Predictions for 2017

(and onwards, plus a bonus review!)

Now’s the time of year where people make specific-sounding, untestable predictions for the year ahead, right?

Well, here’s a departure from that norm.

These were made 1/3/2017. I may add predictions, but I’ll note that, and the date they were added. And I’ll commit to not altering anything, though I may update to include revised predictions, with notes. (Added my predictions on SSC’s predictions on 1/9.)

Economics:

Annualized GDP Growth <2% — 40%

Annualized GDP Growth <0% — 5%

US GDP growth lower than in 2015: 60%

Dow Jones will not fall > 10% this year: 80%

Domestic US Politics:

Conditional on above, Republicans have replacement policies already passed — 5%

International Relations:

1. US will not get involved in any new major war with death toll of > 100 US soldiers: 90%
2. North Korea’s government will survive the year without large civil war/revolt: 98%
4. No terrorist attack in the USA will kill > 100 people: 95%
5. …in any First World country: 80%
7. Israel will not get in a large-scale war (ie >100 Israeli deaths) with any Arab state: 95%
9. No interesting progress with Gaza or peace negotiations in general this year: 95%
13. ISIS will control less territory than it does right now: 90%
15. No major civil war in Middle Eastern country not currently experiencing one: 65%
18. No country currently in Euro or EU announces plan to leave: 95%
35. No major war in Asia (with >100 Chinese, Japanese, South Korean, and American deaths combined) over tiny stupid islands: 99%
45. SpaceX successfully launches a reused rocket: 80%
48. No major earthquake (>100 deaths) in US: 99%
49. No major earthquake (>10000 deaths) in the world: 80%

Cryptocurrency:

Lightning Networks / Segwit will be deployed: 65%

There will be a major bug found and exploited in LN/Segwit: 60%

Ethereum will be above $10: 70%

Ethereum will be above $20: 30%

Z-Cash will be above $50 (Price on 1/3): 25%

Z-Cash Market Cap will be above $18m (Value on 1/3): 75%

Longer Term Predictions:

There will be no war involving more than one of the US, Russia, China, or any member of the EU on different sides started before 2020 (Measure: Total eventual casualties above 100) — 95%

The Republicans will maintain control of the House of Representatives in 2018 elections: 40%

There will be a Republican primary challenger getting >10% of the primary vote in 2020 (conditional on Trump running) — 70%

The stock market will go down under President Trump (Conditional on him having a 4 year term, Inauguration-Inauguration) — 60%

Slatestarcodex 2017 Predictions:

WORLD EVENTS
5. Assad will remain President of Syria: 90% (80%)
7. No major intifada in Israel this year (ie > 250 Israeli deaths, but not in Cast Lead style war): 70% (80%)
9. No Cast Lead style bombing/invasion of Gaza this year: 75% (90%)
10. Situation in Israel looks more worse than better: 85% (70%)
11. Syria’s civil war will not end this year: 80% (60%)
13. ISIS will not continue to exist as a state entity in Iraq/Syria: 65% (50%)
15. Libya to remain a mess: Unclearly defined — 50% to 100% (80%)
16. Ukraine will neither break into all-out war or get neatly resolved: [No guess — unsure if a cemented status quo with recognition is “resolved” — which seems likely.] (80%)
17. No major revolt (greater than or equal to Tiananmen Square) against Chinese Communist Party: 99% [ China doesn’t let things get to that point any more. They intervene before it can get that large; it’s either toppled gov’t, or nothing like this.] (95%)
19. No exchange of fire over tiny stupid islands: 80% (90%)
20. No announcement of genetically engineered human baby or credible plan for such: 90% I don’t follow this, so I’m mostly relying on Scott’s estimate (90%)
21. EMDrive is launched into space and testing is successfully begun: 50% [No dote announced, and there is a launch backlog for cubesats in the US. These things don’t happen quickly.] (70%)
22. A significant number of skeptics will not become convinced EMDrive works: 95% — if it launches, this will become clear quickly. (80%)
23. A significant number of believers will not become convinced EMDrive doesn’t work. [If it launches, it’s game over.] Conditional: 10% if launched before November, 90% if not. (60%)
26. Keith Ellison chosen as new DNC chair: 80% (70%)

EUROPE
27. No country currently in Euro or EU announces new plan to leave: [Exclusing England, which has no actual plan, 90%](80%)
28. France does not declare plan to leave EU: 97% (95%)
29. Germany does not declare plan to leave EU: 99% (99%)
30. No agreement reached on “two-speed EU”: 90% (80%)
31. The UK triggers Article 50: 80% (90%)
32. Marine Le Pen is not elected President of France: [Conditional on her running] 50% (60%)
33. Angela Merkel is re-elected Chancellor of Germany: 70% (60%)
34. Theresa May remains PM of Britain: 80% (80%)
35. Fewer refugees admitted 2017 than 2016: [to Europe? Unsure. But the flow is slowing, it seems. 95% (95%)

ECONOMICS
37. Oil will end the year higher than $50 a barrel: [Brent? I guess.] 70% (60%)
38. …but lower than $60 a barrel: 50% (60%)
39. Dow Jones will not fall > 10% this year: 60% (50%)
40. Shanghai index will not fall > 10% this year: 65% (50%)

