Here’s the result of my predictions for 2016:
- Hillary Clinton will be the Democratic nominee: 90%
- There will be no significant change to LDS teaching on gender or sexuality: 90%
- Neither ISIS nor Bashar al-Assad will be removed from power in Syria: 80%
- No large-scale US ground offensive in any country: 80%
- Congress will not pass any new legislation restricting gun ownership: 80%
- Black Lives Matter will lose momentum, fade from prominence: 70%
- Donald Trump will not be the Republican nominee: 70%
- China’s birth rate will stay below 1.7 births per woman: 70%
- Independence Day reboot will receive a Rotten rating on Rotten Tomatoes: 70%
- Rogue One will receive a Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes: 70%
- No head of state of any country outside Africa will be forcibly deposed: 60%
- ISIS will not attack or claim responsibility for violence in Jordan or Israel: 60% (It was an “ISIS affiliate”, and the rocket didn’t even make it across the border, but I’ll still count this one.)
- The S&P 500 will have a return of 10% or more: 60%
- Oil will be less than $100/barrel: 60%
- Congress will not pass any new legislation restricting abortion: 60%
- President Obama will not close Guantanamo Bay: 50%
- No significant escalation in the Israel/Palestine conflict: 50%
- President Monson will pass away and Russell M. Nelson will succeed him: 50%
- Marco Rubio will be elected President of the United States: 50%
- George R.R. Martin will publish The Winds of Winter: 50%
The blue line represents perfect calibration: you can’t be right about everything all the time, but if you make ten predictions at 70% confidence, and you get seven right, then you’re assigning the right probabilities to your expectations, and you get to brag about it on your blog.
In this case, I was about 10% too cautious across the board. I stuck with a lot of safe, status-quo predictions, and Trump notwithstanding, it turns out the status quo is an even safer bet than I thought it was. I’ll try to get a little wackier for 2017.
My personal life, on the other hand…
- My wife will give birth to a healthy boy: >90%
- I will not be involved in a physical confrontation of any kind: >90%
- We will move out of state: >90%
- I will prefer our new location to our present one: 80%
- I will maintain my present weight within ten pounds: 80%
- I will be as exhausted with Fallout 4 as I was with Skyrim a year after: 80%
- I will publish at least 25 posts on this site: 70%
- My hair will thin past the “point of no return” (I’ll have to keep it buzzed): 70%
- A tool I am developing at work will be completed and implemented: 70%
- I will vote for the Republican candidate in the 2016 Presidential election: 60%
- I will make at least one new, close friend: 60%
- Our household will have positive net cash flow in all quarters of 2016: 60%
- I will write something that I will publish somewhere other than this site: 50%
- I will acquire a new hobby: 50%
- I will be able to bench press more than my body weight: 50%
Most of these predictions also felt like safe bets on the status quo at the time I wrote them so I’m puzzling out how I got it so wrong.
I probably underestimated the mana-drain that the birth of my son would entail, but it would be a lie (and kind of a scummy lie) to pin it all on him. I think I was making predictions-as-resolutions in a few cases, assuming that the level and direction of my productive energy would stay constant, which never happens.
But I feel pretty good about what I got done in 2016. Got a better job, bought a house, had a kid, recovered relatively quickly from buying a house/having a kid. It was probably unrealistic to expect to gain ground on half a dozen different fronts simultaneously, and the biggest gains came in areas of my life that I wasn’t really thinking about last December – but overall, a good year.
2017 predictions to follow shortly.