
(2) “Polygamy will make significant legal strides in the U.S.” Spot on. Judges are starting to look for approval from their peers, such as this one.
(3) “A cabinet level or higher member of the Obama Administration will resign in a cloud of controversy.” They come and they go.
(4) “The Yankees will return to the play-offs.” Nope. Ha ha ha ha ha!
(5) “Way more people will die as a result of AIDS in the U.S. than will be killed with guns by legal gun owners…as usual.” Yep.
(6) “China will embarrass the U.S. militarily over Taiwan.” No, thank God. Not actively. But diplomatically, yes. China put the squeeze on to limit US arms sales to the island nation.
(7) “CNN will fire Piers Morgan.” Yes, sir.
(8) “Baldness will finally be cured.” Is baldness a disease?
(9) “The Obama’s will separate.” They might have, but Michelle can never discover which golf course he is on.
(10) “Same-sex marriage will make no further gains at the state level.” The opposite it true. Judges the country over have Kennedy Syndrome.
(1) “Israel will launch a preemptive strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities.” Nope.
(2) “The stock market will crash as inflation cranks-up”. Not even close.
(3) “China will finally withdraw its backing of North Korea, possibly assisting in the deposing of Kim Jong Un.” Not really. People are content to sit and watch.
(4) “Despite the serial incompetence shown by the GOP in national elections, they will retake Senate and maintain or increase their edge in the House.” Exactly so, especially in the first part.
(5) “Despite strenuous efforts by the Administration, the Keystone Pipeline will be build.” Not yet.
(6) “Another recession will begin aided by the EPA’s draconian regulations and ObamaCare.” Again, not yet.
(7) “Germany will withdraw from the EU, tired of having to bail-out the rest of the EU constantly.” Sounding like a news “anchor” here, but, not yet.
(8) “A cold and snowy year will result in global warming hysteria finally fizzling out, only to be replaced by ‘species diversity’ and ‘ocean acidification’ with zealots making even more outrageous claims that ‘it’s worse than we thought.'” Nope. Cold is the new hot.
(9) “There will be another major Administration political scandal. The President will say he did know about it but will promise to get to the bottom of it.” Right several times. The press continues to believe whatever it hears.
(10) “NYC Mayor, avowed Socialist DeBlasio, will institute policies that will result in an exodus of the successful and well-to-do from the city, a drastic spike in crime, the collapse of the real estate market, and credit agencies will reevaluate or even downgrade NYC debt.” Not a full success, but pretty close. We haven’t had time for the downgrade. But given that crime is already up 66% since the cops acceded to the protesters’ demands that black criminals be ignored, we’re sure to see it.
(1) “Miley Cyrus will fade to just a painful memory in 2014.” You have the painful part right.
(1) “US stocks swoon early, recover to 10% up on Dow 12% up on NASD.” Not quite sure how to read this. The market is indeed up.
(2) “Not that I care but the Redskins win 5.” Nope: 4.
(3) “Obama does something stupid, loses the Senate, then argues for reinstating the filibuster (as he is about to be impeached).” First part yes, second part not yet.
(1) “England will leave the EU when it is ordered by the EU to alter their roads to drive on the right hand side.” England drives on the wrong side?
(2)” AGW fundamentalists will propose a new method of calculating average temperatures to replace the current method of the midpoint between daily maximum and minimum extremes.” This is almost right. The new way of calculating is what allows the politicians to claim 2014 the hottest year ever.
(3) “Same sex divorce court cases with children from surrogate births will show up flaws in same sex marriage legislation.” Indeed. But nobody cares.
(1) “Russia will side with China against Japanese interests.” Sort of. They are having joint naval exercises.
(2) “It will become more and more obvious that North Korea will be coddled by China to help intimidate Japan”. Again, sort of. But the reasons for their support remain murky.
(3) “Iran will continue with its nuclear program and playing rope-a-dope with the West. Israel will become very jittery but will not take peremptory action. Netanyahu will be curtailed by a populace that does not want to be the aggressor. There will be much internal dissent in Israel. The Palestinians are waiting for their time but it won’t be in 2014.” Nailed this one, top to bottom.
(4) “The rest of the Middle East will continue to boil but at a lower level as the people begin to realize that that they must unite against the enemy whom they will begin to realize more and more are the original colonial powers of Europe.” This one isn’t specific enough—and it sounds like a Seattle-rain prediction.
(5) “There will be much turmoil in Europe as people start to rebel against wage stagnation, especially in Germany.” Indeed there was. But the demonstrations were not publicly stated to be over wages, but over national identity.
