This year definitely didn’t turn out the way I expected in January, but predictions predict the future, not what we thought. That’s kind of their point, actually. So here’s how I did, on this list. (I have had a number of other prediction sets, this just judges my 1-shot predictions that I publish yearly.)
Also, I wrote most of this back in January, but there were things unsettled, then forgot about this. So it’s going up now, in April.

Note: I put True / False at the front of each prediction to mark how it was decided.

Overall Brier Score…


People should predict things, it’s crazy that more people don’t, yadda yadda yadda. But I will say this seems to be changing — more and more people are on board with this idea. In any case, this is now my 5th round of yearly predictions — On Medium since 2017, and on predictionbook in 2016. I’ve also been scoring them every year, though it often takes a while for data for some questions to show up.

As a change, I think I’ll re-predict all of my past predictions (with modifications or omissions for obsolete questions,) as well as some new…


If you have a belief, you should be willing to bet. It’s useful as mechanism to ensure people’s claim aren’t empty signalling. It’s also good as a way to check that your claims are concrete enough to be resolvable, and that you don’t change the way you score your predictions post-hoc. So I offer to bet.
Sometimes, the other side agrees. Here’s a list of who I’ve bet with:

I will pay 100 Euro to Grzegorz Chrupała, Associate Professor of Computational Linguistics at University of Tilburg, if there is no pair of languages between which an AI can translate a…


Well, it’s that time of year again, when most famous prognosticators around the world given imprecise and non-judge-able claims about what the world will look like, and if they’re wrong, no-one will know.

The few and the proud, however, are willing to put our (mostly non-existent) reputations on the line and publicly say: In one year, the world will be exactly like this, plus or minus my margin of error, and I’m likely to be somewhat wrong, but at least I’m pretty well calibrated about it.

(Note: I plan to predict on SSC’s lists once it is out, and will…


Here’s my Annual Review.

I mark each True / False, and sometimes include [notes at the end.] Obviously, not all predictions can be scored yet, but this is for the items I do know. (I will remove /modify this line after I’ve updated again.)

My PRELIMINARY overall brier score for the year is: 0.1487

My PRELIMINARY calibration for the year is:

[50–60%) / (40–50%] 2 Correct, 0 Incorrect (100%)
[60–70%) / (30–40%] 10 Correct, 3 Incorrect (77%)
[70–80%) / (20–30%] 8 Correct, 2 Incorrect (80%)
[80–90%) / (10–20%] 8 Correct, 1 Incorrect (89%)
[90–95%) / (5–10%] 1 Correct, 0 Incorrect (100%)
[95–99%) / (1–5%] 4…


Medium is now gated. I’ve moved. Non-gated post replacement link.

I am once again making a yearly set of public predictions which I will publicly score early next year, as I did last year and the year before (as well as in other formats and/or less publicly in various forums even earlier.) This is, essentially, a vanity project — predictions benefit greatly from frequent updating, discussion, consensus, and aggregation (especially if the latter two are managed carefully — and interesting and ongoing area of research.) …


Medium is now gated. I’ve moved. Non-gated post replacement link.

OK, it’s (slightly after) that time of year again, and I need to make my new predictions. But you can’t improve unless you figure out how you’ve been doing, so here’s my review of last year’s predictions. (I still need to put in my calibration numbers, and those aren’t looking great for me.)

Note: The first set are my own, the second (numbered) set are following Scott Alexander’s predictions. I have the outcome as a binary yes/no in bold preceding the question. I have removed many of my earlier comments…


A recent story said that there was a terrorist “planning” to attack the Italian town of Macomer (pop. approx. 10,000) by putting Ricin and Anthrax in the water supply. That sounds scary, right?

First, he didn’t HAVE Anthrax or Ricin. He was planning on buying it online. Somehow. (No, no-one is selling biological weapons online. Not even on the dark web.) But let’s assume he managed to get it, somehow. Maybe ISIS or Al-Qaeda, which pursued biological weapons but couldn’t manage to buy or make them, nevertheless ended up finding some surplus bioweapons from the Russians, and gave them to…


Blockchain enthusiasts have occasionally claimed that blackchains allow “an asset without a liability,” a phrase used by Walker and Luu, and echoed by Nic Carter. Despite being a ledger, the blockchain is not money owed by anyone — which is a informal understanding of what a liability is. The claimed advantage of this seems to be that cryptocurrency holdings are akin to a natural resource, like gold or silver, rather than a reserve-bank backed fiat currency.

In many ways Bitcoin and similar ventures do resemble such assets, or even exceed them in important ways. For example, the supply of Gold…


This is a simple point, but one that gets overlooked, so I think it deserves a clear statement. Morality is less effective than incentives at changing behavior, and most of the time, policy is the way incentives get changed.

Telling people the right thing to do doesn’t work. Even if they believe you, or understand what you are saying, most people will not change their behavior simply because it’s the right thing to do. What works better is changing the incentives. …

David Manheim

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