Predictions

The following are probabilistic predictions, an event followed by the percentage chance that I think it will occur. With a long enough list of predictions, one can judge the accuracy of the predictions empirically. There will be an incentive to make predictions that are obvious to increase your accuracy,(e.g. “99% chance of no alien landing in 2019”) so I’ll try to limit myself to predictions that I think a significant proportion of the non-insane population would disagree with. Needless to say these are predictions, not wishes.

Color code:

Prediction is “correct” if it was given a greater than 50% chance or incorrect if it was given a less than 50% chance. 

Prediction is “correct” if it was given a less than 50% chance or incorrect if it was given a greater than 50% chance. 

Prediction is correct with a chance of 50% given.

Prediction is incorrect with a chance of 50% given.

Published 2/16/2018, many inspired by/stolen from a Slate Star Codex post:

  1. By the end of 2018, a person can hail a self-driving taxi with no backup driver in at least one US city: 25%.
  2. By the end of 2023, a person can hail a self-driving taxi with no backup driver in at least one US city: 80%.
  3. By the end of 2021, a computer poker player will have beat a poker champion or team of champions at a 95% confidence level.(Meaning that with 95% confidence the computer poker player really is better than the human or human team, it didn’t just get lucky.): 80%
  4. SpaceX has launched a man around the moon by the end of 2023: 5%
  5. A “designer baby” genetically edited for something other than preventing a high-risk disease has been born by the end of 2023: 60%
  6. Bitcoins costs more than 10K at the end of 2023(non-inflation adjusted): 20%
  7. Bitcoin costs more than 5K at the end of 2023(non-inflation adjusted): 30%
  8. GOP has at least 50 seats in the Senate at the end of 2018: 85%.
  9. GOP controls the House at the end of 2018: 65%.
  10. Trump finishes his first term: 95%.
  11. Conditional on Trump finishing his term, he runs for reelection: 90%.
  12. Conditional on Trump finishing his term and running, he beats the Republican primary challenger: 90%.
  13. There will be a Republican primary challenger: 99%.
  14. The Republican primary challenger will win at least one state: 60%.
  15. Conditional on Trump winning the Primary, he wins reelection: 30%.
  16. Conditional on a federal single-payer bill not having been passed, a state will pass state-level single payer by the end of 2023 and this will not be blocked by the courts: 10%.
  17. No country other than Britain leaves the EU, votes in a referendum to leave the EU, or announces its intention to leave the EU by the end of 2023: 90%.
  18. Greece is still in the Eurozone at the end of 2023: 70%.
  19.  US has become involved in at least 1 major war by the end of 2023 with a death toll of 1000+ US soldiers: 5%.
  20.  US has openly bombed Iran by the end of 2023: 5%.
  21. Vladimir Putin has either died in office or is still president of Russia by the end of 2023: 99%.
  22. Crimea is still under the de-facto control of Russia by the end of 2023: 99%.
  23. The Catholic Church has not ordained women as priests by the end of 2023: 95%.

Published 5/30/2018:

  1. Conditional on them both being alive at the time, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will no longer be married on May 19, 2028: 70%

Published 6/9/2018, inspired by this list:

  1. The majority of cars sold in the United States in the year 2025 are not electric or hybrid cars: 95%.
  2. In 2030 is possible to run the equivalent of an iPhone for a span of two weeks, using it as much as the average person does, without recharging it: 10%.
  3. The human brain can be simulated using computers in 2030: 1%.
  4. Fully immersive virtual reality, such that a person could not tell the difference between the real and virtual worlds, is possible in 2035: 1%.

Published 8/6/2018, inspired by a comment on Lion’s blog:

  1. On August 8 2028, the top American website marketed primarily as a social network will be Facebook. The top American microblogging website which imposes a character limit on posts which is in the same order of magnitude as Twitter’s will be Twitter.(Messaging services such as Whatsapp would not count here.) “Top American website” is defined by the percentage of American adults who say they use the website, not by registered users or alexa rating.(Here are current numbers.) If this is arguable on August 8 2028, such as if one study says it’s Facebook and another says it’s the competitor, this prediction should be considered failed: 80%.