(6) “There will be another big scandal in the Catholic Church as Pope Francis uncovers a rats nest of corruption and intrigue. Regular Catholic laity will back the Pope in a big way. Many bishops and cardinals will take the opposite side and it will be a political battle that make the U.S. Congress look like amateurs. The Pope will win.” To a small extent, this one is true. But we can’t say that, beyond the Synod, there were “big”, i.e. long-lasting, scandals.
(7) “The U.S. influence in the World affairs will diminish remarkably as the Democrats and the Republicans continue to duke it out and demonstrate that America is very divided”. Yep.
(8) “Africa will be the place for some really surprising positive economic and political developments despite racial and tribal turmoil.” Botswana is doing great.
(9) “Mexico and Brazil will continue making steady economic and social progress.” Not quite, especially not Mexico.
(10) “The Chicago Cubs will win both the pennant and the World Series.” Dude. You guys never give up!
(1) “More than 50% of all 2014 predictions will fail.” Amen, brother.
(1) “At least one country or state will launch or adopt Bitcoin or similar as legal tender.” Not even close.
(1) “Republicans will take both House and Senate. Inevitable.” Must have been.
(2) “Israel will bomb Iran.” They didn’t.
(3) “China will suffer economic downturn.” Another inverted prediction.
(4) “Turkey will suffer great economic and domestic turmoil.” I’d say this is a fail: there was some, but not great, turmoil.
(5) “Assad as a winner in the Middle East.” Yep.
(6) “China again—to mask economic crash [leads to] war.” Nope.
(7) “We will be hit by more undenying counter-evidence against AGW. Sun will be quiet. Temperatures will drop. Crack in ideology of AGW will develop for the masses.” It’s true that more and more people are caring less and less about global warming.
(8) “Militant Islam will make Africa burn.” It did in Nigeria. Boko Haram, anybody?
(1) “Syrian war will end with Assad tossed aside while regime remaining intact”. Nope.
(2) “There will be no terrorist attack by Al-Queda on US soil.” True, but other attacks did occur.
(3) “2014 GDP will be highest in a decade” Final numbers aren’t in, but it’s looking good.
(4) “Montreal Canadians will win the Stanley cup”. Los Angeles Kings.
(1) “If de Blasio is anything like Obama, he’ll replace stop-and-frisk with drone strikes.” He removed stop-and-frisk and replaced it with nada.
(1) “A US constitutional convention will be formally scheduled, initiated by the states through a ‘strange bedfellows’ coalition of Tea Party activists and Obama third-termers.” Alas, no.
(2) “MegaMinus (translation?), the Chinese-designed magnesium-backed digital currency, will achieve critical mass and become the defacto standard, overtaking all other digital currencies combined before the end of the year.” No, but they’re already dumping American securities.
(3) “A ‘nuclear incident’ will occur in Iran in late summer or early fall.” Didn’t happen.
(4) “Miley Cyrus will get pregnant.” I have no idea and refuse to look.
(1) “The democrat will keep the Senate and gain the house.” A little wishcasting, eh Sylvain?
(2) “After a rocky start Obamacare will gain in popularity by June. And just like the climate alarmist were proven wrong the obamacare alarmist will be proven wrong.” Nope. And just wait until the employer mandates hit.
(3) “A long term prediction. The US will face another civil war within the next 60 years.” It’s more likely the US will invade Canada.
(1) “E. Snowden will suffer greatly for his crimes (beyond his self-exile) (even if granted ‘protection’).” Hmm. Doesn’t seem to be so.
(2) “The NSA will not suffer at all for theirs.” Indeed, they prospered.
(1) “I predict a federal court case involving polygamy of one sort or another.” District court only (so far as I could discover).
(1) “2014 will be officially regarded as the ‘Year of the Death of the Adverb’. The use of ‘ly’ words has been on the decline for years, but 2014 politicians, educators, and ‘experts’ will officially endorse ‘ly-less’ English in schools and standardized tests.” No, but we’re losing irregular verbs at a rapid pace.
(2) “Since we insist on repeating every dumb idea from the 1970’s, disco will make a comeback.” Disco would be better than the vile noise that wins awards today (and I don’t like disco).
(1) “A new low in ‘reality’ television will be set (or are we at the bottom yet)?” Probably not.
(2) “Another study will be released, showing how the brains of the unenlightened are much less evolved than the brains of progressives.” We get one of these a week. Here’s a partial list.
(3) “At least five more municipal bankruptcies.” Yes. This site lists 8 in 2014, including the town of my birth.
(4) “The Federal Reserve finally decides to ‘taper’. Just Kidding. Printing to infinity.” Another Seattle-rain.
(5) “As the Euro crisis continues, independence movements in Europe gain strength—Scotland votes to leave the UK, other movements may force a vote—Catalan, Venice. Belgium finally splits in half.” It was close, but none happened.
