# New Year's Prediction Thread (2013)

5 01 January 2013 02:03PM

Try to predict something important in a way, that it will be easy to judge it in 2014, how (in)accurate your predictions really were. Don't leave too much space for a doubt what was really said.

Sort By: Best
Comment author: 01 January 2013 11:33:18PM *  8 points [-]

Assuming that Google hired Ray Kurzweil to produce and not just for bragging rights, I predict that Kurzweil and Google will part company some time this year when it becomes evident that Kurzweil can no longer focus on doing real engineering.

Comment author: 02 January 2013 02:42:39PM 12 points [-]

How do you determine if the thing you're conditionalizing on holds?

Comment author: 01 January 2013 11:20:36PM 7 points [-]

Previous:

Feel free to use http://predictionbook.com/happenstance ; for quick gratification, make predictions using http://predictionbook.com/predictions/future (My own prediction are all at http://predictionbook.com/users/gwern )

2 large collections of predictions for those interested in the specific topics:

On the benefits of predicting, and heuristics/tips/advice: http://www.gwern.net/Prediction%20markets#predictionbook-nights

While we're on the topic: today I closed up a batch of predictions on the success of the 2012 Haskell Summer of Code projects: http://www.gwern.net/Haskell%20Summer%20of%20Code#results-2 I didn't do very well, since I got bushwhacked by 2 hard-to-predict failures and a disappointment from someone I didn't expect to disappoint me.

Comment author: 01 January 2013 02:07:56PM 6 points [-]

Here is a list of my New Year's resolutions (along with probability estimates). Peer pressure, lend me your power!

As usual, a mostly exhaustive list of my public predictions can be found here.

Comment author: 01 January 2013 08:53:36PM 3 points [-]

why would you want to do 250 bodyweight squats? At that point you are doing cardio and there is a reason nobody does bodyweight squats as cardio.

Comment author: 02 January 2013 05:39:57AM 1 point [-]

why would you want to do 250 bodyweight squats?

I'm cancelling my gym membership, since it is too crowded to get in a proper workout before having to head to work on most days, so I won't have access to a squat rack, yet I don't want my legs to atrophy significantly.

At that point you are doing cardio and there is a reason nobody does bodyweight squats as cardio.

What reason would that be?

Comment author: 02 January 2013 06:48:09AM *  1 point [-]

Your legs will atrophy with that change in stimulus regardless of how many hindu squats you do.

Bodyweight squats as cardio will be highly stressful on your knees as they track way over the toes when performing a hindu squat. It's not something I would do regularly or for super high reps.

I would suggest kettlebell swings as an alternative that can be done in your living room.

Comment author: 02 January 2013 07:14:19AM 1 point [-]

I'm not sure why you got the impression that I'll be doing Hindu squats. My "bodyweight squats" use the same posture as my front squats (without the bar). In any case, I'll give kettlebells another look. Thanks.

Comment author: 02 January 2013 07:17:54AM 1 point [-]

that...shouldn't be possible I don't think. You have to move your center of gravity forward without a counterbalance. I assumed hindu squats because that's what people normally go for with high rep bodyweight squats.

Comment author: 02 January 2013 07:34:30AM *  1 point [-]

that...shouldn't be possible I don't think. You have to move your center of gravity forward without a counterbalance. I assumed hindu squats because that's what people normally go for with high rep bodyweight squats.

This is kind of what it looks like (except I put my hands behind my head or cross my arms). I'm fairly sure my knees don't go over my toes by more than an inch or two.

Comment author: 02 January 2013 08:10:07AM 2 points [-]

have you tried pistol squats? Doing those while holding a kettlebell has a better chance of maintaining your leg strength.

Comment author: 01 February 2013 08:09:52AM 0 points [-]

Why not just get a couple of adjustable weight dumbells?

Comment author: 02 January 2013 06:02:23AM 0 points [-]

What reason would that be?

It is inefficient to do "cardio" (cardiovascular training for the explicit purpose of increasing general endurance) using only two large muscle groups (glutes and quadriceps). If your intention is to do cardio you can achieve the same level of effort in less time with running, which uses your entire leg and some upper body, or rowing, which has the benefit of not destroying your knees in the process. That said, 250 bodyweight squats is definitely achievable in one year for anyone of normal health, so my estimate of your probability of success is dominated by your willpower and desire to stick to that particular goal.

Comment author: 01 January 2013 08:37:01PM *  0 points [-]

Depending on your current level of proficiency, your fifth prediction might be too ambitious, even at a 40% confidence level. How many kanji can you at present write from memory at that same error rate?

Comment author: 02 January 2013 05:43:13AM 0 points [-]

Depending on your current level of proficiency, your fifth prediction might be too ambitious, even at a 40% confidence level.

Perhaps.

How many kanji can you at present write from memory at that same error rate?

I can write more than 250 kanji from memory with very few errors given the "keyword" and have been practicing since 10/10/2012.

