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Predictions for 2009

By krkrbt in Culture
Fri Jan 02, 2009 at 08:08:03 AM EST
Tags: K5 Predicts, prophecy (all tags)

2008 is over, and it's been quite a year. There are plenty of metaphors to go around. Some refer to the Black Swans (which couldn't possibly exist). Another author writes about the tipping point. I like to think of the present as our collective Wile E. Coyote moment.

The usual method of predicting the future is trends analysis. I took some flak last year for saying that trends do change, and when they do, that they can change quite rapidly. Kuro5hin's first six annual predictions stories predicted a few curve balls, but most predictions were continuations of the old trends.

I felt the call to reprise my role as K5's Nostradamus again this year when I noticed that a few have become entranced by the false prophet.

Some predictions in last year's piece were wrong, some are still developing, and some have come to pass more-or-less as predicted. After reviewing last year's hits and misses I will offer my take on what the future has queued up.


Predictions from Last Year's Story

Wrong Predictions

Some of my predictions last year have not and will not come to pass in any way, shape or form:

  • K5 survived 2008, and lives still to die another day.
  • Windows still lives. While desktop Linux adoption has advanced in 2008 via the netbooks, it has yet to take the computing market.
  • Ron Paul didn't take the Republican primary, and neither did a candidate independent of the Republican/Democrat establishment take the election in November.
  • The world economy has not recovered "by the end of the year"

  • Rusty probably voted for The Party's presidential candidate rather than one of the four third party candidates endorsed by Ron Paul.
  • Thermodynamics isn't going anywhere.

The Big Picture

Many people appreciate this simple comic rendering of the latest screwing of people who work for a living. Awareness is of how the system is rigged is spreading. Congressional offices were flooded with protest to Paulson's $700 billion banker bailout.

Politics

Barack Obama took the Democratic nomination, as predicted. Ron Paul won too, just not technically. John SIDNEY McCain didn't have much to offer, and was soundly defeated.

Many people were dissatisfied with both candidates. If ever a U.S. presidential race could have been won by an independent, this would have been it. But third parties have been marginalized, and no strong, independently wealthy candidate emerged to run away with the election.

Economy

Cascading System Failure

Election coverage shifted from Iraq to the economy in early January. The U.S. government passed emergency legislation to "stimulate" the economy by giving out small checks to taxpayers. The stimulus payments were too little, too late, and did not address the debt problem.

Series of bank failures starting early in the year...

The first bank failure was Douglas National Bank on January 28th, 2008. (While this was before February 5th, it didn't help Ron Paul's campaign.) The British bank Northern Rock failed on February 22nd. Bear Stearns disappeared in a shotgun wedding when purchased by JP Morgan Chase in March. IndyMac Bank was placed into conservatorship for dissolution in June.

September and October were bad months for banking. Washington Mutual was taken over by the FDIC following a 10-day run on deposits. JP Morgan Chase bought the banking portion of the business and Washington Mutual Inc filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. A few days later the FDIC announced that Wachovia was to be eaten by another bank. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac went into federal conservatorship. Lehman Brothers filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Three banks in Iceland were nationalized.... Wikipedia has an article on the crisis.

Housing: goes into lockup

"It wasn't that we lost money [in the market] or that we were worried about our jobs," said Tai, a software developer in his mid-20s. "We thought we could get a better deal, so we decided to wait." - Homebuyers balk amid Wall Street Meltdown, CNN October 10th 2008.

The housing market was covered in May - Who Owns Your Home? A more recent story is Homeless advocates 'liberate' foreclosed houses. "We're matching homeless people with people-less homes," he said with a grin.

Deflation

What a relief - imagine a recession with rising prices! Fed eyes record low interest rates to battle deflation.

Within 3 years, Michael Crawford becomes a former schizo-affective...

Some laughed that I predicted Crawford would get better. He still has 2 years left. Note that I said that his vision needed proper attention. This year Crawford told us that he has a lot of trouble with eyestrain. In the fall Mr. Crawford quit his job and wrecked his car, presumably because his bad vision prescription causes poor depth perception.

If Crawford gets the therapeutic attention he needs (starting with a proper eyeglass prescription), he'll quickly complete his recovery. A few suggestions were in last year's predictions story.

The term 'placebo effect' gets discarded in favor of a more descriptive label...

The term hasn't gone anywhere yet, but public vocabulary changes slowly. Imagination Medicine: "Brain imaging reveals the substance of placebos. Expectation alone triggers the same neural circuits and chemicals as real drugs"

Science

Climate Change ... Opposition to the carbon juggernaut eventually gets a slice of the public mind and underwater volcanoes move to the forefront

Weather Channel founder John Coleman got a little publicity when he announced plans to files suit against Al Gore. See his position statement (pdf). The human-caused Global Warming advocates still have more mindshare, but economic stress has a way of shifting people's priorities rapidly.

Some Geochemists found super-hot water coming out of a vent in the Atlantic Ocean.

Various methods to extract energy from the Zero Point Field ... demonstration of ... device next May ... eventually every home has its own "Mr. Cold Fusion".

I think this was the best forecast (prediction with a time frame) of all. While Steorn was a no-show in May, there were three other developments that crossed my Internet in that month.

1. The Orion Project

While this group formed in March, their first email hit my inbox in early May. The group is an offshoot of the Disclosure Project. From The Orion Project's Vision page:

Technological progress in the areas of advanced physics and electromagnetic systems, if appropriately supported, will enable humanity to live on the Earth with a minimal footprint with genuine long-term sustainability. For over 100 years, these advanced concepts in energy generation have either been ignored or actively suppressed due to the power of fossil-fuel based economic and industrial interests....The Orion Project is dedicated to:
  • Supporting the world's most accomplished engineers, physicists, and inventors who have developed innovative solutions to energy generation.
  • Cleaning up the fossil fuel power sources currently in use.
  • That page goes on to introduce their goal of raising $3 million to support their efforts.

    2. Cold Fusion Demonstration

    On May 22 a Japanese researcher held a press conference to demonstrate his Mr. Cold Fusion setup (slashdot). A commenter at the other site said that the field is properly called "Low Energy Nuclear Reactions". New Energy Times says researchers are now tending towards calling their field Condensed Matter Nuclear Science.

    3. Breaking the Rules With a Prototype

    Black Light Power issued a press release (pdf) on May 28 about their completion of a 50kw generator prototype. Randy Mills, M.D., has been working on his 'blacklight process' for a few decades now. I first looked at their site in 2001 or 2002. BLP had dropped off my radar screen because they had nothing to show for such a long time. Then I saw a story about them on CNN in July:

    ... In 2005, leaders at Greenpeace asked Randy Booker, chair of the physics department at the University of North Carolina at Asheville, to fly to New Jersey to investigate BlackLight's claims. Booker says he was skeptical at the outset, but during his visit, "I found that they really were producing a great deal of excess energy with hydrogen," he says. "Some people may disagree with the theory, but the experiments work." Booker believes that commercialization could lead more independent laboratories to validate BlackLight's claims. He now performs paid research work for the company. BlackLight's physics-defying promise: Cheap power from water (July 29, 2008)

    Apparently they had some sort of breakthrough in 2007 - I haven't read anything about that as of yet.