(6) “Turkey sees a resurgence of secularism as the depth of corruption of the Erdogan is brought to light. The AK party collapses (for the time being).” The opposite is true.
(1) “Pope Francis will retire, saying ‘What is wrong with you people?'” Close.
(1) “Bitcoin will collapse, either through the natural doom of all pyramid schemes, or (more hilariously) due to some kind of technical vulnerability being exploited by hackers. Nerds will lose billions. Many will nevertheless hop onto the bandwagon of the next sham internet currency to come along.” Seems to be still plugging along. But perhaps its lost its sexiness.
(2) “Obamacare will be rendered toothless due to a repeal of the individual and employer mandates.” The opposite is true. Mr Obama instead decided to ignore Congress.
(3) “Bing will begin to get more search traffic than Google.” What’s a “Bing”?
(4) “Hillary Clinton will announce the start of her Presidential campaign before 2015 dawns.” Still no announcement, though you still have 15 hours.
(5) “Kathleen Sebelius will resign and/or be killed by a falling house.” She did, and good riddance.
(6) “The US military will fire all its Catholic chaplains and replace them with a mix of non-denominational and new-age ministers.” Not quite, but something close. Many faithful chaplains are being squished.
(7) “Long hillbilly beards will become increasingly prevalent among 20-somethings due to some TV show they say everybody’s watching.” I’m guessing you were joking when you made this forecast, but it turned out true.
(8) “Kim Jong Un will get the wind taken out of his sails, somehow.” He is coasting over smooth waters.
Nick B. Steves
(1) “Bitcoin will end the year above $6000/BTC as reported by Mt. Gox.” Somebody is going to have to help me here, but it looks like a no (though I admit I could be misreading this evidence).
(1) “I predict that Briggs will own up to his selective reasoning.” That’s the only way to reason, selectively.
(1) “A cyber attack will cause nation wide chaos in a major nation (maybe America).” Yes. Poor Sony.
(2) “China moves to invade Taiwan for natural resources.” Didn’t happen. The only real resource Taiwan has that China does not, is sea space. The war is also spiritual. The Chinese don’t like recalcitrance.
(3) “Another intelligence leak for America.” Continuously.
(4) “Russia and China will continue to push for regulations on cyber intelligence gathering (NSA) and will make headway at the UN.” In the press, this was so.
(5) “New steps towards moving the world reserve currency to Asia will happen. USD will drop in value and America’s import based economy will continue to tumble due to decreased purchasing power.” Dollar is up at the moment, but on the other hand, people are moving away from it.
(6) “The suicide rate in the Western world and Japan will continue to climb due to lack of job opportunities and purpose in life.” Seems to be so.
(1) “A black market in incandescent bulbs will rival that of alcohol prohibition.” Turns out people are hoarding and smuggling these things.
(2) “GE will discover that the profit margin in CF-B is not what they thought it would be and they declare bankruptcy.” If only.
(3) “Briggs will be caught tapping his toe to a Beatles’ song while wearing stone washed jeans and a tank top.” Didn’t happen. Never will.
(4) “Turkey will be the next middle eastern country to descend into chaos.” Not quite chaos; let’s call it “unrest.”
(5) “A chair of Bayesian statistics will be created for Briggs at an ivy league university, but he will forget his old friends and cease blogging.” Alas, didn’t happen. Briggs is still positionless.
(1) “In at least one preliminary quarterly report the economy will suffer a negative GDP growth. The government will go to extraordinary lengths to revise the data in the final report.” Who knows what finagling occurs behind the scenes, but the GDP is up.
(2) “A new alarm will be raised about the potential of a Yellowstone Super Volcano. USA Today will have a front page map showing the possible zones of destruction.” They did not.
(3) “The Election will result in a 50-50 split Senate, and Joe Biden will find he can reap priceless press coverage because of his tie breaking vote. At least one important one will go against Obama.” Thank goodness, no.
(4) “A late season blizzard will be evidence to climate scientists that Global Warming is accelerating even faster than they had imagined. Predicted consequences will be more devastating and the need for immediate action will be more urgent.” Yes, but another Seattle-rain.
(5)”Obama’s approval rating will rise to just under 45% then slide below 40% and stay there.” It’s 45% at last count.
(1) “There will be an announcement that Pope Francis will visit the United States. This prediction has the virtue of being highly possible in the future, I think.” Nailed it. Philadelphia in the summer.
(2) “The debt to GDP ratio will CONTINUE to decline slowly.” The opposite is true.
(1) “‘Amazing’ will be the new ‘awesome'”. I, like, looked this up, and, like, like I don’t know. Like.
(2) “After blatant military aggression by China in the Pacific in which US forces are either humiliated or conspicuously absent, US shoppers in large numbers will start asking for non-Chinese products in stores.” Nope.
