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Predictions for 2008 and Beyond

By krkrbt in Culture
Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 03:26:36 AM EST
Tags: K5 Predicts, Tradition (all tags)

In each of the prior six years, K5 has issued predictions for the year to come. Most predictions have been quite bland, and the let's face it, so have the last few years. For six years now, the news has been a continuous stream of more of the same - recession for a time, expansion for a time, a couple soldiers a week killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, and an endless stream of boogeymen to terrorize the populace into supporting whatever the global elite thinks the governments should do.

But this past summer something remarkable happened: cracks began to appear in the American War Machine - not militarily, of course, but in the supporting financial system. The housing bubble - mentioned in the 2007 & 2006 stories, and in comments in 2005 - peaked in 2005, declined in 2006, and imploded this past summer. Banks that financed a house for anyone with no money down have lost billions. In future years, 2007 will be considered a turning point in the planet's social evolution.

Things get interesting from here on out. After reviewing last year's hits, I will make some bold predictions about the years to come.

Last Year's Predictions

From the story:

The world economy did start to falter in the second half of the year, and oil barely stayed below $100/barrel.

Argentina - Nestor Kirchner's wife actually won the election to become the second female president (near hit)
China - allowed the Yuan to appreciate a little this year.
Iran - The Neocons huffed and they puffed all year, then a report was released that shattered the entire case for war.
South Korea - The Grand National Party did win the election, but with a different candidate.
Australia - won the Cricket World Cup.

I also note that jayhawk88 predicted in 2004's story that the dominant presidential candidate in the present U.S. election cycle would be Hillary Clinton.

From the comments & diaries:

wampswillion's Colts won the Superbowl.
Zombie Schrodingers Cat gets an honorable mention for predicting a Comedy Central personality would declare for President.
Verteiron correctly called President Bush's troop surge, which was announced on January 10th.
CAIMLAS predicted the August decline of the U.S. Dollar
Claes gets a hit for "Republicans and democrats will focus in on a surprisingly lackluster set of potential presidential candidates."

The first annual K5 Prophet Of The Year award goes to BottleRocket for listing K5 icon trhurler first in his post to my gold bling shines' diary, k5 dead pool for 2007. my gold bling shines gets an honorable mention for posting the diary.

I thought my predictions were pretty good, though not everyone shared my assessment.

As usual, most predictions turned out to be lacking accuracy. In hope of improving our hit ratio for future years' predictions, I am going to take a short detour to cover two essentials elements of the discipline.

Remedial Prophecy 101: Making Accurate Forecasts

Making good predictions requires a good working understanding of how the world works. Richard Maybury calls these mental constructs models. Another term for the same idea is paradigm. Accurate paradigms give good predictions; inaccurate paradigms give poor predictions. As Maybury notes, one can build models for understanding world events through the scientific method: observation, hypothesis, prediction, experimentation. Alternatively, one can borrow bits and pieces of others' models who seem to be on the right track.

With all the information available today, separating the wheat from the chaff can be a daunting challenge. Some people do it effectively, while most get lost in irrelevant tangents and misinformation. While researching in the mid-20th century, Jose Silva found that a small percentage of the population - 10% - naturally spent most their waking time with the majority of their brainwaves at the Alpha level. The other 90% spend most their waking time with Beta-dominated brainwaves. Silva developed a training program so that everyone could enjoy the benefits of whole-brained thinking. Anna Wise covers the benefits of having waking access to the different types of brainwaves more specifically than Silva did in her book The High-Performance Mind.

Perhaps our award winner BottleRocket is one of the 10% who naturally taps into his intuitive side.

Many find the predictions to follow audacious - how dare I challenge the presumption that our world will continue to change in a slow, predictable manner! But when one examines the historical record, one finds that the consensus view of reality is frequently wrong. If it weren't for the occasional crackpot scientist who came along to change everything, our world would be significantly less advanced than it is today. Sometimes advancements are snuffed out when they first appear, like Semmelweis' admonitions to doctors to wash their hands before they entered the maternity suite. Even the fossil record clearly shows long periods of relative stability followed by short periods of rapid change.

Now, to return to our regularly scheduled story...

The Big Picture

While the systematic screwing of most of humanity was highly effective, it is unsustainable. 2007 saw the last remaining superpower reach its credit limit; 2008 will begin the Great Bankruptcy of the United States and dissolution of the American Empire. Concurrently will be The Great Secular Awakening, where millions of people become aware of the various means the powerful use to depower them. Like the housing prophet recently said, "Even sheeple have [a] point where they get mad as hell and won't take it anymore."

2008 is a year to look forward to, unless you're one of those super-wealthy people who lives off the capital your great-grandfather accumulated in the early 20th century.

My Predictions For The Years To Come


  • Climate Change: The global elite continue to push for Carbon taxes because they use opportunities as they present themselves. Opposition to the carbon juggernaut eventually gets a slice of the public mind and underwater volcanoes move to the forefront of the climate debate. Oceanographers will interpret their 50+ years of data to confirm the hypothesis.

    Awareness spreads that the climate is changing faster than most could have possibly imagined. Volcanic activity is sending more water into the atmosphere, increasing the intensity of storms. Droughts get more intense, while other areas will get thrashed with more rain/snow than they can handle. Meanwhile, creative strategies (agricultural/etc) to cope with a changing climate begin to get more attention.

  • Energy: Devices to retrofit existing cars to dramatically improve efficiency, such as the Hydristor, will be released over the next 2 years. Various methods to extract energy from the Zero Point Field will also become commercially viable.

    Steorn will hold a surprise demonstration of their Orbo device next May. Over the coming decade, the electric grid is retired and the transmission lines are taken down. The utility giants become extinct as neighborhoods form their own electricity cooperatives; eventually every home has its own "Mr. Cold Fusion".

    FE Truth: Do you think any other company has ever came close to discovering what Steorn did? Sean: I think lots of people have. I can look at many of the other free energy claimants and understand exactly how they could work. I could also see why many would be difficult to replicate without understanding what was happening. -Interview with Sean McCarthy (CEO of Steorn), October 26th

    Not to disappoint, but prototype Anti-Gravity Flying Cars are probably at least 8 years out.