    There were a few other free-energy developments in 2008. The first I saw was a news report in February of an inventor's trek to MIT to show his invention to professor Markus Zahn, "a leading expert on electromagnetic and electronic systems". From The Star's article:

    Contacted by phone a few hours after the test, Zahn is genuinely stumped - and surprised. He said the magnet shouldn't cause acceleration. "It's an unusual phenomena I wouldn't have predicted in advance. But I saw it. It's real. Now I'm just trying to figure it out."

    Black Light Power announced in October that Rowan University had independently validated their technology. BLP signed its first commercial deal on December 11th. CNN has a video on the The Looming Energy Revolution, which features BLP.

    ... prototype Anti-Gravity Flying Cars are probably at least 8 years out.

    While I haven't noticed any developments on the flying car front, one of the pages at TOP suggests that the B2 bomber probably has anti-gravity technology. Nick Cook had a piece in Jane's Transportation a few years back about Boeing's anti-gravity projects. A reviewer of Cook's book says "if Jane's publishes it, you can bet you life on it; and somebody, somewhere is doing just that as you read this."

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

    This was overly harsh. Our understanding of the universe is just changing. Physicists now speculate about other universes, beyond the three dimensions we call home. TOP points out that thermodynamics applies to closed systems, and that our universe is an open system via connections to other universes.

    Predictions from Last Year's Comments

    Liar predicted that the Large Hadron Collider wouldn't find anything, and that China would start to face class difficulties.

    Verteiron had a number of good predictions, including the bank bailouts, temporary relaxation of the Great Firewall of China for the Olympics, the spike in oil prices (just ignore his timetable), the Large Hadron Collider's "embarassing glitch", and the survival of Dick Clark and K5.

    Social Democrat said the NeoCons would "retain control of all three branches of the American government."

    My Predictions for the Years to Come

    Politics & Economy

    Obama's stimulus package easily passes in his first two months in office. Because it does not address the debt problem, it won't help. The recession is still on track to bottom in the second quarter of 2009, or perhaps in the third quarter. Recovery will not begin until the Congress enacts debt-forgiveness, and redesigns the financial system to be just and fair.

    Meanwhile, we can look forward to the rise of the gift economy, where people do things for each other for free. There are tens of millions of people who are un- and under-employed, and they can't sit around the house forever. Recession gardens become common in the rainy states, and home hydroponics become popular where it's dry out.

    Local currencies will take off to help people trade their labor.

    If the Congress doesn't do anything productive in the next two years, the United States will probably break up into 6 parts within a decade.

    The Three Crashes

    Health Care - insurance companies will start running out of money early in the year.

    Pension Funds will start to report their losses in March. This is like when Wile E. Coyote sticks his head out of the cloud of smoke, and realizes there's nothing solid holding him up. The stock markets crash. Again. The Dow might find support around 5500.

    College Crash - no one will have any money to loan to students for mostly worthless degrees. Hundreds of colleges will face nightmare budget problems. Eventually compulsory high school is integrated with voluntary community college classes, and the entire education system is re-engineered to respect how children learn.

    Science

    Climate Change accelerates with the new solar cycle. There will be at least two major hurricanes in 2009. There will also be a large typhoon in the Pacific ocean.

    There will also be one major earthquake (magnitude 7) to hit North America's Pacific coast. This will most likely be offshore or in a sparsely-inhabited region, minimizing damage.

    The Energy Revolution Continues

    2009's Black Swan will be the completion of essentially-free energy devices. TOP, Black Light Power, Steorn, and others all release competing self-powered electrical generators, starting in 3rd quarter 2009.

    There have been many working Free Energy systems in the past 100 years. Nikola Tesla (inventor of AC power) at one point had an electric Pierce Arrow that ran without batteries. More on Tesla's car is available for consideration.

    Stanley Pons and Martin Fleischmann Pons started the modern era of Cold Fusion with their work in the late-80's. After being ignored by the "scientific establishment", they decided to hold a news conference announcing their breakthrough. The Department of Energy convened a panel, which narowly decided that Cold Fusion was not worth persuing because it was theoretically impossible. This was in spite of the replication of Pons and Fleischmann's experiment by a few of the labs that tried. Replication was not universal, however, and there was considerable opposition by adherents to the old atomic theory. A few scientists have been working on the fields, culminating in the demonstration in May.

    Breakthrough Power, a new book on free energy, was published last year. The first chapter has been posted online, and gives some background on the problems of the revolution. The authors are associated with the New Energy Movement, and more information can be found at that site.

    Conclusion

    These are the trends which will continue to develop in the years to come. Wile E. Coyote always lives to try a new strategy - the Energy Revolution will solve many of the world's most pressing problems in the years to come. What else has reached a tipping point, and where are the other incoming black swans?

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    Display: Sort:
    Predictions for 2009 | 85 comments (64 topical, 21 editorial, 0 hidden)
    -1, garbage. (2.66 / 6) (#4)
    by lostincali on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 08:21:22 PM EST

    it was garbage last year, it's garbage this year, and no amount of handwaving will vindicate you.

    "The least busy day [at McDonalds] is Monday, and then sales increase throughout the week, I guess as enthusiasm for life dwindles."

    you just feel threatened (1.50 / 2) (#10)
    by krkrbt on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 10:15:37 PM EST

    It's what happens when you are confronted with evidence that your understanding of the universe needs revision. I've started a diary about Scientism (this is where scientific theory becomes law which are beyond reproach) for you, and will try to post it in the next day or so.

    [ Parent ]
    oh, right. (2.50 / 2) (#11)
    by lostincali on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 10:43:41 PM EST

    anyone who sees bullshit and calls it out is obviously just feeling threatened by ideas and not pointing out something that is ludicrous and stupid.

    "The least busy day [at McDonalds] is Monday, and then sales increase throughout the week, I guess as enthusiasm for life dwindles."
    [ Parent ]

    next year you'll have to eat crow (1.50 / 2) (#12)
    by krkrbt on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 11:04:49 PM EST

    How will you like it served?

    [ Parent ]
    hahaha keep dreaming (3.00 / 2) (#13)
    by lostincali on Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 09:33:45 AM EST

    i'm enjoying how you act like you're completely oblivious to essentially every "prediction" you made last year being utterly wrong.

    no way, man, this year the aliens will sodomize my butthole on national television and the laws of thermodynamics will be proven wrong and colloidal silver will cure my syphilis infection...

    "The least busy day [at McDonalds] is Monday, and then sales increase throughout the week, I guess as enthusiasm for life dwindles."
    [ Parent ]

    Been waiting for the diary... (none / 0) (#72)
    by Sgt York on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 10:33:48 AM EST

    ...coming soon?

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

    oh yeah (none / 0) (#73)
    by krkrbt on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 12:06:29 PM EST

    Thanks for the reminder.  Science as Religion.... wandering, not wondering.  Oops. :)

    [ Parent ]
    This hurts (3.00 / 9) (#6)
    by Verbophobe on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 08:56:10 PM EST

    These aren't predictions. This is you trying to push, rapid fire, all your opinions about things under the guise of "predictions" so that you don't really have to think things through or really argue your points. You're clearly a libertarian, a climate change skeptic and a thermodynamics skeptic. We already knew this from your article last year. Now we get the exact same bullshit, only paired with a paragraph or so about how poor your predictions were last year.

    Why don't you write a whole article about one of your crazy opinions so we can vote that one down instead? Make it really detailed with a lot of links.

    Proud member of the Canadian Broadcorping Castration

    true enough (none / 1) (#7)
    by krkrbt on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 10:03:59 PM EST

    I have cut much of the 'opinion' stuff out to focus on the developments which took place in 2008. Thanks for your feedback.