TRUMP ADMINISTRATION
41. Donald Trump remains President at the end of 2017: 95% (90%)
42. No serious impeachment proceedings are active against Trump: 90% (80%)
43. Construction on Mexican border wall (beyond existing barriers) begins: 50% (80%)
44. Trump administration does not initiate extra prosecution of Hillary Clinton: 95% (90%)
45. US GDP growth lower than in 2016: 50% (60%)
46. US unemployment to be higher at end of year than beginning: 40% (60%)
47. US does not withdraw from large trade org like WTO or NAFTA: 80% (90%)
48. US does not publicly and explicitly disavow One China policy: 80% (95%)
49. No race riot killing > 5 people: 80% (95%)
50. US lifts at least half of existing sanctions on Russia: [How do you measure half? Also, congress does this, not president. So…] 60%[?] (70%)
51. Donald Trump’s approval rating at the end of 2017 is lower than fifty percent: 90% (80%)
52. …lower than forty percent: [It’s only 41% now, and they typically drop — and the big exception is G.W.B., after 9/11.] 75% (60%)

And I’m not predicting his blog traffic or his life. But…
60. Less Wrong renaissance attempt will seem less (rather than more) successful by end of this year: [I’m a bit hopeful — but I’ll follow his judgement on what happened…] 80% (90%)

Bonus: Scott’s accuracy / calibration will be about as good as it was last year, not materially worse [I’m gonna eyeball this one, I can’t think of a good metric.]: 90%

Review of Last Year’s predictions:

Of [50–60%) predictions, I got 1 right and 1 wrong, for a score of 50%
Of [60–70%) predictions, I got 6 right and 2 wrong, for a score of 75%
Of [70–80%) predictions, I got 5 right and 2 wrong, for a score of 71%
Of [80–90%) predictions, I made no predictions. (Hmmm…)
Of [90–95%) predictions, I got 6 right and 0wrong, for a score of 100%
For [95–99%) predictions, I got 9 right and 0 wrong, for a score of 100%
For [99+%] predictions, I got 4right and 0 wrong, for a score of 100%

Assessed probability is noted after each prediction. Predictions with probability >50% that happened are noted (Correct). The base rates are being ignored, so these marks are very unfairly biased in my favor, since I said many very rare events wouldn’t happen.

Donald Trump to be the Republican nominee for President in 2016. 60% (Correct)

Democrats win undivided control of government in 2016. 12% (Correct)

The GOP will keep the senate in 2017. 70% (Correct)

The Bitcoin reward halvening will increase its value by over 25% versus USD within a month of the event. 5% (Correct)

Zika will be found not to be the (sole, proximate) cause of microencephaly for the recent cases in Brazil. 25% (Calling this still unclear.)

No single GOP candidate will get >50% of delegates, and a brokered convention will ensue. 10% (Correct)

The S&P 500 Index will close below 1600 at the end of 2016. 10% (Correct)

The S&P 500 will close below 1750 at the end of 2016. 40% (Correct)

The S&P 500 Index will close below 2000 at the end of 2016. 75% (Incorrect)

Federal Reserve will cut the Federal Funds rate to below zero levels (i.e. a range that includes below zero levels) at or before the March 2016 FOMC meeting. 1% (Correct)

Federal Reserve will cut the Federal Funds rate to the [0, 0.25%] range at or before the March 2016 FOMC meeting. 5% (Correct)

There will be at least one more gravitational wave detection announced in 2016. 70% (Correct)

There will be at least two more gravitational wave detections announced in 2016 69% (Incorrect)

Obama will successfully appoint Scalia’s appointment. 45% (Correct)

North Korea’s government will survive the year 2016 without large civil war/revolt. 95% (Correct)

The 2016 Iowa GOP Caucus result does not get overturned/revised such that Trump takes first place. 99%. 1% (Correct)

A US state (other than Florida) will declare at least a county-wide state of emergency due to the Zika virus before June of 2016. 50% (Incorrect)

Jeb Bush will be the next President-elect. 1% (Correct)

AlphaGo wins 5–0 in march. 40% (Correct)

AlphaGo defeats Lee Sedol in 3/5 or more games in March. 70% (Correct)

Bernie Sanders will win the New Hampshire Primary. 90% (Correct)

No 2016 Presidential candidate receives a majority of Electoral votes. 4% (Correct)

Lee Sedol will win match against AlphaGo but lose at least one game 27% (Correct)

No major earthquake (>100 deaths) in US in 2016. 99% (Correct)

No major earthquake (>10000 deaths) in the world in 2016. 75% (Correct)

SpaceX successfully launches a reused rocket in 2016. (Payload reaches outer space, i.e. 100km) 60% (Inocrrect)

US unemployment to be lower at end of 2016 than beginning. 75% (We’ll see — probably.)

US GDP growth in 2016 lower than in 2015. 60% (We’ll see.)

Dow Jones Industrial Average will not fall > 10% over the course of 2016. (It will end above 15,434) 60% (Correct)

Oil will end 2016 lower than $40 a barrel. 40% (Correct)

Bitcoin will end 2016 higher than $500. 25% (Incorrect.)

ISIS will control less territory at the end of 2016 than it does right now. 60% (Correct)

Israel will not get in a large-scale war (ie >100 Israeli deaths) with any Arab state (Excluding the PA/Hamas, not excluding IS or Hezbollah) in 2016. 97% (Correct)

Greece will not announce it’s leaving the Euro in 2016. 90% (Correct)

North Korea’s government will survive 2016 without large civil war/revolt. 90% (Correct)

No terrorist attack in the in the US will kill > 100 people in 2016. 95% (Correct)

US will not get involved in any new major war with death toll of > 100 US soldiers. 75% (Correct)

Rubio mops up on Super Tuesday, taking more than 60% of the primaries. 4% (Correct)

Brokered convention. 4% (Correct)

2016 Election is Clinton vs Rubio. 10% (Correct)

Democrats win House of Representatives in 2016. 5% (Correct)

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