Published 8/6/2018, inspired by this fake news op-ed in the NYTimes:

  1. On January 1 2050, no republic, krai, oblast, federal citiy, autonomous oblast or autonomous okrug of Russia, including Crimea and Sevastopol, will have seceded from the Russian Federation or been annexed to a neighboring state, either with or without Moscow’s approval: 95%.

Published 8/12/2018, inspired by this Bloomberg article from Tyler Cowen:

  1. On January 1 2050, no part of the Baltic states will have been annexed, de-facto or de-jure, by Russia. Minor border adjustments do not count, provided it is generally agreed that the Baltic governments were not coerced into them: 99%.

Published 8/13/2018:

  1. According to the exit poll CNN will publish after the 2018 House of Representatives Elections, at least 89% of people who describe their party ID as Republican will vote Republican: 85%. Link
  2. The Sweden Democrats will not finish first in the Swedish general election of 2018: 75%.

Published 9/5/2018, inspired by predictions made here:

  1. Iran attains nuclear capacity by the end of 2023: 5%.
  2. Iran attains nuclear capacity by the end of 2028: 15%.
  3. Lebanon legalizes civil marriage by the end of 2020: 5%.
  4. Lebanon legalizes civil marriage by the end of 2025: 15%.

Published 9/13/2018:

  1. No war occurs along the Golan Heights-Syria border between Israel and Hezbollah, Iran, andor the Syrian government before September 6 2023: 95%. Reasoning here.
  2. Michael Bloomberg will run for the Democratic nomination for President in 2020: 10%.
  3. Conditional on him running for the Democratic nomination for President, he will win the Democratic nomination for president: 5%. Reasoning here.

Published 11/18/2018:

  1. No Supreme Court repeal of Roe v Wade on or before Oct. 6 2028: 95%.

Published 11/26/2018:

  1. Bitcoin costs more than 5K in 2018 dollars on Dec 31 2038: 10%.

Published 12/1/2018:

  1. The World population is more than 13 billion in the year 2100: 70%.
  2. More than 11 billion: 90%. Reasoning: Tech breakthroughs and/or the breeder’s equation.

Published 12/31/2018,. inspired by this tweet by Elon Musk:

  1. A human has walked on the surface of Mars on or before 12/31/2028: 1%.

Published 1/15/2019, inspired by this article:

  1. According to the IMF, Japan will have a larger total GDP(PPP) than Egypt in 2030: 99.9%.
  2. According to the IMF, India’s total GDP(PPP) will not be more than 140% of America’s in 2030: 90%

Published 1/19/2019:

  1. If the body of “Yvonne Calment” is ever exhumed to determine her true identity, and a determination is made, it will be that it was Jeanne who died in 1934, not Yvonne: 90%.

Published 1/22/2019:

  1. There will be at least one 2022 FIFA World Cup match which will have more people watching live via virtual reality than people watching it in person: 20%. In response to this long bet.
  2. Conditional on it still being functional, during the 500 years between 2015 and 2515, the Farsight Fund will return much less than what it has historically. Past performance would suggest 3-4% real (after inflation) annual return on investment, but it will be 2% or less: 95%. In response to this long bet.
  3. More than a dozen credible (having held past elected office representing at least 100,000 people) candidates declared for the Democratic primary by the end of 2019: 80%. Stolen from here. Candidates count if they drop out before the end of year.
  4. A terrorist attack in America kills over 10 Americans by the end of 2019: 65%. For the purpose of this prediction, any attack where a political motive is claimed counts as a “terrorist attack.” Stolen from here.
  5. Netanyahu is Prime Minister of Israel on Dec 31, 2019: 70%. Stolen from here.

Published 1/25/2019, stolen from here:

  1. SpaceX successfully launches and returns crewed spacecraft before the end of 2019: 50%.
  2. Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies in 2019: 20%. Reasoning: actuarial table and lung cancer death probability when detected when the disease is still localized.

