17 January 2017

The Power of Hindsight: Predictions for 2017

2016 was a mixed bag for me, but one of the negative aspects was being wrong about a lot of factual matters during the year. Some of these were national questions, like who would win the Presidential election. Others were more personal, for instance, consistently expecting worse grades than I ultimately received.

Copying Scott Alexander, I'm going to try rectifying this problem by making a series of predictions about what will happen in 2017. At the end of the year, I'll come back and see how well I did.

With no further ado: my predictions for 2017.


I will still be living in Kansas: 95%
My parents will have moved into their new house: 90%
My parents will have sold our current house: 80%
I will still be annoyed about it: 70%
I will read 10 books this year: 90%
....12 books: 85%
....15 books: 75%
....20 books: 60%
I will write an average of one blog post per month: 80%
....two blog posts per month: 60%
I will not succeed in a longform fiction writing project this year: 85%
I will not get back together with my ex-girlfriend: 85%
I will not get a new girlfriend: 65%
I will not get a boyfriend: 95%
I will not experience a major political conversion this year: 80%
I will not experience a major religious conversion this year: 95%
I will be able to perform 15 push-ups with ease: 90%
....20 push-ups: 70%
....30 push-ups: 50%
I will not be hospitalized: 95%
I will not begin drinking regularly: 90%
I will not attend a solstice event: 80%
I will participate in the LessWrong community: 70%


I will still be studying aerospace engineering: 95%
....at the University of Kansas: 93%
....on track to graduate in May 2018: 90%
I will end the year with GPA 3.0 or above: 80%
Jayhawk Rocket Design will test fire our hybrid rocket engine: 80%
Jayhawk Rocket Design will fly the hybrid engine on a rocket: 65%
Jayhawk Rocket Design begin work on a two-stage rocket: 70%
I will have had an engineering internship: 70%
I will have a job lined up post-graduation: 60%
I will not be planning to attend grad school: 90%
I will learn Javascript this year: 80%
I will not learn Haskell this year: 80%
I will not begin learning Russian this year: 80%
My French will not improve this year: 75%


Human trials of CRISPR announced: 80%
No successful human clones announced: 65%
Self-driving cars licensed in the US or Canada: 50%
"EM Drive" will be explained by existing physics: 75%
KIC 8462852 will not be satisfactorily explained: 80%
No strong evidence of extra-terrestrial life will be found: 95%
SpaceX launches a reused rocket: 80%
Reused rocket is successful: 70%
Falcon Heavy will fly this year: 65%
No deaths in space this year: 90%
No country leaves the ISS Treaty: 85%


Donald Trump will still be President at the end of 2017: 95%
Mike Pence will still be Vice President: 95%
Obamacare will not have been repealed: 60%
United States will not go to war with a nuclear power: 85%
United States will not enter a major new war (>100 US casualties): 70%
North Korean government will not be overthrown or displaced: 95%
North Korean government will not begin liberal reforms: 93%
Theresa May will still be Prime Minister of the United Kingdom: 90%
United Kingdom will not have triggered Article 50: 70%
Ukraine Conflict will not be resolved in 2017: 85%


I will remember to score these predictions: 95%
I will have been overconfident in these predictions: 80%

By my count, that comes out to sixty individual predictions. Against the advice of Bryan Caplan, I've decided not to bet on any of them. Maybe next year. Part of this project is about quantifying uncertainty, and I've realized that I'm sufficiently uncertain to put any significant amount of cash on the line.

Happy New Year, everyone!