  • The Laws of Thermodynamics get demoted to The Principles of Thermodynamics.

  • More people begin to explore the practical implications of the Quantum Theory of Mind. The term 'placebo effect' gets discarded in favor of a more descriptive label having to do with healing via thought energy.


Cascading System Failure: The subprime housing market was simply the first sector of the economy to fall. The recession will continue for all of 2008, and bottom second quarter 2009.

  • Banking: Series of bank failures starting early in the year, possibly triggered by implementation of the Basel II Accords.

  • Housing: goes into lockup for a variety of reasons. Almost everyone who's in the market for a house has already bought one, two or more. The remaining shoppers think they'll get a lower price if they wait. Banks become extremely picky about who they'll lend to.

    Millions of families who are underwater on their mortgages stop making payments and live in their house until they are evicted. Squatters move into many of the 16 million+ bank-owned empty houses.

  • Deflation: All those bad loans lead to a shrinking of the money supply. This is Mike Sheldrakes's prognosis. To borrow a line, there's "too much debt with no possible way to service it." While prices for some goods will increase, most will decrease as big-box retailers struggle to unload their merchandise.

  • State budgets: Most states' revenues are already substantially below expectations and the worse is yet to come. State Treasuries got a huge boost from the housing bubble and legislatures spent every last dollar and then some. State governments will shrink, low-risk prisoners will be released, etc.

  • Individuals begin the task of re-industrializing America in an equitable fashion.

  • Over the next three years, thousands of corporations will dissolve and individuals will form new businesses in the form of worker-owned cooperatives.

The End Of The Internet As We Know It

The current internet is ad-revenue supported. The recession will put a serious crimp on ad spending, necessitating a change in business models. Google has already made changes in how they share the loot, shrinking many sites' incomes. Mortgage ads used to be the search engine's bread-and-butter operations, but the implosion of the mortgage industry has shut down that particular gravy train.

Users return to the net's decentralized roots, with low-bandwidth webpages and forums. The computers and routers have already been purchased, the fiber already laid, so it's not as if the internet is going to go away. The existing hardware will get repurposed to support community efforts, rather than the corporate profit machine.

The economic climate will finally force K5 offline for a time, but Rusty will store a backup of the database in his soapbox and will bring K5 back online once the economic recovery is underway.

Due to its democratic nature, Open Source software finally replaces Windows as the standard operating system by January 2009.


The Israeli lobby and Dick Cheney continue to push to attack Iran, but members of the U.S. military and intelligence agencies work to subvert the chain of command.

Countries are discovering that it's much cheaper to fight defensively than offensively. China builds more subs, Iran buys more Russian anti-ship and anti-aircraft missiles, etc. In 2-3 years, the fiscal reality stick forces the United States to mothball most of its naval fleet and bring the troops home from most overseas military bases.


Barack Obama will get the Democratic nomination, both for the novelty factor and because many voters decide that Hillary Clinton cannot be trusted.

The Republican race is seemingly wide-open at the moment. While some voters might like one candidate more than the other, they think the field is quite "lackluster". Giuliani has already given up on Iowa and New Hampshire, because the more he campaigned the worse his numbers got. After raising $19 million in the fourth quarter, Ron Paul gets enough attention to place well in Iowa, take New Hampshire, and runs away with the nomination.

Many don't believe that Paul has a chance. Gandhi described Paul's campaign perfectly: "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they attack you, then you win." A bank failure before February 5th will give Paul's campaign a boost.

There are two likely scenarios for the general election. If Ron Paul does indeed take the Republican nomination, he will also take the general election in November, because the proletariat are sick and tired of being systematically screwed by the government. If someone else takes the Republican nomination, an independent will declare his candidacy and run away with the election.

After training a high-performance mind, Rusty realizes that voting for an establishment candidate in the general election is voting for a corporate-owned prostitute and votes for the candidate with principles, even though he might disagree with much of the candidate's platform.

Health Care

More employers will drop their health insurance benefit because costs thereof have exceeded their ability to pay. This precipitates a crisis in the Medical-Industrial complex, because a good portion of its revenue is dependent on perpetually treating sick people with insurance until they die.

People gradually realize that the problem is not a lack of health insurance to pay the complex on their behalf, but that they're being systematically poisoned. Once the diabetes epidemic is overcome by transitioning corn subsidies to healthier crops and pasture land after the new president takes office, medical costs decline by over 40%. This enables most to pay for their own health care needs. Freed from the chains of what insurance does and does not cover, individuals are able to seek out modalities which best address the causes of their affliction. Profits for the pharmaceutical giants go into free-fall.

Within 3 years, Michael Crawford becomes a former schizo-affective through a combination of Osteopathic vision treatments, EFT, nutrition, nootropics and brainwave training.

The Rest Of The World

Most of the global economy follows the United States into recession, but recovers by the end of the year. Europe & Asia increase their trade, leaving the has-been superpower to figure out what to do with the mess it created for itself.

Oh Noes, The Sky Is Really Falling?

As REM prophesized, "It's the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine." Compared to the chaos unleashed in Iraq and Afghanistan, a little recession at home is nothing at all.

I think it prudent to keep a couple gallons of water around the house, but most importantly, get acquainted with the unused capacity of your thinking machine. Win Wenger has some good techniques, or you could pick up a book on Self-Hypnosis or Anna Wise's High Performance Mind, or get one of the Silva Method/Silva Ultramind books or audio courses. This will help you respond creatively and effectively to any problems that might pop up.

I, for one, am planning on having a wonderful year.

This is the future as I have foreseen it. What else is coming down the pipe?