    [ Parent ]
    Which is why it's funny (none / 1) (#17)
    by Vampire Zombie Abu Musab al Zarqawi on Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 02:38:03 PM EST

    Crackpots make the most amusing predictions.

    [ Parent ]
    +3, use of "Thermodynamics skeptic" /nt (3.00 / 2) (#28)
    by ksandstr on Thu Jan 01, 2009 at 08:26:57 AM EST



    Fin.
    [ Parent ]
    +1FP, now who's gonna do the K5 year in review?? (2.00 / 3) (#22)
    by N0574 on Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 11:01:46 PM EST

    Lonelyhobo, cantankerous ass that he is, decided to shirk the responsibility and run away from K5.

    - NCCTG N0574 CANCER PROTOCOL
    Prediction: There won't be a next year review (3.00 / 3) (#26)
    by Ruston Rustov on Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 11:42:12 PM EST

    on account a I'm gonna pull the plug.

    I had had incurable open sores all over my feet for sixteen years. The doctors were powerless to do anything about it. I told my psychiatrist that they were psychosomatic Stigmata - the Stigmata are the wounds Jesus suffered when he was nailed to the cross. Three days later all my sores were gone. -- Michael Crawford
    Maybe tomorrow. -- Michael Crawford
    As soon as she has her first period, fuck your daughter. -- localroger

    [ Parent ]
    MY PREDICTION (1.63 / 11) (#27)
    by noogee on Thu Jan 01, 2009 at 12:01:15 AM EST

    Youll get a lot of cocks in your mouth and anus and enjoy it

    --
    still here

    Predictions (1.50 / 6) (#29)
    by Troll Hard on Thu Jan 01, 2009 at 02:10:38 PM EST

    #1 Windows 7.0 comes out not as bad as Vista but still won't run legacy Windows programs without an emulator.

    #2 Mac OSX 10.6 comes out.

    #3 The new Linux kernel gets so big that it forks into two versions. The Linux Unified Kernel ends up being the one Desktop Linux starts to use in order to use Windows drivers and Windows applications without WINE.

    #4 Firefox 3.2 comes out. Fixes the K5 issues.

    #5 They keyboard, mouse, and joystick, will be replaced by a web cam using hand movements ala "Minority Report" but not be as fast as the originals.

    #6 AROS 1.0 comes out but it is still not ready for prime time. But makes a great virtual machine as a virutal Amiga via AmigaBridge to run 68K Amiga programs under AROS on an Intel X86 or PowerPC machine.

    #7 Windows XP is given another few years of life, as PC makers offer the XP downgrade for Vista and Windows 7.0 systems. Even if Microsoft still tries to shut them down, PC makers have warehouses full of XP OEM disks.

    #8 Barack Obama will spend more money than Bush did to try to fix the economy.

    #9 Barack Obama will go back on his promise to send the Iraqi troops home and actually calls for another surge in Afghanistan and Iraq.

    #10 Liberals will turn on Barack Obama claiming he betrayed them, calling for his impeachment.

    --------
    Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it! Mind over Matter Fringe Science for the win!

    #9 (none / 1) (#34)
    by j1mmy on Thu Jan 01, 2009 at 07:02:32 PM EST

    Another surge in Iraq? I know he's already pushing for more troops in Afghanistan, but why Iraq?

    [ Parent ]
    Why not? (1.20 / 5) (#39)
    by Troll Hard on Fri Jan 02, 2009 at 12:37:54 AM EST

    The new President has to represent his power, only by sending in more troops can he do that. Let the terrorists know that he won't be taking that shit and playing the game like Bush did. He'll recruit some of the Ganstas from LA and instead of giving them jail time, make them soldiers in Iraq instead.

    --------
    Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it! Mind over Matter Fringe Science for the win!
    [ Parent ]
    #3 (none / 1) (#42)
    by shokk on Fri Jan 02, 2009 at 10:03:07 AM EST


    If the kernel gets so huge, those Windows pieces can just be modularized so that their use is optional and no one needs to fork.
    "Beware of he who would deny you access to information, for in his heart, he dreams himself your master."
    [ Parent ]
    -1 belief in predictions is for fools and misers (none / 1) (#30)
    by totmacher on Thu Jan 01, 2009 at 03:00:08 PM EST



    -- I'll sum it up for yo: You = Douche bag ~ Butthurtapotamus
    why do you have such a hard on for free energy? (none / 0) (#36)
    by rhiannon on Thu Jan 01, 2009 at 10:09:42 PM EST

    If there was such a thing, how would 'they' keep it quiet for 100 years?

    If there was such a thing as a hand-held box which could run a car, for free, forever, don't you think such a thing would be useful? Wouldn't tesla have made copies, or written papers?

    -----------------------------------------
    I continued to rebuff the advances... so many advances... of so many attractive women. -MC

    see the earlier book by the Breakthrough Power ppl (none / 1) (#37)
    by krkrbt on Thu Jan 01, 2009 at 11:45:05 PM EST

    I found The Coming Energy Revolution: The Search for Free Energy (1996) accidentally walking through the library one day sometime in the last year or so. One of Tesla's projects was the wireless transmission of electrical power. Tesla's lab was being sponsored by ... one of the industrialists (not John D. Rockefeller - J.P. Morgan perhaps?), who also had large stakes in copper mining companies. As soon as they figured out what Tesla was planning, they pulled his funding - they made much more money by selling copper for powerlines and metering people for the electrons consumed, than they ever could have if Tesla had gotten to give the electrons away for free.

    how would 'they' keep it quiet for 100 years?

    The technology hasn't been kept quiet (it comes back at regular intervals, according to The Coming Energy Revolution), it's just been marginalized. People easily take up any number of silly beliefs, and the marginalization of free energy is encouraged by the ruling philosophy of Scientific Materialism... The industrialists who profit from today's energy status quo own the mass media, which tells the masses what to think...

    [ Parent ]

    if it worked... (none / 0) (#40)
    by boxed on Fri Jan 02, 2009 at 08:17:15 AM EST

    ...no amount of coverup would work, because in todays deregulated electricity grids anyone can start producing power and sell it.

    [ Parent ]
    when did deregulation start? (none / 1) (#41)
    by krkrbt on Fri Jan 02, 2009 at 08:55:44 AM EST

    It takes time and resources to build something that's bigger than "proof of concept". It also helps if you don't die suddenly once you've figured your invention out.

    [ Parent ]
    Surely there are only two options (none / 1) (#43)
    by sholden on Fri Jan 02, 2009 at 11:15:09 AM EST

    Given this stuff was supposedly done years ago:

    1. It's all crap and doesn't work, and hence won't work this year either.

    2. It does work, but there's a vast conspiracy to suppress it and hence you won't see it this year either.

    Given that the National Threat Advisory never goes under "Elevated" it's easier than ever for the conspirators get rid of anything they don't like under the cover of a terrorist attack (either one killing those getting close to free energy, or by having those getting close to it be identified as terrorist die in the raid), why would it all come out now?

