Bob's predictions for 2016

December 30 2015. Some new year predictions for 2016 (and outcomes in italics, December 30 2016):

  1. Stock markets go down 25% No, up 11% (prominent dips in May no, it was January and October no). 90% of stocks go down. Newspapers cover politicians saying US is going to hell in handbasket Not so much!. US government rushes through new financial laws to remedy situation no. Markets start bouncing back in December No, markets jumped immediately after Trump was elected, which was the opposite of what I expected. (70% probability it will go down, 5% with all the details.)
  2. Donald Trump will be the Republican candidate yes, and Hillary Clinton will be the candidate for the Democrats yes and win the US presidential election no. (60% Trump, 95% Clinton candidate, 60% Clinton presidency... Clinton is less likely to win if anyone other than Trump is the Republican nominee.)
  3. US commits to war against ISIS no, including bipartisan congressional support no and ground troops a few hundred. (50% ... Russia is already putting ground troops in Syria. The US may turn a blind eye and let Russia mop up the area sort of. I don't think the region will defeat ISIS without outside troops. I don't know if the region wants to defeat ISIS ... the majority in Syria is Sunni, ISIS is Sunni, but Syria is ruled by Shiites. The US hasn't been primed to care about Syria, but the Republicans (but not Democrats) are invested in Iraq.)
  4. Gas prices go up again, but not much. (90%) Correct!
  5. 20% effective solar panels become common, and contribute to more solar cells on roofs. Nope. Still vanishingly rare to see full-roof solar cell shingling. Yes, but Tesla announced plans to change that in 2017. Still no solar roads, other than articles about prototypes. Correct.(90%)
  6. Tesla Model X is a wash (70%). Yep. Tesla battery packs prove popular (80%) Not so far., and SpaceX continues to accomplish things (60%). Not much. Gigafactory is slated to start producing batteries 2017 (70%), but it will open early (20%). Nope.
  7. Prototype asteroid-mining satellite launched (70%). OSIRIS-REx launched 8 Sept 2016, and plans to return samples, but I don't think that qualifies as a prototype asteroid-miner.
  8. You will probably see a self-driving car on the road (70%) no, but still for research purposes, not actual commuters. I've seen predictions of people eating in their self-driving cars ... won't happen, for the same reason I don't allow my passengers to eat, it gets the cars dirty. Similarly, passenger seats will continue to be forward-facing with seatbelts for crash protection, so self-driving cars will continue to be uncomfortable to sleep in.
  9. No new live-action Shirley Temple movies yet, have to wait for 2020 for that (95%). True
  10. Good new pop music from US (60%). No.
  11. 80% of papayas, 92% of corn, 94% of soybeans, and 94% of cotton will be from GMO plants (99% at least this much). It was true in 2015, can't find statistics for 2016.
  12. Widespread adoption of Ambien for stroke recovery (70%). No
  13. Effective Ebola vaccine (95%). Yes
  14. Bad hurricane hits New Jersey (40%). No
  15. Still no artificial intelligence with goals of its own, nor any known research programs aiming to produce one (80%). true as far as I know

So, I count 18 no and 9 yes, and a lot of the yes were predictions of things that were already the case, or that very unlikely things would not happen. Pretty bad overall. In almost all cases, if I'd predicted the most boring thing to happen, that would have been right. Trump becoming president was the exception to that.

Bob Predicts the Future

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