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Related Links
o Google
o prior
o six
o years
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o year to come
o Yuan
o appreciate
o jayhawk88
o wampswilli on's
o Zombie Schrodingers Cat
o declare for President
o Verteiron
o Claes
o BottleRock et
o trhurler
o k5 dead pool for 2007
o my predictions
o models
o paradigm
o Alpha level
o Beta-domin ated brainwaves
o The High-Performance Mind
o crackpot scientist
o Semmelweis '
o systematic screwing
o housing prophet
o underwater volcanoes
o Hydristor
o Interview with Sean McCarthy (CEO of Steorn)
o Quantum Theory of Mind
o Basel II Accords
o Mike Sheldrakes's prognosis
o implosion
o Gandhi
o systematic ally poisoned
o nutrition
o nootropics
o Win Wenger
o Also by krkrbt

Display: Sort:
Predictions for 2008 and Beyond | 94 comments (81 topical, 13 editorial, 14 hidden)
This is definitely (1.50 / 6) (#2)
by mybostinks on Sun Dec 30, 2007 at 02:16:08 PM EST

MTV VTFP. A nice perspective and fun to read.



wha...no mention of Taiwan/Beijing 2008? (1.83 / 6) (#3)
by nostalgiphile on Sun Dec 30, 2007 at 02:25:57 PM EST

Predicts: Beijing will be filled with flaming Falun Gong members who will set themselves on fire in protest at the CCP's brutal torture/repression tactics...And some other stuff.

Also, you're way off on your election 08 predictions: it will be Edwards and Kucinich vs. some closeted gay Republican who firmly believes in Christian morals.

"Depending on your perspective you are an optimist or a pessimist[,] and a hopeless one too." --trhurler

one prediction: hillary ftw nt (2.00 / 3) (#5)
by circletimessquare on Sun Dec 30, 2007 at 05:35:54 PM EST

zombie ron paul in 2108!

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

zombie cts vs gojira vs OBL vs MTV/VTD vs FP; (3.00 / 2) (#18)
by raduga on Mon Dec 31, 2007 at 05:06:16 AM EST

[ Parent ]
requiem (none / 0) (#22)
by circletimessquare on Mon Dec 31, 2007 at 09:57:38 AM EST

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
I like it (none / 1) (#6)
by Kariik on Sun Dec 30, 2007 at 08:49:31 PM EST

Though I think you're way too hopeful. I dont think we're going to see society decide that it's time to fix shit. Most people just dont care enough to bother.

And your whole thing about alpha and beta waves was a weird little tangent. Make that fit in better.

+1 FP

about the tangent (1.50 / 2) (#13)
by krkrbt on Mon Dec 31, 2007 at 01:20:30 AM EST

Glad you like the story - thanks for taking the time to comment.

The brainwave stuff is part of the reason I'm so optimistic. If more people "got it", society would be a lot better off.

You're right about the tangent not fitting in very well. I added a bit of a transition - maybe something better will come to me tomorrow morning before I send it to vote.

[ Parent ]

mtv -> vtd (1.28 / 7) (#8)
by GhostOfTiber on Sun Dec 30, 2007 at 10:24:34 PM EST

We told you why you were wrong in your diary and you still took a shit in the queue.

[Nimey's] wife's ass is my cocksheath. - undermyne

you can write your own story (1.50 / 2) (#9)
by krkrbt on Sun Dec 30, 2007 at 10:33:43 PM EST

... about why the status quo is going to continue ad infinitum.

[ Parent ]
authors dick uptake will continue to increase (2.42 / 7) (#10)
by Jobst of Moravia on Sun Dec 30, 2007 at 11:19:53 PM EST

   .,-;-;-,. /'_\ ---Did this Negro say "Street Moor"?
 _/_/_/_|_\_\) /
  ""     ""    ""

mtv, vtd (none / 1) (#11)
by l1ttledrummerb0y2 on Mon Dec 31, 2007 at 12:12:12 AM EST

Steorn. Really? Hate to ruin one of the predictions before 2008, but that was a scam. Also, how is it going to be a surprise demonstration if you already know that it's going to happen in May. I'll pretend to act surprised when it fails, but we all saw it coming. Besides you. Finally, the whole sheeple thing was a shitty pun at first, but now its just awful.

Well I'm glad you liked it (none / 0) (#14)
by krkrbt on Mon Dec 31, 2007 at 01:50:02 AM EST

"if you haven't pissed anyone off by noon, you're not doing it right."

Steorn ... was a scam.

While it's true that their July 4th, 2007 demonstration was a no-show, I'm convinced they are on to something. They're in uncharted territory here - it's good that they had the failed demo because they discovered something which they hadn't been aware of before. They are a small operation, and it would be easy for them to be distracted.

And it's not just that I believe the limited amount of Steorn-material that has been placed on the web. I have also chatted with a then-doctoral student who said his research was applicable to "cold fusion", and that once he had his doctorate he was going to apply it not to teaching at a university, but for making products to market. And to make lots of money.

Besides, it's a predictions article - I don't have to justify anything. If I'm wrong you can write the article next year and lambast me.

[ Parent ]

Why no mention of Ron Paul? (1.37 / 8) (#15)
by lemonjuicefake on Mon Dec 31, 2007 at 03:12:09 AM EST

Sound of self-blown trumpets (none / 1) (#16)
by Scrymarch on Mon Dec 31, 2007 at 03:22:08 AM EST

I also picked the Cricket World Cup and the party that won the Korean presidential election, though not the candidate. Completely failed it on the other predictions though (no real prizes for Gordon Brown as PM).

Idiocy, wishful thinking, and trolling. (2.44 / 9) (#21)
by rpresser on Mon Dec 31, 2007 at 09:54:20 AM EST

  • Even if your poisoning diagnosis were true, you can't possibly turn around the diabetes epidemic in one year. Removing all corn from my diet STILL wouldn't fix my cells. Hell, even removing all CARBS from my diet wouldn't fix me.

  • Thermodynamics is real. You can't accept that limitation on your lifestyle so you suck up to multiple free energy scammers.

  • Your Ron Paul fantasy is equally 100% wishful thinking.  Or trolling. It's hard to distinguish the two with you -- you obviously have intelligence yet you spew such idiocy as this; I can't tell if you do it on purpose or if you have a huge lesion in your forebrain.