    --
    The world's dullest web page


    [ Parent ]
    you added something onto the second option (none / 1) (#47)
    by krkrbt on Sat Jan 03, 2009 at 12:17:25 AM EST

    I think your list needs fixing:
    1. It's all crap and doesn't work
    2. It does work

    It used to be that all that had to be done to stop the technology's advancement was take out the inventor. Tesla lost his funding, others died under 'convenient' circumstances (Meyer, Mallove, etc), others have been jailed and their work destroyed (Reich). The conspiracy is not 'vast' - there are a lot more of 'us' than 'them'. All it takes to perpetuate the status quo is a few planners, a few people who obey orders, and a lot of followers.

    The technology is able to come out now because awareness of the technology is spreading. The Orion Project, Black Light Power, and all the cold fusion researchers are teams, and they can't be stopped by offing one or two people...

    [ Parent ]

    False dilemma (none / 1) (#79)
    by psycho on Thu Jan 29, 2009 at 12:04:03 AM EST

    isn't that a formal logical fallacy?

    [ Parent ]
    haha, seriously man (none / 1) (#45)
    by boxed on Fri Jan 02, 2009 at 08:01:54 PM EST

    a machine that splits water with less energy than you get by burning, with a big enough margin to give extra energy to run a car IN ADDITION to the natural loss when converting heat into usable energy... that's a source you actually cite with a straight face?

    [ Parent ]
    Meyer's tech is similar to GRC's microwave (none / 1) (#48)
    by krkrbt on Sat Jan 03, 2009 at 10:12:43 AM EST

    Global Resource Corp has finished a prototype of their device that splits hydrocarbons using very specific microwave frequencies. I believe Meyer's technology splits water by hitting it with a very specific frequency of alternating current. The Orion Project's website has a paper by Meyer on his technology, but you'd have to be unboxed to consider something like that.

    [ Parent ]
    huh? (3.00 / 2) (#52)
    by boxed on Sun Jan 04, 2009 at 12:17:50 PM EST

    That link is about splitting big hydrocarbon chains into smaller chains that are more usable by standard petrochemical industries. There's nothing magical about that. People have been doing similar things for decades and nothing about it violates the laws of thermodynamics.

    What you are talking about with Meyer however, is splitting H2O using SIGNIFICANTLY less energy than what you get from burning H2 and O2, even including inefficiencies in the burning process, transfer of gases etc. That however IS magical.

    This kind of argumentation you use is very common to pseudoscience people. You put X and Y next to each other to make it appear that X and Y are somehow related or the same thing. But of course, they are not. Chemistry is a well understood subject. Perpetuum mobiles are however as real as the unicorn. And make no mistake, the machine Meyer talks about IS a perpetuum mobile.

    [ Parent ]

    GRC is an example of splitting molecules (none / 0) (#58)
    by krkrbt on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 10:37:46 AM EST

    ... with just a little input power. Yes, Meyer's machine is a perpetual motion machine. That is the revolution, and anyone who cries "impossible!" is anti-science. If I groked Quantum Mechanics I'd explain to you how it all works. But I'm just going off my mystic experiences, and what the physicist said. I think that's enough for a simple prediction.  

    I typed in an essay I found about scientism, where theory becomes Law that cannot be questioned. I'll post it as a diary sometime soon (this week, hopefully).

    [ Parent ]

    sigh (none / 1) (#67)
    by boxed on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 05:52:28 AM EST

    The splitting of big hydrocarbons into smaller, more manageable parts is "splitting molecules" yes. But you have to realize that we're talking about taking a molecule that is maybe thousands atoms long at the spine and splitting it in maybe 10 places. Splitting H2O into H2 and O2 means splitting EVERY single bond. All of them. This is extremely expensive. Think about the difference between demolishing a house the traditional way with dynamite and pulverizing the entire thing with a cheese grater. The first is easy and produces fairly large blocks. The second is hard but produces a sand-like substance that can be used to make new concrete.

    I don't cry "impossible" spuriously. I'm not saying that pseudo-perpetuum mobiles aren't possible (pseudo because they DO have to take energy from somewhere, even if it is from the zero point field), what I AM saying is that:

    1. Meyer's machine purports to take EXTREMELY well understood physics and producing a result that goes against 200 years of experience. The burden of proof for such an extreme position has to be a lot stronger than random arm waving and name calling.
    2. We've heard this song and dance before. Even ignoring all we know about physics I would STILL not believe it until working prototypes entered commercial or semi-commercial use. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. This kind of snake oil has been pushed before, time and again.


    [ Parent ]
    oh come on (3.00 / 2) (#44)
    by rhiannon on Fri Jan 02, 2009 at 04:53:30 PM EST

    Tesla invented free, limitless wireless energy in 1900 but we still can't charge my phone without a cable because the copper guys want their penny for the wire. Makes perfect sense.

    The technology has been kept quiet, every 6 months or so I get caught up in the free energy fad and I look for someone who's got a working product to copy, but no one ever does, it's all smoke and mirrors. It hasn't been marginalized: if it had been there would be an underground society of people who run their cars for free and shoot lightning bolts out of their asses, after all it's free(that's what I'd do anyway). The tech has been extinguished, if it even existed to begin with.

    -----------------------------------------
    I continued to rebuff the advances... so many advances... of so many attractive women. -MC
    [ Parent ]

    You have to charge your phone because... (none / 1) (#49)
    by krkrbt on Sat Jan 03, 2009 at 10:56:23 AM EST

    Arie M. DeGeus had a convenient heart attack. Maybe it was a natural occurence (he was apparently 70 years old), maybe not.

    Free-Energy Battery Inventor Killed at Airport?

    That was in 2007, so I guess the tech wouldn't have gotten into phones for another 5-10 years or so...


    [ Parent ]

    ihbt (none / 0) (#51)
    by rhiannon on Sat Jan 03, 2009 at 11:14:49 PM EST

    Thanks for wasting more of my time, give me a call when someone has a working product to demo.

    -----------------------------------------
    I continued to rebuff the advances... so many advances... of so many attractive women. -MC
    [ Parent ]
    just realized (none / 0) (#56)
    by krkrbt on Sun Jan 04, 2009 at 07:19:11 PM EST

    ... because the copper guys want their penny for the wire.

    They don't care about the penny for the wire - they want a penny for the electrons, 2-7 times a week, 52 weeks a year.

    [ Parent ]

    hmm? (none / 0) (#71)
    by boxed on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 06:08:25 AM EST

    But look, if they had access to free energy they could increase their profit margins by a HUGE margin! Why would they not just build nuclear reactors but instead of having fission inside, they'd just use totally clean free energy and CLAIM to have fission. They'd make a ton of money!

    Hmm, or maybe they do! IT'S A CONSPIRACY!#%%#

    [ Parent ]

    the college crash - I'd like to see that (1.50 / 2) (#46)
    by cbraga on Fri Jan 02, 2009 at 10:18:27 PM EST

    as a nerd who never got to see the truth in chef's line "there's a time and a place for everything - it's called college" I really resent the way colleges (and schools in general) have become a farce, a facade, where dumb kids get to joyride for a few years on their parents dime getting bumped from year to next year since the schools don't want to fail them and lose customers.

    ESC[78;89;13p ESC[110;121;13p
    I love free energy. (3.00 / 2) (#50)
    by Pentashagon on Sat Jan 03, 2009 at 07:34:57 PM EST

    I love how some people think humans with their ~10,000 years of scientific tinkering will happen to produce a "free energy" device that could, if created, decrease entropy and create positive feedback loops causing infinite growth (just imagine a free energy machine that converts its energy into matter) and other magical things despite absolutely no evidence of any decrease in entropy anywhere else in the observable universe.