(3) “Iran will conduct a nuclear test shot in North Korea, but Miley Cyrus will be bigger news.” They didn’t, she is.
(4) “Rodman’s basketball exhibition will not happen.” It did, though.
(5) “USA will continue its slide towards a totalitarian police state. NSA will get a Get Out of Jail Free card. Bullying and harassment at US border crossings will worsen. Intrusive, bullying security theatre at airports and other transportation points will worsen markedly.” Yes. NSA is free to do what it likes. Border crossings are still a crime but not punishable, etc.
(6) “USA’s slide towards financial catastrophe will continue with drastic increases in national debt and crazy spending on entitlements, plus more federal attempts at wealth transfer and quack ‘climate’ control regulations.” Yes, but Seattle-rain.
(7) “Republicrats will ensure that Congress is more of a disgusting social tumor than part of the government balance of powers. There will be no effective control of Obama’s spending or blockage of his socialist and statist adventures.” Amazing prediction: Congress is full retreat.
(8) “Obamacare will not be repealed.” It wasn’t.
(9) “Real unemployment and poverty will be bad and worsen, but the official figures will be false.” Hmm. How are we to know they’re false?
(10) “Earnest news articles and editorials in major US media will unintentionally plagiarize official propaganda portrayed in Orwell’s ‘1984’ and ‘Animal Farm’.” Yes, but it’s for your own good.
(11) “There will be lots of entertaining and educational articles posted on this blog — thanks, Matt — and also quite a few on scholastic philosophy and dead horses of philosophical logic. Hey, it’s Matt’s blog. He can do with it as he likes.” A man’s blog is his castle.
(1) “The Affordable Care Act will be implemented despite the fact that is not more affordable for the majority of families despite many promises made by HHS”. My rates jumped dramatically (maybe because I haven’t been to the doctor in years).
(2) “There will be massive protests by people insured under the old insurance plans which will produce no action by congress”. No. People groused but accepted their pain.
(3) “Massive quantities of money will be given to insurance companies to keep them from going bankrupt before the election in November.” Some got paid off, yes.
(4) “No one will figure how to extricate the nation from the damage to the economy being produced by the ACA.” Yes, no one will.
(5) “There will be no increase in global warming in 2014, but only in spending to promote a carbon tax.” Yes: the EPA went hog wild this year, regulating left and right. And it continued to deny outsiders a look at the evidence they used to create their regulations. This is called “Science.”
(1) “Obama will become a recluse, after repeated failures in his foreign policy and Obamacare. He will hide out in the White House or wherever Michelle isn’t. Joe Biden will become the face of the administration.” Not even close!
(2) “The Keystone Pipeline will be approved.” Nope.
(3) “The ‘Atlas Shrugged’ behaviour of the Republicans will continue in the hopes that the Democrats will implode.” Yes.
(4) “A major injury or death in football will result in endless congressional hearings and media debates on whether or not football is un-American.” This one is pretty close. We haven’t quite reached standard-media-circus levels, but soon, soon.
(5) “Language will become rather useless as people continue to call ‘cold’ ‘warming’, ‘lies’ ‘truth’, etc. The call for not bullying while bullying, the referring to success as evil and bad, while calling failure success, will result in more violence and more accidents, etc. due to failures trying to drive busses and build high-rises.” Yes, but another Seattle-rain.
(1) “Wall Street. S&P 500 will close within 5% of 12/31/13.” No: it’s way up.
(2) “Sports. Broncos will win Super Bowl and end 2014 in playoffs.” Nope, though the Broncos at least made it there.
(3) “World. China will start to implode due to rapid rise of cancer deaths. Indicator will be that 10% of production moves out of China.” Not even close.
(4) “Politics. Little d democrats will vote to keep as is for house and senate. Little r republicans will not use the opportunity to retake the Senate.” Didn’t happen.
(5) “AGW. Climate activists will thrash (as in a hard drive thrashing). This one does not count for much but there is such a thing as completeness.” It is complete, yes.
(6) “Religion. Another tough year for believers in a God. MSM will dominate the message.” As they always do.
(7) “Wars. Nothing worth mentioning. MSM will play up hotspots but nobody will get stupid. This includes Iran, Iraq, Israel, Turkey, North Korea, Argentina, and everybody else I forgot.” Pretty much got it.
The Grand Winner Announced!
An easy pick this year. Bob Mrotek. Had the highest hit rate and nailed most of his predictions. Perhaps these weren’t the stretchy-est guesses, but they were still bankable.
The rest of us need to do much better. Luckily, we have, starting tomorrow, an opportunity to do so.
Congratulations, Bob! And thanks to all for playing.