  • OSS will continue to exist. Whether it expands dramatically or not I cannot tell; but "replace Windows"? Not a fucking chance.

"In terms of both hyperbolic overreaching and eventual wrongness, the Permanent [Republican] Majority has set a new, and truly difficult to beat, standard." --rusty
now is the time to start doing something (1.00 / 4) (#27)
by krkrbt on Mon Dec 31, 2007 at 02:06:04 PM EST

Even if your poisoning diagnosis were true, you can't possibly turn around the diabetes epidemic in one year.

It's not my diagnosis. I heard about the glycemic index problem from the same person whom I first heard about functional free energy devices from. Later I read localroger's story, and listen to an interview of Gary Taubes (author of Good Calories, Bad Calories) linked to in a slashdot story which questioned whether medicine is scientific.

We can't turn the epidemic around in a year. I've modified the prediction so that the corn subsidies are changed after the next president takes office. Medical costs will start to decline after a few more growing seasons pass.

Removing all corn from my diet STILL wouldn't fix my cells. Hell, even removing all CARBS from my diet wouldn't fix me.

It would help. There is probably a sore spot on your body - 2 inches below the breasts if you were a woman, a little out to the side (45 degrees), about 3 ribs up from the bottom. This is Spleen 21. The spleen meridian controls the pancreas.

Thermodynamics is real. You can't accept that limitation on your lifestyle so you suck up to multiple free energy scammers.

I've received much benefit from many people who do unconventional things whom you'd also label "scammers", so I'm inclined to believe my physicist acquaintance who understands what's going on in that field.

I will happily read your competing predictions.

[ Parent ]

Oy vey. Should I even respond? (1.00 / 4) (#29)
by rpresser on Mon Dec 31, 2007 at 02:57:56 PM EST

"the spleen meridian controls the pancreas"?? Next you'll be telling me that my throat chakra affects impotence.

The pancreas isn't even the direct culprit in Type 2 diabetes, as your own glycemic index sources should have taught you.

If one were to grant Mr. Taubes assertion that medicine is nonscientific, the appropriate response is not to replace it with other pseudosciences.
"In terms of both hyperbolic overreaching and eventual wrongness, the Permanent [Republican] Majority has set a new, and truly difficult to beat, standard." --rusty
[ Parent ]

Stop the presses! (2.40 / 5) (#74)
by creature on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 12:33:00 PM EST

I heard about the glycemic index problem from the same person whom I first heard about functional free energy devices from.

With such a credible source all doubt is removed.

[ Parent ]

Don't forget lonelyhobo's prediction poll (none / 1) (#23)
by MrHanky on Mon Dec 31, 2007 at 12:08:38 PM EST

Here. It's about whether rusty/anonymous admin will fix an error in nostalgiphile's story. I voted for (2).

"This was great, because it was a bunch of mature players who were able to express themselves and talk politics." Lettuce B-Free, on being a total fucking moron for Ron Paul.
and it was fixed :-) /nt (none / 0) (#45)
by nostalgiphile on Tue Jan 01, 2008 at 02:21:49 AM EST

"Depending on your perspective you are an optimist or a pessimist[,] and a hopeless one too." --trhurler
[ Parent ]
-1 (2.10 / 10) (#28)
by QuantumFoam on Mon Dec 31, 2007 at 02:49:56 PM EST

Author has been notified of his complete lack of comprehension of thermodynamics, yet persists in posting utter nonsense.

The second law isn't going anywhere, buddy.

- Barack Obama: Because it will work this time. Honest!

Ok here's mine (3.00 / 3) (#30)
by BottleRocket on Mon Dec 31, 2007 at 03:08:42 PM EST

A new doomsday machine will be invented, but it will not among those already proposed (i.e. no gray goo, no laboratory black holes). Much like nuclear winter, the technology to destroy the planet will be in the hands of a select few. Protests will be staged outside the facility in support of retrograde measures to eliminate the machine before the technology triggers a new cold war. The following year, the opponents of the tech will be disappointed to note that China has developed one of their own.

$ . . . . . $ . . . . . $ . . . . . $
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Yes I do download [child pornography], but I don't keep it any longer than I need to, so it can yield insight as to how to find more. --MDC
$ . . . . .
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DNA Synthesizers + downloadable virus sequences (none / 1) (#83)
by nr1 on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 04:39:17 PM EST

Take a peek at this talk from Drew Endy at 24C3.

Personally, I'm scared now.

[ Parent ]

-1, author known dipshit. [nt] (1.71 / 7) (#32)
by Empedocles on Mon Dec 31, 2007 at 05:15:24 PM EST

And I think it's gonna be a long long time
'Till touch down brings me 'round again to find
I'm not the man they think I am at home

Open Sores Operating System... (2.00 / 5) (#33)
by undermyne on Mon Dec 31, 2007 at 07:22:47 PM EST

replaces Windows as the standard OS within 1 years time?


Fucking moron.

That would effectively require ~40% of the world to replace their existing PC with one preloaded with Lunix, since 90% of the world is too fucking stupid to load even ubuntu without help. Keeping in mind that the Lunix snobs that would be capable of helping such a conversion would spend most of the year arguing about which distro is the best and who's mom has the coolest basement, and never actually get the work done.

"When fascism comes, it will be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross." - Dr. Ron Paul

couldn't agree more (none / 0) (#93)
by the77x42 on Mon Jan 07, 2008 at 08:27:46 PM EST

it's so difficult to teach people something new, better, and easier (like ubuntu), i just install bootleg copies of xp.

"We're not here to educate. We're here to point and laugh." - creature
"You have some pretty stupid ideas." - indubitable ‮

[ Parent ]
Further FAIL... (1.66 / 3) (#34)
by undermyne on Mon Dec 31, 2007 at 07:26:57 PM EST

mentions Michael Crawford, fails to mention if he ever manages to remaster his CD with a real piano, stops accosting people on the street like a fucking hobo.