    Think critically for a moment.  In about 14 billion years the observable universe has had a vastly greater number of configurations than humans will ever hope to build.  If evolution can produce humans on earth, then a simple combination of magnetic (all these fancy free energy devices rely on magnets, don't they?) molecules mixed together in a star/planet/gas cloud somewhere should have triggered a massive free energy reaction that would be observable here.  Instead, we have standard physics and thermodynamics that explains the structure of the universe very well.  Dark matter and energy (and to a lesser extent, gravity) are the biggest mysteries.  Have no fear; soon the free energy machines will be "tapping unlimited dark energy present throughout the universe", despite the fact that it's been there for a long time and apparently nothing else is "tapping" it.

    In other words, you should alter your prediction for free energy to occur some time in a few billion years (if ever), given the current age of the universe.

    P.S. any "free energy" device is doing one of three things:  1) scamming you, 2) converting existing potential energy into kinetic energy by demagnetizing magnets, etc., or 3) not actually a free energy device because there is a traditional energy pathway that is being ignored.  For instance, before semiconductors if someone sat a black sheet of silicon in front of you and told you it produced free energy, you might be inclined to believe them until you tried using it in the dark.  I think there have been similar machines relying on tidal effects, or sticking a gyroscope on the end of a drive shaft and letting precession turn it (or rather, the gyroscope and drive shaft is held stationary and the earth and its load rotates around it).

    you scoffers are so sure of yourselves (none / 0) (#53)
    by krkrbt on Sun Jan 04, 2009 at 12:49:59 PM EST

    Please state your qualifications to say that the prediction is impossible. I know that Crawford has a physics degree from CalTech, and studied with some pretty brilliant people, but he can't very well respond because he's mentioned in the story. What in your experience makes you so certain that "nothing else is 'tapping' [unlimited dark energy present throughout the universe]?" Have you examined the entire universe to make sure that this is the case?

    I covered my reasons for making the prediction in a couple comments last year. Basically, I've talked to a guy who now has a PhD in Physics, and is one of the few experts in his field. The work he does now is not directly related to Free Energy, but he has an intuitive understanding of how all these different inventions work, and can explain them using all that fancy Quantum Physics lingo.

    I saw him again in December, and asked about simple new physics experiments. If you happen to have a Crooke's tube lying around, you could look into Thomas Tomsend Brown's experiments.

    [ Parent ]

    "intuitive understanding" (none / 1) (#54)
    by basj on Sun Jan 04, 2009 at 05:38:26 PM EST

    is not science.
    --
    Complete the Three Year Plan in five years!
    [ Parent ]
    The point is that he gets it (none / 0) (#55)
    by krkrbt on Sun Jan 04, 2009 at 06:59:38 PM EST

    and can explain the phenomenon in whatever terms the audience understands. This particular physicist groks quantum mechanics, cold fusion, zero-point physics, and the interaction between the different domains. Do you grok quantum mechanics? Quantum entanglement?

    [ Parent ]
    I grok cold fusion (none / 0) (#68)
    by boxed on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 05:55:16 AM EST

    It's so easy! In just one step you can do it too. It doesn't work :P

    [ Parent ]
    I'm not very sure of myself. (none / 1) (#57)
    by Pentashagon on Sun Jan 04, 2009 at 10:02:02 PM EST

    I am pretty sure that the majority of physicists are right, and the majority of the kooks are wrong.  If there are any kooks who are right, why can't they bother to duplicate each others' experiments and actually produce free energy?  They always seem much more concerned with "getting funding" and "patenting their work", which suggests to me that they are really just con men, or at the best pursuing fruitless research.  Basically, I don't buy the idea that there is a vast conspiracy to keep free energy secret.  It's too simple to publish working plans for a free energy device on the Internet and for other people to replicate the results.

    Have you examined the entire universe to make sure that this is the case?

    That was kind of my point;  I examine the entire (visible) universe every time I step outside.  Yep, no runaway free energy reaction eating the universe yet, no increasingly powerful blinding lights in the sky, etc.  There is always the possibility that only "intelligence" can discover free energy, and that this "intelligence" will never, ever let the process run away, but that seems like kind of a weak argument.

    I don't discount further scientific discoveries, but I do highly doubt the discovery of a way to arrange the standard atoms we know in a way that yields potentially infinite amounts of energy; there is just too much variation in the universe already that should have caused runaway free energy reactions if that was possible, and at least it should have happened inside a black hole where the most extreme forces in the universe exist.  If there is a way to get free energy, it's probably on the scale of the big bang.

    Not to be rude, but a PhD in Physics is not an effective ward against kookiness.  I have no idea who your friend is, and I try not to judge people based on hearsay, but if (s)he thinks standard quantum mechanics allows free energy, s(he) is probably at least a little kooky.  The conservation laws and thermodynamics are used to derive much of the results in physics, not the other way around.  If there were actually a violation of the conservation of energy, matter, or momentum, quantum mechanics would have to change dramatically.  Most kooks I've seen misapply concepts from quantum mechanics to derive their incorrect results.

    Look up Dr. R.L. Talley's experiments with EHD thrusters in a vacuum.  That seems to be the latest confirmation that conservation of momentum still holds.

    [ Parent ]

    Fundamentally I agree, but some counterpoints (none / 1) (#59)
    by procrasti on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 02:28:12 PM EST

    too much variation in the universe already
    It is unlikely that there was ever a supercritical fusion reaction anywhere in the universe until it was accomplished by humans (alien civilisations excepted). (sub critical natural nuclear reactors have been discovered though).

    If you want a runaway free energy reaction 'eating' the universe, then you only have to look at the Big Bang itself... Without a better explanation it would appear that the universe is such a reaction.

    Finally, again, until we have a better explanation, it would appear that the increasing acceleration of the expansion of the universe would violate our standard understanding of thermodynamics too. Where is the energy for that coming from?

    -------
    if i ever see the nickname procrasti again on this site or anywhere in my life, i want it to be in an OBITUARY -- CTS
    doing my best at licking arseholes - may 2015 -- mirko
    -------
    Winner of Kuro5hin: April 2015
    [ Parent ]

    Supernova = supercritical fusion. (3.00 / 2) (#61)
    by Pentashagon on Tue Jan 06, 2009 at 01:30:11 AM EST

    The expansion of the universe is one of the mysteries I listed.  However, it's still subject to my argument about evolution; there has been a long period of universal expansion without (apparent) exploitation of whatever force is causing it.

    [ Parent ]
    Sorry... I meant fission actually... (none / 0) (#62)
    by procrasti on Tue Jan 06, 2009 at 01:41:13 AM EST

    fusion goes on all the time in starts... my bad.

    If I'm right about that then that could explain why there are no natural processes that exploit whatever process created the big bang, drives the increasing acceleration of the expansion of the universe or that may yet prove an undiscovered break with thermodynamics.

    -------
    if i ever see the nickname procrasti again on this site or anywhere in my life, i want it to be in an OBITUARY -- CTS
    doing my best at licking arseholes - may 2015 -- mirko
    -------
    Winner of Kuro5hin: April 2015
    [ Parent ]

    Supercritical fission in stars/black holes (none / 1) (#64)
    by Pentashagon on Tue Jan 06, 2009 at 02:42:11 AM EST

    Not being an astronomer, I have no idea if supercritical fission has been observed independently of fusion.  For instance, I can almost guarantee that in a supernova there will be a combination of fusion and fission occurring just from the amazing amount of energy.  Self sustaining fission, however, might not be the proper term for that.