Published 2/23/2019:

  1. The U.S. fertility rate as measured by the World Bank will never be greater than 1.95 between 2019 and 2035: 80%

Published 3/2/2019:

  1. The United States will use a draft for combat roles during a war at any time before the year 2040, and an individual will be prosecuted for draft evasion: 8%.
  2. The United States will use a draft for combat roles during a war at any time before the year 2040, and a non-transgender woman will be prosecuted for draft evasion: 1.5%.
  3. The prohibition on women serving in combat roles in the U.S. military will be rescinded before 2040: 1%. [EDIT 4/4/2019: What I meant to say was “will be reinstated”]

Published 3/20/2019, in response to this comment on iSteve:

  1. New York City proper(not the metropolitan area) becomes majority Asian by 2040: 1%.

Published 4/4/2019:

  1. Zelensky will win the Ukrainian Presidential election: 80%.

Published 5/11/2019:

  1. The USA will put a man on the moon before Dec 31 2024: 2%.

Published 6/16/2019:

  1. No U.S. attack on Iran before Jan 1 2020: 75%.

Published 8/9/2019:

  1. The candidate for the French Green Party makes it to the second round of the French presidential election of 2022: 10%. Inspired by this comment.

Published 9/5/2019, inspired by this comment on Lion’s blog:

  1. Sometime in the next 10 years, the Chevy Volt will be cheaper than the Honda FIT: 5%.

Published 10/9/2019:

  1. On Oct 9 2020 the majority of Turkey’s “safe zone” on this this map will remain under Kurdish control: 80%. Reasoning here.

Published 10/22/2019:

  1. The National Health Expenditure Accounts estimate of National Health Expenditures as a Percent of gross domestic product in 2027 will be greater than its estimate of 2017. Estimates for both years will be taken by the first year they both become publicly available: 90%. Reasoning here.

Published 1/18/2020:

  1. The probability that a student loan made by the federal government which disburses in the fall of 2020 is wholly cancelled between January 20, 2021 and January 20, 2029: 20%. If there is means testing and a loan cap as Warren proposes, the prediction is still correct so long as the majority of borrowers get their debt wholly removed. Reasoning here.

Published 2/2/2020:

  1. San Francisco has not elected a Mayor registered at the time of election with the Republican party between now and 2/2/2040: 95%. I’m aware elections are officially nonpartisan, candidates can still be registered for a party. Reasoning here.

Published 2/3/2020:

  1. IVF+preimplantation genetic diagnosis will account for the majority of births in in the year 2030 at least one country: 3%. Inspired from here. Reasoning: IVF is not fun to go through, which will deter most women even if it provides a great long-term benefit/
  2. There will be ‘dating apps’ or ‘match-making’ apps that use DNA and will have at least 50,000 user profiles which are not known to be fake: 2%. Inspired from here. To compare, Tinder’s current userbase is 7.86 million. Reasoning: no one asks for IQ or IQ-proxy test results, why would they ask for polygenic scores, ect.?

Published 2/3/2020, inspired by these predictions: [Edit 3/24/2020: predictions 3. and 5. were meant to apply to the 20202s as the article does, thus they expire on Jan 1 2030]

  1. Self-employed workers will be less than 15% of the American workforce in 2030: 85%. It was 10% in 2014.
  2. Less than 30%: 99.8%.
  3. The supreme court will rule labor unions to violate antitrust law: .2%
  4. More Americans aged 18-29 will identify as unaffiliated with religion in 2030 than 2020, and no reliable survey will display the opposite pattern: 70%.
  5. A single terrorist attack, or a coordinated terrorist attack like 9/11 will kill more than 1,000 Americans: 5%.

Published 3/24/2020, inspired by this article:

  1. On October 24, 2021, corona will have killed fewer than 1,000,000 Americans: 85%.

Published 4/29/2020:

  1. The average (arithmetic mean) personal savings rate reported by the Bureau of Economic Analysis will not exceed 10% from the start of 2023 to the end of 2027: 90%.