"When fascism comes, it will be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross." - Dr. Ron Paul

to the free-energy scoffers (1.50 / 4) (#35)
by krkrbt on Mon Dec 31, 2007 at 07:58:29 PM EST

I know you're not worth arguing with, but I have to say something else those who are more open-minded will think I've conceded the point.

When you argue against someone's 'beliefs' it doesn't matter who is right or wrong, their belief CANNOT be changed by logic, no matter how illogical they are. In fact any argument against any belief only installs that belief deeper and deeper into their subconscious minds, and they NOW MUST DEFEND it even more!"

-Kevin L. Hogan, Covert Hypnosis.

Wikipedia clearly says that the Laws of Thermodynamics are open to revision.  "They are laws in the scientific sense, and may be disproved if new facts or evidence arise to contradict them." (emphasis added).

Contrast this with QuantumFoam's faith that "the laws of thermodynamics will outlast most anything."

ah well. I'm just trying to give people a heads up on where things are going. The predictions won't all be right, of course, but the big picture is spot-on, and so is the inevitability of essentially cost-free energy.

Thermodynamics (1.75 / 4) (#37)
by Scrymarch on Mon Dec 31, 2007 at 10:33:19 PM EST

No, they're right that this is the kookiest part of your program. Well established physical laws need dramatic, consistent alternative evidence to be disproven and you really haven't provided any.

[ Parent ]
wishful thinking (none / 1) (#38)
by raduga on Tue Jan 01, 2008 at 12:12:10 AM EST

is no substitute for doing the legwork of developing a new technology.

e.g. since antiquity (and likely long before we had any records) people had envied the birds and wished they too could fly.
In the few years before and after Montgolfier (and the brothers Wright) human perceptions of the possible changed.... quite profoundly-

not because they were brilliant scientific geniuses, but because they were careful engineers-
who honed and combined existing, mature technologies and extended them just enough to challenge conventional engineering wisdom.
In contrast, Leonardo was a smart engineer who failed it because he didn't understand enough of the physics, and didn't have an industrial revolution behind him.

If humans don't extinct themselves, and don't hit some (unclear, lol) singularity within the next few generations,
I expect we'll probably have a better way of harnessing natural energy resources than we have today;
perhaps something we're already glimpsing, or something completely unexpected.

I strongly suspect that whatever we use in the future, it will evolve over time, with multiple failures and partial successes.
When scientists come up with genuinely new paradigms that really *do* alter the way we all view the world,
it takes generations of peer-review and infighting and lollercausting, before engineers can figure out how to make something useful from it.

IAWTP, show us the science.

I too would like free energy,
but without either proof empirical evidence, or clear documentation of the path through which you are gathering evidence, stfu.

[ Parent ]

IANAPhysicist (1.16 / 6) (#39)
by krkrbt on Tue Jan 01, 2008 at 12:17:53 AM EST

But I've met a physicist whose specialty has to do with the Zero Point Field. He was quite certain of successfully figuring out Cold Fusion, and that was 5 years ago. He's since received his doctorate.

Not that that means anything, but in combination with all the other alleged Free Energy inventions coming down the pipe, it's reasonable grounds for me to make a prediction. If the article itself was about The Coming Energy Revolution (to borrow the title of Jeane Manning's 1996 book I inadvertently found a few weeks back at the library), sure, I'd provide more details.

[ Parent ]

Some solid pointers would help (none / 0) (#41)
by Scrymarch on Tue Jan 01, 2008 at 12:47:13 AM EST

Eg to people in the field. That guy you meant may have got his PhD from successfully explaining why the cold fusion results went wrong, or from pursuing something that seemed like a complete sideline initially.

Incidentally, on the punctuated equilibrium track, I've heard that a number of pure maths PhDs follow the following pattern. You establish a main topic, which is a 5 year grind in some useful area requiring a lot of grad student grunt work. But then, one day, you might come across a useful result; a really elegant new solution to a particular problem, in which case your supervisor says: "This is your thesis. Write it up for me, we're submitting next week."

[ Parent ]

and? (none / 1) (#47)
by khallow on Tue Jan 01, 2008 at 07:16:59 AM EST

But I've met a physicist whose specialty has to do with the Zero Point Field. He was quite certain of successfully figuring out Cold Fusion, and that was 5 years ago. He's since received his doctorate.

So what? If we play the numbers game, that guy is in a very dismal minority. So why do you give him so much more weight than other physicists who don't share his opinions? They have impressive creditials too.

Not that that means anything, but in combination with all the other alleged Free Energy inventions coming down the pipe, it's reasonable grounds for me to make a prediction.

As I pointed out earlier, no it is not reasonable grounds. A point to keep in mind with respect to "free energy" inventions. They are always coming odwn the pipeline. There is literally centuries of free energy and perpetual machine inventions out there.

Stating the obvious since 1969.
[ Parent ]

oh come on (1.66 / 6) (#46)
by khallow on Tue Jan 01, 2008 at 07:11:01 AM EST

Rather than believe arbitrary crap without proof, why don't you stop wasting your time. It's one thing to have an open mind and another to be totally gullible. There's a really simple reason not to have such a stubborn belief in "free energy". The reason is because there is no evidence of it. Sure, a number of physical models allow for the possibility. But one shouldn't base beliefs about reality on what would be nice to have. But it simply is very irrational to have the degree of belief you exhibit.

Stating the obvious since 1969.
[ Parent ]

an open mind is rational, scoffing is irrational (1.00 / 3) (#50)
by krkrbt on Tue Jan 01, 2008 at 12:50:21 PM EST

But it simply is very irrational to have the degree of belief you exhibit.

It'd be very irrational for you to adopt my level of belief, sure. But it's still reasonable to keep an open mind.

I have confirmatory experience myself - not directly with the Free Energy aspect, but with other aspects of the New Physics. This is primarily related to health, as I've visited a half dozen different modern-day mystics with extraordinary abilities. The ZPF physicist guy has a theoretical understanding that all these unconventional phenomena can fit into, so I think he's on the right track.

