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.
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.
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?