    Stephen Baxter (I think) wrote a book along the lines of what you mentioned; that humans (or their superintelligent children) could produce situations in the universe that have never, ever been seen before, and that the consequences of the tremendous energy being released would be interesting, to say the least.  The people worried about the LHC producing black holes or strangelets come to mind aslo.

    I think the creation of exotic matter via incredibly high energy experiments is more likely than the existence of a free energy device made out of simple matter with less kinetic energy than what you'd find in a particle accelerator or cosmic ray.  I don't think humans are very close to being able to do that.  Maybe in 50 to 100 years?  Maybe.

    [ Parent ]

    Its unlikely subcritical lumps of uranium(eg) were (none / 1) (#65)
    by procrasti on Tue Jan 06, 2009 at 12:24:06 PM EST

    bought together to form a nuclear explosion in nature because of the timing difficulties involved. Mixed fusion / fission, natural decay and natural reactors sure... but not a pure uncontrolled fission chain reaction.

    All I'm trying to get at is that there are things that won't occur in nature and require intellegence to create, no matter how big the universe is, because the processes in the universe are limited. You'll probably never find a cubic planet that wasn't built by an advanced alien species, or natural satelites that contain images and instructions to reproduce sounds (voyager), and I'm sure you'll be able to think of others (planet wide naturallly occuring optic fiber networks maybe?). So you can't rule out something as being possible just because you don't see evidence for it in the sky.

    As for the LHC, I don't expect anything to occur or be created that doesn't happen in our own atmosphere daily. We might find some interesting particles is all, but they'll almost certainly already exist in nature.

    -------
    if i ever see the nickname procrasti again on this site or anywhere in my life, i want it to be in an OBITUARY -- CTS
    doing my best at licking arseholes - may 2015 -- mirko
    -------
    Winner of Kuro5hin: April 2015
    [ Parent ]

    actually they found a natural reactor (none / 0) (#69)
    by boxed on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 05:58:04 AM EST

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_nuclear_fission_reactor

    [ Parent ]
    as I said $ (none / 0) (#74)
    by procrasti on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 02:14:01 PM EST



    -------
    if i ever see the nickname procrasti again on this site or anywhere in my life, i want it to be in an OBITUARY -- CTS
    doing my best at licking arseholes - may 2015 -- mirko
    -------
    Winner of Kuro5hin: April 2015
    [ Parent ]
    a somewhat disorganized response (none / 0) (#60)
    by krkrbt on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 07:49:42 PM EST

    It's too simple to publish working plans for a free energy device on the Internet and for other people to replicate the results.

    While most inventors have altruistic ambitions, they  also hope to profit from their inventions, or to at least support themselves. Stanley Meyers supposedly had a working water-car, then he died suddenly around 1996 (which was basically pre-internet). Black Light Power isn't looking for funding, and can't put anything online because you can't patent new understandings of the laws of physics. The Orion Project has many papers on their web site, but there's the accumulated knowledge that make it difficult for anyone to make their own setup. You'd have to start experimenting, and if you don't already have equipment experimenting gets expensive. And if you don't have the inventor's special insight, you're likely to get lost and not find anything at all. Most other people have been trained by Science that the experiment is impossible anyways, so why even try?

    There are a couple websites on duplicating the Joe Cell. One problem is finding the right kind of steel, as no one really knows exactly what kind of stainless is required. "Joe" could look at a steel tube and say whether it'd work or not, but no one else has Joe's aptitude. Is it the Carbon content? The Nickel content? The welding that turns steel plate into a tube (sometimes resulting in ferrous bubbles in an otherwise non-ferrous tube)?

    I examine the entire (visible) universe every time I step outside.

    The range of the electro-magnetic spectrum that is visible to the human eye is very limited.

    I do highly doubt the discovery of a way to arrange the standard atoms we know ...

    Atoms are mostly empty space. They never really touch each other - what you feel when you touch a keyboard is your electrons being repulsed from the keyboard's electrons. Electrons occupy fields of probability (?) as they circle the atom, and even the nucleus is mostly empty space, once you break apart the neutrons and protons. And I can't say why that's important, just that it is.

    Ingo Swann points out (I'm certainly misquoting what he said when I saw him speak in June '06) that Science was hijacked in the mid-19th century by a couple 20-something year olds, who focused the scientific endeavor around the philosophy of Materialism...

    I wish I could better explain why I think the prediction is a sure thing, but no one here has had my experiences, or met the people I've met, etc. C'est la vie.

    [ Parent ]

    Use all the hot air on the web in sterling engines (3.00 / 2) (#63)
    by Pentashagon on Tue Jan 06, 2009 at 02:13:09 AM EST

    If Stanley Meyers had a working water car and investors, why did they sue him when it didn't work?  See, that's the problem with free energy devices; they work fine in the creators' lab/basement, but no where else.  Even if they are real, that makes them somewhat impractical.

    From a wonderful article on Joe Cells:

    Imagine a device about five inches in diameter by ten inches long, with a tube running from it to a bolt on your engine. Your engine is running, but your fuel line is disconnected. Not only does the motor run, but it has far more power than it did when running on gasoline or diesel. And somehow the car responds to the accelerator, even though the fuel line is disconnected. That and other seemingly cognitive attributes of a Joe cell have spurred people to call it a "living cell."

    I can imagine such a device.  It is a bottle of distilled ethanol, and in humans it will produce the sort of observations in that article.  If stainless steel could magically produce energy in water, why don't my measuring cups explode in the sink?  Maybe they're not the right kind of steel...  Which leads me to wonder, where did Joe get his magical stainless steel?  Or his magical welding materials?  Those things are mass produced and there should be literally tons of it laying around.  Most stainless steel, I would wager, is in contact with water a good portion of the time.  Why no reproduction of the results?  

    Regarding the plans to build all these free energy devices; they almost always have some magical hard-to-replicate part that appears to do all the work, and generally stops working when tested independently, and for which no explanation can be found.  Again, a practical nightmare for free energy if a magical piece of matter has to be found and used before a Real Scientist can get his or her hands on it and test it.  Any links to some plans that I can try to build?

    The range of the electro-magnetic spectrum that is visible to the human eye is very limited.

    Astronomers look at the rest, and I trust most of them.

    Ingo Swann points out (I'm certainly misquoting what he said when I saw him speak in June '06) that Science was hijacked in the mid-19th century by a couple 20-something year olds, who focused the scientific endeavor around the philosophy of Materialism...

    That is because everything before materialism (or more accurately, naturalism) was essentially alchemy.  Alchemy was a colossal failure because it relied on exactly the same sort of things modern free energy people have latched on to.  Mystical forces, unexplainable (and unreproducible) phenomenon, and lone kooks spending their entire life searching for the philosopher's stone.  Again, critical thinking here; how could two people hijack all of science?  Did they run around killing mystics and alchemists?  Or did they perhaps soundly disprove all the crap using reproducible experiments and verifiable explanations?

    I'll make this point again; a free energy device in someone else's basement does me absolutely no good.  If I have to believe in a bunch of fairy dust or aether in order to make a free energy device work, it's probably worth about as much to me as joining a religion in order to get free stuff.

    I wish I could better explain why I think the prediction is a sure thing, but no one here has had my experiences, or met the people I've met, etc. C'est la vie.