[ Parent ]

gullable (1.00 / 5) (#57)
by boxed on Tue Jan 01, 2008 at 03:17:22 PM EST

That's not "new physics", it's "new age" and it's old and disproven. You should study psychology so you can understand why and how your brain has evolved in such a way as to be exploitable by these conmen (and why THEY are themselves conning themselves).

[ Parent ]
Make sure (1.40 / 5) (#72)
by Sgt York on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 12:19:47 PM EST

that your mind is not so open that your brain falls out.

The best method is to maintain a consistent skeptical attitude. Every statement is open for debate and subject to new data. This includes long held theories or laws, such as thermodynamics. However, the claim that one of those long held theories has been proven false is far, far from evidence. It's worth looking at, but only if there is real data. The device in question has been discussed widely for months, but there is not one scrap of reliable data or a successful public demonstration of the device (at least none that I am aware of). There is no review; no one has been allowed access to the plans of the device to repeat their findings.

I think I speak for most of the scientific community when I say, "No data shown + no methods described = no attention paid."

There is a reason for everything. Sometimes, that reason just sucks.
[ Parent ]

Laws of nature are not subject to belief (1.66 / 6) (#53)
by QuantumFoam on Tue Jan 01, 2008 at 02:24:11 PM EST

Not believing in the principle of gravitational attraction will not prevent you from dying after walking off a cliff. But this tears it, I'll be writing an article, today if this hangover wears off, detailing the many, many reasons you are a fucktard.

- Barack Obama: Because it will work this time. Honest!
[ Parent ]

very true (1.00 / 3) (#55)
by krkrbt on Tue Jan 01, 2008 at 03:04:00 PM EST

Sorry to pick on you personally, but the quote was so juicy I couldn't resist.

Fundamental Laws of Nature are not subject to belief, but human descriptions of the laws of nature do have their religious elements. They wouldn't be very useful if we didn't trust them. But at the same time, if the description of the law is less than fully accurate, the human-derived "law of nature" become a limiting belief that prevent the exploration of possiblity, ala Thermodynamics and Cold Fusion. See the links I offered elsewhere in this thread.

For the most part, nature reveals itself through practical experience. Gravity is indeed a fact of life for all of us walking around on Planet Earth. But who's to say that there's can't be exceptions to the rule? Newton's Laws of Motion aren't considered laws anymore, but like someone said, they're still pretty useful overall.

I look forward to reading your article.

[ Parent ]

Newton's Laws hold (2.00 / 8) (#58)
by QuantumFoam on Tue Jan 01, 2008 at 03:52:05 PM EST

They are a special case of the overall theory of relativity, which is itself a special case of whatever overriding system of laws the universe actually follow.

What incenses me so much about all this nonsense is that what you are saying is equivalent to saying that you met a guy that claims he can draw a circle with a radius of 2 and an area of exactly 20.

- Barack Obama: Because it will work this time. Honest!
[ Parent ]

pi == 5 (none / 0) (#71)
by rusty on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 11:47:37 AM EST

For sufficiently large values of pi.

Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
I'm reminded of a passage in Brian Greene's book (2.33 / 3) (#66)
by Verbophobe on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 05:16:27 AM EST

(I'm in no way an expert on QM, so take the following paraphrasing with as many grains of salt as you wish.)

He was trying to explain zero point energy and what it entailed. He first started by explaining that you had a tremendous amount of "activity" at the subatomic level, with peaks and troughs in energy level.

His words to describe the mechanism were quite interesting. He said that, in order for the universe to create a bit more energy at a certain point in space, it had to borrow some from another point for an instant, at which point it would return it to its original owner. I don't recall what form this mystical "energy" took, but it must've been something like momentum or god knows what.

So, while at an infinitesimally small location you do, indeed, have a bit of extra energy for an infinitesimally short time, at another location you have the exact same energy of the opposite sign for that same moment. So, on any observable scale from the nucleus up you'd find that the total energy generated from a portion of space is equal to zero.

Basically, this doesn't seem like strong candidate for "free energy".

I'd also like to point out that claiming that the laws of thermodynamics don't absolutely hold in macroscopic systems will not win you any friends. They've been shown to be true and valid time and time again, with no real evidence to the contrary.

In fact, even some pretty straightforward philosophical reasoning would show how our universe simply isn't equipped to function without these very important laws:

  • If the first law were false, you could pour a cup of coffee from the same 1 litre mug without refilling it to everyone you know, and everyone they know as well.

  • If the second law were false, you could leave a cup of coffee outside on a cold day and, upon returning a few minutes later, it would be warmer than when you left it.

It would be somewhat hard to deal with these conclusions, especially since none have ever been observed. To be fair, though, the violation of either law would make a great party trick.

Proud member of the Canadian Broadcorping Castration
[ Parent ]

Scoff scoff (3.00 / 2) (#70)
by rusty on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 11:43:15 AM EST

I'm perfectly open minded about revising the laws of thermodynamics. It's a scientific hypothesis, so it's liable to change. But I'm also well acquainted with the century and a half of support for them and the same century and a half of lack of any violation of them, despite several complete revolutions in our physical picture of the universe. So the smart money would say these guys and their free energy are either scammers or well-meaningly mistaken.

The open mindedness of science goes both ways -- you're wise to leave room for any possibility, but you're also wise to expect that solidly supported principles will continue to operate. Or, to put it another way, a non-zero probability can still be really goddamn small.

Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

1 over infinity... (none / 1) (#77)
by wiredog on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 01:39:36 PM EST

Infinitely small, but non-zero.

The idea of a global village is wrong, it's more like a gazillion pub bars.
[ Parent ]

My Prediction for 2008 (1.50 / 2) (#62)
by Social Democrat on Tue Jan 01, 2008 at 07:09:42 PM EST

The Neocons (whether it is the Republicans or the Democrats) will retain control of all three branches of the American government.

