The next 10 years

October 10th, 2010

Courtesy of Douglas Coupland, A radical pessimist's guide to the next 10 years:

13) Enjoy lettuce while you still can
And anything else that arrives in your life from a truck, for that matter. For vegetables, get used to whatever it is they served in railway hotels in the 1890s. Jams. Preserves. Pickled everything.


21) We will still be annoyed by people who pun, but we will be able to show them mercy because punning will be revealed to be some sort of connectopathic glitch: The punner, like someone with Tourette's, has no medical ability not to pun.


37) People will stop caring how they appear to others
The number of tribal categories one can belong to will become infinite. To use a high-school analogy, 40 years ago you had jocks and nerds. Nowadays, there are Goths, emos, punks, metal-heads, geeks and so forth.

[Via The Browser]

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Wrong Tomorrow

April 1st, 2009

Wrong Tomorrow collects predictions made by public figures, be they politicians or pundits, and notes the timeframe in which the prediction is supposed to come true. The idea is that as predictions fall due they'll be tagged as right or wrong, thereby revealing who really knows what they're talking about.

It's a nice idea, but despite the site's claim that each prediction needs to make an empirically testable claim about the world some of the predictions are too ill-defined to be testable. For example:

author: matt simmons
prediction: "We are three, six, maybe nine months away from an [oil] price shock."

Is there a formal definition of an oil price shock? If prices suddenly double over the course of December 2009 that would presumably qualify, but what if prices increase gradually over the course of the next three/six/nine months? What if prices go up suddenly, but only by 15%?1

[Via Daring Fireball]

  1. The article containing the prediction can be found here. There's nothing in the article to suggest that Matt Simmons provided any clarification on this point, so we're on our own in interpreting his prediction.