    I wish any free energy device could be better explained.  Then maybe it would be reproducible.  I would be happy if someone gave me a free energy device, but until that happens I just have to remain skeptical.  Don't worry about repression of research on free energy; it's supported by a modified form of Pascal's Wager.  There is a potentially infinite payout from a finite amount of work, so there will always be people willing to try making free energy devices.

    [ Parent ]

    hijacking FTW (3.00 / 2) (#70)
    by boxed on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 06:05:36 AM EST

    Ingo Swann points out (I'm certainly misquoting what he said when I saw him speak in June '06) that Science was hijacked in the mid-19th century by a couple 20-something year olds, who focused the scientific endeavor around the philosophy of Materialism...

    As has already been pointed out it is naturalism you are referring to, not materialism. In any case, what happened was that a group of people effectively redefined science (this was before that word existed though, so it was more like the vague movement of scientist-like people) to be "stuff that works", and by extension non-science as "stuff that doesn't work at least for now".

    Some magic-supporters might call that cheating. I'm just amazed it took our species so long to come up with something so incredibly obvious! If a hammer is broken, you throw it away, but during most of our history we didn't throw away theories that didn't work. It's kind of embarrassing if you think about it.

    [ Parent ]

    krkrbt, I hope you're right on free energy... (3.00 / 2) (#66)
    by Verteiron on Tue Jan 06, 2009 at 01:45:07 PM EST

    ... and I appreciate the mention, but I think you're a complete loony. A nut. Waaaay out of touch with reality.

    Tell you what: if I have (or have access to, let's be generous) a working free-energy device by the end of the year, you may punch me in the head and I will heartily apologize to you.

    That said, let's see what crackpottery of my own I can come up with for this year.

    --

    Obama, I'm afraid, is going to disappoint. Any gains he has made will be eaten by his eagerness to be "bi-partisan". Most of his ideas will be gutted before they are passed, resulting in a steady stream of ineffective (but still massively expensive) projects. He'll wise up to this and start urging Democrats to force through legislation instead, but the Democratic congress will continue to be utterly spineless and the results will do more harm than good. No assassination attempts this year.

    Israel is going to face serious pressure over the Gaza "war". Words like "massacre" will be used. Israel will ignore all criticism and do whatever the hell it wants, up to and including the mass extermination of civilians. The UN will take no action against it. Rocket attacks from the Gaza strip will continue unabated no matter what Israel does. The end of the year will see no resolution to the situation, but lots and lots of dead Palestinians.

    Tensions continue to escalate between India and Pakistan. Neighbors begin to get nervous as the two nuclear powers continue to eyeball each other. Pakistan completely abandons the border with Afghanistan, turning a blind eye to US air strikes there (this may have already happened, in fact).

    Russia continues to wave its big, red dick around. More threats to cut off gas supplies to Europe, more military build-up along the borders, and LOTS more snide remarks from dear Mr. Putin. In general the country will behave like a very large, very loud drunken man at a party where everyone is trying to pretend they don't notice him as they yell to each other about what a nice time they're all having. Russia won't actually DO much this year, but NEXT year, friends... next year.

    The economy is still due to get worse before it gets better. I don't think we'll see the emergence of mini-economies or currencies, as krkrbt does, because I don't think most people understand how or why they might work. No one's going to take payment in Liberty Dollars they can't put in the bank. Furthermore, the Treasury will immediately stomp on any alternate currency that DOES develop. Gift economy? You've been reading too much KSR.

    Credit card collapse will be this year's "mortgage crisis". There's hope that people are beginning to realize the whole financial system is rigged, and more will live on cash and debit card alone out of choice, rather than necessity.

    Microsoft, Oracle, and their kind will see some serious profit reductions this year, as people realize there's no compelling reason to upgrade any product. Subscription-based software is a non-starter in this economy.

    The Euro will continue to drop. Several EU nations will discuss moving back to their own currencies.  

    In the US, look for the health insurance situation to worsen dramatically. Obama's health plan will be largely ineffective due to the issues mentioned in the first prediction. Many doctors and hospitals will refuse or delay the care of those who are on the new government insurance package. People dying in hospital waiting rooms will become such a regular occurrence that we'll no longer by surprised by it. Racial divides will worsen as it becomes clear that most of the deaths are black people. The words "hospital riot" will be heard on the news with increasing frequency.

    Ironically, a major breakthrough in prosthetic limbs will be made this year: dexterous control of all five fingers on a prosthetic hand will be demonstrated without targeted reinnervation.

    GM will file for bankruptcy. Chrysler will get bought by someone. Ford will pull through and begin to gain a reputation for Toyota-level quality. Toyota and Honda will continue to sell good vehicles and continue to lose money. GM's Volt (assuming it survives the bankruptcy) will get better range than any existing electric vehicle, but the price will be astronomical, dooming it to become yet another rich person's toy. None will be available to the general public for another two years.

    The replacement of street lights with LEDs in New York will be halted due to "safety concerns". Expect to hear more about supposed "electro-sensitive" people this year. In fact, this will be a GREAT year for pseudo-scientific idiocy all around.

    Nintendo will bring out the DSi in the US late in the year. Sales will be mediocre due primarily to the missing GBA slot. Nintendo fans will compare it to Nintendo's other classic foot-shots, like not putting a CD drive in the N64 and pissing off Squaresoft. Additionally there will be massive outcry from "concerned parents" about the built-in VGA cameras, despite the fact that most of these same kids have concealable camera-phones.

    The PS2 will continue to be the most-played console. The PS3 will get another price drop and start to gain some real market share. Microsoft will announce a new gaming system. Nintendo will announce an updated Wii, probably with built-in DVD player capability and (very) slightly upgraded hardware. New Mario, Zelda, and Metroid titles will be announced, as third-party support continues to be nearly non-existent.

    Make: Television will be very popular this year. People who've never nailed two planks together will suddenly start building automatic cat feeders and such. Gadgets based on Make episodes will flood Ebay. Very little money will be made, but much fun will be had.

    The LHC will be repaired and in operation this summer. It will operate flawlessly despite its shaky start. No earth-shattering revelations from it this year, though.

    SpaceX will be putting things in orbit by the end of the year. Unfortunately, at least one of them will be a drifting payload. Despite that, a successful year for them and space-faring technology in general. NASA's new craft is beset by problems and seems to be pushed further and further back.

    Massive ice storms followed by record cold temperatures will make a mess out of the Midwest. Millions of people will be without power for a week or more. Just as the area is recovering, bring on the massive flooding. Not a good year for Iowa and Illinois, I think.

    Yellowstone will have a couple of major earthquakes this year, but seismologists and such will assure us that the "supervolcano" scenario is unlikely. The Discovery channel will produce another supervolcano "documentary" featuring images of the entire region flipping upside down like a pancake and obliterating the entire western hemisphere. Most people will accept it as fact because it's on the Discovery channel.

    Mythbusters will come to an end, replaced by a series like "Destroyed in Seconds: World's Biggest Explosions and Fart Noises!" or possibly a show about sharks. Or ghosts. Or exploding ghost sharks. Hell, I'd watch that one.

    U2 will finally get around to releasing that album, to the response I predicted last year. Old fans say it sucks, new fans say it's awesome.

    Pizza Hut will begin working to scrub out the "Pizza" part of its name and position itself as a general Italian-ish delivery place.

    K5 will stubbornly persist despite all odds, as will Dick Clark.