The US is fucked up, diseased, mentally unstable & psychologically unhealthy. Its food supply is tainted, polluted, & full of chemical crap. Even worse, the US is trying to ruin the rest of the world.
-1, quackery. (1.50 / 6) (#63)
by chlorus on Tue Jan 01, 2008 at 10:24:00 PM EST

Peahippo: Coked-up internet tough guy or creepy pedophile?

Think smaller, think more legs. (3.00 / 3) (#69)
by rusty on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 11:36:56 AM EST

That's the line that Krusty follows the line I'm actually thinking of with: "Nah, you're way off."

I don't get how an economic slowdown would take K5 offline. If anything, it would be good for us. I'd have more time (and inclination, for that matter) to actually work on K5 if there were no clients to work for. It doesn't cost me anything to run, we don't need any new hardware, and Voxel is not about to miss the tiny bit of their enormous bandwidth we occupy.

Also, I will not vote for Ron Paul under any circumstances. Sorry. The fact that I might agree with him on one or two things doesn't mean I'm keen to have an abortion-banning white supremacist alternative-medicine quack in office. Corporate-owned whores can at least be relied upon to prevent massive social disruption. I'm ok with seeing things change slowly.

Not the real rusty

So you're a conservative. (none / 1) (#76)
by wiredog on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 01:38:44 PM EST

The idea of a global village is wrong, it's more like a gazillion pub bars.
[ Parent ]

No, I'm a liberal (2.50 / 2) (#81)
by rusty on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 02:43:12 PM EST

I believe in the institutions of liberal democracy. I also believe in the liberal promise that we can, with considered action, correct the structural inequalities that make the US a weaker nation than it ought to be. I'm a progressive, not in the old Soviet sense (which was mainly synonymous with "terrorist") but in the sense that the point of political action is to make progress, to fix what doesn't work and to keep what does work. I believe in evolution, not revolution which, I might note, means "going in circles."

The difference between that and conservatism is that conservatism is essentially a static (at best) or regressive (at worst) philosophy. Conservatism says "what we have now..." (or more often "what we had back in the good old days...") "...is good enough, and those people who want to monkey with it are going to ruin everything." It's a defeatist philosophy, and a repackaging of the long-debunked religious notion of humanity's fall from grace. Most people actually once believed that ancient civilizations had near-magical technologies and powers, that have been lost over time as mankind declined to its present debased state. Wile this has always been true to an extent in some locations at any given time, it's never been even remotely true for most civilizations at most times.

It's a mischaracterization that the idiot heads on TV and talk radio love to make, that to be a liberal is to desire to overthrow everything we have and start completely from scratch. I think that's virtually never a good idea. It's certainly never worked out for anyone on a large scale. The truth is very much the opposite. To be a liberal is to want to keep what works and improve what doesn't work as well as it ought to.

Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Small "c" conservative (1.50 / 2) (#86)
by wiredog on Thu Jan 03, 2008 at 08:45:19 AM EST

" I'm ok with seeing things change slowly." is practically the definition of "small c" conservativism. As opposed of the neo-con, theo-con, or GWB-con (he's one of the more radical presidents in recent years.)

The idea of a global village is wrong, it's more like a gazillion pub bars.
[ Parent ]

You missed a bit. (none / 1) (#73)
by creature on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 12:25:14 PM EST

Thanks to the slowdown in online advertising revenue, 2008 will see Michael Crawford failing to build a decent revenue stream from Ogg Frog and other pages, and thus he will fail to put himself through music school and become a famous performer.

It's like seeing into the future, isn't it.

My predictions (3.00 / 2) (#84)
by Verteiron on Thu Jan 03, 2008 at 12:29:50 AM EST

Well, I got 2 (possibly 3) out of 10 last year. Let's see if I can do a little better this time.

For a start, I'm repeating my prediction from last year that something awful is going to happen to the Beijing Olympic stadium. I don't believe the thing is going to make it to summer without some kind of incident, probably terrorist-related. On the upside, though, China will relax some of the "great firewall" restrictions for the Olympic games, and will not reinstate them afterward.

The so-called "credit crunch" will worsen. Within the first 3 months of the new year, we will hear of another major bank chain getting bail-out funding from the government. The market will react accordingly, and we'll be told by economists that we're sliding into a recession. Within months, however, the Dow Jones will hit 15,000. Economists will have nervous breakdowns and/or collective apoplexy while continuing to warn of an inevitable market downturn. No one will listen.

Oil just hit $100 a barrel. I predict $110 will be hit by July, $120+ by next November after hurricanes damage US production capacity. Prices at the pump will continue to slowly rise, regardless of the price per barrel.

The shuttle will launch in February or March, after the fuel sensors have been rebuilt from scratch and tested. The flight will go perfectly, but the delay in the schedule will foul up other missions. There will be more talk of canceling the Hubble mission but it will go ahead after much outcry from the Hubble-loving public (and the Planetary Society). The Hubble repair/upgrade will go perfectly, and some good science will be done with it this year.

CERN will suffer an embarassing engineering glitch early on in the testing process, but it will be easily fixed and the system will be ready to do serious science by the end of the year. It will not be responsible for the end of the world, at least not this year.

A new type of photovoltaic cells with efficiencies exceeding 50% will be announced this year. There will be a lot of buzz about it, but they'll fail to materialize after the initial announcement.

Moot will finally get sick of dealing with 4chan.org and close the site, or possibly just the random section. Thousands of /b/tards will migrate to the other -chans and generally make asses of themselves. Fox News will do a Special Report on "The End of Anonymous". Video of a van exploding will be shown.

A major screw-up will result in the largest computer privacy breach in the history of the world. It'll be huge. Something on the order of ALL Visa accounts stolen. It'll draw attention to the identity theft problem like nothing has before. Knee-jerk legislation will be passed that make it nearly impossible for small businesses to accept credit cards online.

The Storm worm will be used to attack a world government. Everyone will panic.

Google Android will be released on schedule. It will be interesting, but not the revolutionizing product that's being promised. The tide of public opinion will begin to turn against them. Google's share prices will go through an adjustment period and stabilize considerably lower than they were.

Microsoft will begin to sense that Vista and Office 2007 are simply not going to make them the money they're accustomed to having. Look for them to diversify further. This means they'll be purchasing a lot of companies this year. The EU will challenge every move they make.

The US presidential race will happen. Evidence of vote-rigging will be more blatant this year than ever before and will be biased entirely toward the Republican party. Again, no one will notice or care. The results will be as close as they have ever been, and no one will really be happy about the winner. The 3rd place candidate will be blamed for skewing the results. GWB will be a very good sport about whatever happens. The #2 candidate, not so much.

California will lose its lawsuit against the US government over emissions restrictions. The Supreme Court will refuse to hear the case. California will enforce the restrictions anyway, and it'll turn into another legal mess like medical marijuana. The media will speculate on what would happen if California seceded from the US.

Hamas will continue to control the West Bank. Israel and the Palestinian authority will continue to pretend Hamas doesn't exist and try to have talks. These will not accomplish anything productive. (does this even count as a prediction?)

Pakistan will have elections in February as scheduled. International observers will not note any major discrepancies, but the losing party will refuse to accept the results as legitimate and there will be rioting. Musharraf will declare another state of emergency and the new government will not take power for a very long time.

The situation in Iraq will continue to improve in the areas with the strongest US presence. Outlying regions will stabilize, except along the northern border with Turkey. Turkey will continue to launch cross-border assaults. The Kurds will demand the US do something about it, the US will refuse, and the Kurds will call them names. A major US troop pullout will begin, and yet somehow it'll cost just as much as it did while they were there. Democrats in congress will make snide remarks and continue to fund everything Bush asks for.

The Kenya election situation will get worse. Lots of civilians are going to die there in the very near future. The international community will continue to issue statements about it but will not take any other action.

Noodle bars will be the new sushi bars.

Dick Clark evaded my prediction last year, so I'm changing it. Dick Clark will not die this year.

U2 will release a new album. Old fans will be disappointed, newer fans will be thrilled.

circletimessquare will continue to violently disagree with people. K5 will not die.
Prisoners! Seize each other!

I must not be paying good enough attention (none / 0) (#85)
by krkrbt on Thu Jan 03, 2008 at 01:08:51 AM EST

Well, I got 2 (possibly 3) out of 10 last year. Let's see if I can do a little better this time.

I saw your hit on Bush's surge - what was the other hit? The 'possible' hit?

[ Parent ]

Only 2 in all honesty, but I'm mad about the 3rd (none / 1) (#89)
by Verteiron on Thu Jan 03, 2008 at 10:15:42 AM EST

My prediction: Hamas will resort to force in order to retain its position in the Palestinian government, rather than face being elected out of office.

What happened: Hamas resorted to force to maintain its position of power. They violently took control of the Gaza strip and kicked Fatah's collective ass. Although they did not maintain their control over the entire Palestinian territory, there's little doubt they would have if they'd had the manpower to do so.

My prediction: We will discover at least one more species of large mammal, living in a remote area.

What happened: A giant rat (Mallomys) was discovered in Borneo this year. Yes, I'm reaching. Giant rats are not exactly large mammals. I'm only bringing it up at all because the WWF faked me out by announcing the Bornean Clouded Leopard was a new species. But it turned out that it had been known of for years, and was merely reclassified in 2007, not discovered. So the giant rat is my consolation prize. Dammit.
Prisoners! Seize each other!
[ Parent ]

Correction (none / 0) (#90)
by Verteiron on Thu Jan 03, 2008 at 10:18:19 AM EST

Hamas controls (and will continue to control) the Gaza strip, not the West Bank. They'd love to control the West Bank, but they don't. Had the two mixed up in my original post.
Prisoners! Seize each other!
[ Parent ]
predictions 2008 (1.50 / 2) (#91)
by Liar on Thu Jan 03, 2008 at 04:14:48 PM EST

already posted once on a story that died, but here it is again starting with a new addition:

1) The LHC will not find the Higgs Boson.

2) Worldwide markets continue to slide for the next 5 years as baby boomers increasingly withdraw money from retirement savings. It won't be catastrophic and will have periods of recession and slow growth but won't flare up into a full depression.

3) Romney will secure the Republican nomination but will fail to appeal to southern conservatives who are not inspired enough to turn out to the polls. The South swings blue and sweeps the Democratic nominee into office, most likely Hillary (who will declare victory after securing the key states of Florida, Texas and Ohio).

4) A peace agreement will be signed between North and South Korea.

5) China will begin facing severe difficulties within the next 18 to 24 months. This will be brought about by an increasingly growing middle class whose debt accumulation does not easily weather the slowdown in the U.S. economy (and for whom irrational growth expectations will find dissatisfaction with the current government when the downturn begins). There will be at least one major protest during the Olympics that will need to be physically suppressed.

6) India and (more interestingly) Singapore will begin to show signs of economic and technological innovation that will astound the West, particularly in the area of green technologies and health care.

7) Two major music labels, in a desperate effort to reduce costs, will merge. However, the music industry will be rocked when ClearChannel develops a RIAA-free radio network.

I admit I'm a Liar. That's why you can trust me.
put me down again (none / 0) (#92)
by nononoitaintmebabe on Sun Jan 06, 2008 at 03:25:16 PM EST

for the colts to take the superbowl.  

I predict that this year... (none / 1) (#94)
by Pnarp on Wed Jan 30, 2008 at 08:08:02 AM EST

  • The lawn gnomes will try to eat me again.
  • My oatmeal cookies will keep spying on me.
  • Alyssa Milano will still have very cute feet.
  • I will get my nose stuck in something at least six times.
  • I will get something stuck in my nose at least seven times.
  • The hampsters will still sing about their dingleberries.
  • The blarghed fnorple puedge box will pizuzzle and gaggle my grumptious sister's å.
  • My house will catch on fire and kill all the gorillas again. Fortunately I have plenty of gorillas.

∼ Phillip Norbert Årp
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