    --

    Hell, when you throw this much shit against the wall, SOME of it has to stick. Enjoy the coming year, everyone!
    --
    Prisoners! Seize each other!

    wow (none / 1) (#75)
    by circletimessquare on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 07:38:28 PM EST

    so fucking retards who believe in perpetual motion machines really exist

    "free energy"

    really?

    you're that fucking retarded?


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

    well you've sure got me there (none / 0) (#76)
    by krkrbt on Thu Jan 15, 2009 at 12:42:45 PM EST

    My only consolation is that I didn't predict that Hillary would win the Democratic nomination.

    Free Energy is inevitable. The prediction is based on my valid personal experience, while your scoffing is based on belief in a theory. In my world, experience beats theory every time.

    [ Parent ]

    rainbows are inevitable (1.50 / 2) (#77)
    by circletimessquare on Thu Jan 15, 2009 at 08:47:47 PM EST

    they grow out of my ass

    thematically equivalent to belief in free energy


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

    [ Parent ]

    two flaws (none / 0) (#78)
    by boxed on Mon Jan 19, 2009 at 10:52:01 AM EST

    1. Your personal experience somehow has not led to any commercial application. Wow, I wonder why?
    2. Your personal experience is not SCIENTIFICALLY valid. People see Jesus every day, their experiences are (most likely) real, but they don't mean that Jesus exist, just that someone had some misfires in their brain. Science has learned the lesson on personal experience the hard way. In fact, this might be the one thing that made it possible for us to not discover science for so long (or for us to actually need science, if you will).


    [ Parent ]
    'earthquake on the west coast' (none / 0) (#80)
    by krkrbt on Sun Mar 29, 2009 at 05:35:51 PM EST

    There will also be one major earthquake (magnitude 7) to hit North America's Pacific coast. This will most likely be offshore or in a sparsely-inhabited region, minimizing damage.

    It's not an earthquake, but volcanic eruptions are major seismic events too. If I interpret him correctly, my source says we're probably not going to see any major earthquakes this year - if there was going to be one, it would have been in January or February, iirc...

    Local currencies (none / 0) (#81)
    by krkrbt on Wed Apr 08, 2009 at 11:13:50 AM EST

    Local currencies will take off to help people trade their labor.

    USA Today recently printed Communities print their own currency to keep cash flowing:

    A small but growing number of cash-strapped communities are printing their own money.

    Borrowing from a Depression-era idea, they are aiming to help consumers make ends meet and support struggling local businesses.

    The systems generally work like this: Businesses and individuals form a network to print currency. Shoppers buy it at a discount -- say, 95 cents for $1 value -- and spend the full value at stores that accept the currency.

    Workers with dwindling wages are paying for groceries, yoga classes and fuel with Detroit Cheers, Ithaca Hours in New York, Plenty in North Carolina or BerkShares in Massachusetts.

    Ed Collom, a University of Southern Maine sociologist who has studied local currencies, says they encourage people to buy locally. Merchants, hurting because customers have cut back on spending, benefit as consumers spend the local cash.

    "We wanted to make new options available," says Jackie Smith of South Bend, Ind., who is working to launch a local currency. "It reinforces the message that having more control of the economy in local hands can help you cushion yourself from the blows of the marketplace."

    About a dozen communities have local currencies, says Susan Witt, founder of BerkShares in the Berkshires region of western Massachusetts. She expects more to do it.

    Under the BerkShares system, a buyer goes to one of 12 banks and pays $95 for $100 worth of BerkShares, which can be spent in 370 local businesses. Since its start in 2006, the system, the largest of its kind in the country, has circulated $2.3 million worth of BerkShares. In Detroit, three business owners are printing $4,500 worth of Detroit Cheers, which they are handing out to customers to spend in one of 12 shops.

    During the Depression, local governments, businesses and individuals issued currency, known as scrip, to keep commerce flowing when bank closings led to a cash shortage.

    By law, local money may not resemble federal bills or be promoted as legal tender of the United States, says Claudia Dickens of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing.

    "We print the real thing," she says.

    The IRS gets its share. When someone pays for goods or services with local money, the income to the business is taxable, says Tom Ochsenschlager of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. "It's not a way to avoid income taxes, or we'd all be paying in Detroit dollars," he says.

    Pittsboro, N.C., is reviving the Plenty, a defunct local currency created in 2002. It is being printed in denominations of $1, $5, $20 and $50. A local bank will exchange $9 for $10 worth of Plenty.

    "We're a wiped-out small town in America," says Lyle Estill, president of Piedmont Biofuels, which accepts the Plenty. "This will strengthen the local economy. ... The nice thing about the Plenty is that it can't leave here."



    [ Parent ]
    6.9 Earthquake in the Gulf of California 8-3-09 (none / 0) (#82)
    by krkrbt on Tue Aug 04, 2009 at 12:43:20 PM EST

    There will also be one major earthquake (magnitude 7) to hit North America's Pacific coast. This will most likely be offshore or in a sparsely-inhabited region, minimizing damage.

    Google News offers the following stories:

    Big quake off Mexico shakes San Diego, Phoenix

    Strong quake hits Mexico's Gulf of California

    6.9 quake in Baja California rattles office workers in San Diego [Updated]

    No West Coast tsunami from Mexico quakes

    From the US Geological Survey - Magnitude 6.9 - GULF OF CALIFORNIA:

    Earthquake Details
    Magnitude    6.9
    Date-Time   

        * Monday, August 03, 2009 at 17:59:56 UTC
        * Monday, August 03, 2009 at 10:59:56 AM at epicenter
        * Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones

    Location    29.066°N, 112.871°W
    Depth    10 km (6.2 miles) set by location program
    Region    GULF OF CALIFORNIA
    Distances:

    • 89 km (56 miles) NNE (31°) from Santa Isabel, Baja California, Mexico
    • 137 km (85 miles) W (280°) from La Doce, Sonora, Mexico
    • 174 km (108 miles) NE (46°) from Guerrero Negro, Baja California Sur, Mexico
    • 185 km (115 miles) W (270°) from Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico
    • 553 km (343 miles) SE (133°) from Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico

    Location Uncertainty    horizontal +/- 7.1 km (4.4 miles); depth fixed by location program

    Event ID    us2009jwbh

        * This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.

    [ Parent ]

    typhoon in china (none / 0) (#83)
    by krkrbt on Tue Aug 11, 2009 at 12:25:45 AM EST

    was not a particularly large storm, but lots of people were evacuated.

    Typhoon pummels China, forcing nearly 1M to flee

    Placebos not just in the mind anymore (none / 0) (#84)
    by krkrbt on Fri Oct 16, 2009 at 12:46:18 PM EST

    the placebos prediction was in the story for 2008, but that was more of a longer term prediction than just a year.

    Placebo effect is in the spine as well as the mind

    [ Parent ]

    2008's economic predictions in pictures (none / 0) (#85)
    by krkrbt on Fri Nov 27, 2009 at 02:34:05 PM EST

    2008's prediction was"Economy: Cascading System Failure." This slide show illustrates perfectly what I called for. Things were okay up until December 2007, then the jobs situation just kind of fell apart.

    http://cohort11.americanobserver.net/latoyaegwuekwe/multimediafinal.html

    Thanks to hugin for providing the link: lol us unemployed fools are taking over

    [ Parent ]

    Predictions for 2009 | 85 comments (64 topical, 21 editorial, 0 hidden)
    Display: Sort:

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