Comment author: 01 January 2013 08:35:11PM 0 points [-]

:) That's a brilliant idea. I like the probability you're assigning to each one. Good luck.

Comment author: 02 January 2013 05:43:28AM 0 points [-]

:) That's a brilliant idea. I like the probability you're assigning to each one. Good luck.

Thanks.

Comment author: 01 January 2013 05:32:43PM 0 points [-]

Peer pressure, lend me your power!

Your 25 standard pull-ups peers? Geez. :)

Comment author: 02 January 2013 05:50:32AM 4 points [-]

By the end of 2014 the average observer in a city with a population over 300,000 in the United States will see a drone aircraft in the sky once a month or more. By 2017, every day.

Comment author: 02 January 2013 06:42:32PM 3 points [-]

Interesting prediction, but I think you're over-estimating the effectiveness of "an average observer." Unless you mean "someone who explicitly is looking for such things" when you say "observer." I go days or weeks without noticing planes in the sky; am I significantly below average as an observer, are drones in cities going to be much more common than planes here, or are drones much more noticeable than planes by 2017? I think one of those would have to be true for this to happen, and I would find any of them surprising.

Comment author: 03 January 2013 12:08:49AM 1 point [-]

By average observer, I exclude people actively looking for drones (or other things) in the sky, and I exclude people with training (police? military? spies?) on drone-spotting.

I have been very wrong before! See you (and some drones) in a year!

Comment author: 04 January 2013 03:10:54PM 0 points [-]

I just realized that I was assuming "drone" to mean "aerial drone". But it's quite plausible that ground-based drones will take off by 2017, which would almost certainly be more visible than UAVs. Self-driving cars alone could plausibly account for this, if we stretch the use of 'drone' (wikipedia explicitly includes semi-autonomy in its drone page). I'll give my estimates for your predictions at 15% for the 2013 prediction and 20% for the 2017 but note that it will be hard to either confirm or deny either of these predictions unless drones are truly prolific or unused.

As a side note, I work on a drone and don't see one every day.

Comment author: 22 February 2013 09:47:59PM 0 points [-]

My understanding is that most drones simply aren't visible because they're small and high up and light colored, and this is why drone operators can do things like loiter over a house for several hours without the inhabitants and villagers going 'Oh my god! There's an American drone hanging around! Quick go tell our Taliban guy to abort today's mission!'

Comment author: 03 January 2013 05:48:44AM 0 points [-]

Probability?

Comment author: 02 January 2013 03:22:55PM 2 points [-]

We should also use this thread to rate our own predictions from last year. Here are mine:

Methods of Rationality updates - will there be any?

Yes. But not enough to make it feel like the story is moving towards a conclusion.

I'm not sure how to score this one. The trial arc had big changes to the status quo that make me think the story must revolve soon. Quirrell is on Harry's list of suspects for the frame-up, Harry now sees himself as being at war. Also, Draco is gone, and Eliezer had so much fun with the Draco-Harry dynamic that I doubt Eliezer would have gotten rid of Draco unless the fic were nearing its end. I made these inferences before, and had them confirmed by, the November status update.

At the same time, it's very hard for me to see how the story could possibly resolve. I'm sure Eliezer will give Harry a way to win, but what way could that possibly be? Harry figuring out who Quirrell is could happen very easily, and from there it's not a big leap to make some informed guesses about horcrux locations. But there's the general problem of Rational!Voldemort being too smart to be defeated any of the ways he's defeated in canon, and more specific things getting in the way of a resolution, like how on earth will Harry actually destroy the horcruxes, even if he knew where they all are?

[Medical advances] will be incremental, enough so that very, very few people will notice any practical impact on their lives. Some advances, however, will be accompanied by a great deal of hype. Evidence will emerge that some treatments which we think work now do not in fact work.

Haven't taken a poll, but I've heard no news reports contracting the first sentence. Unfortunately, I can't think of any super hyped-up news reports to confirm the rest of the prediction. It wouldn't surprise me if the third sentence were true and I just haven't heard about it--can anyone help me there?

I will continue to believe cryonics is something I would sign up for if I had money to spare, but will also continue to feel too poor to have money to spare.

This was correct.

I expect to be amazed by at least one cool new application of computing that vaguely resembles human intelligence.

I found out about the Google Goggles app, and was impressed on first hearing about it, though less impressed on actually trying it. Does this count? I had "something Siri-like" in mind when I made this prediction, and still haven't tried Siri, so I don't know if I'd be disappointed by Siri.

General comment: my predictions were made only semi-jokingly, as an attempt to find things so banal they could not fail. But I think I may have gone overboard applying the heuristic "2012 will be a lot like 2011." 2012 didn't differ dramatically from 2011, but I underestimated the number of boring ways it would differ.

Comment author: 02 January 2013 07:21:57PM 2 points [-]

The difference between your medical prediction and your computing prediction really struck me. I don't mean the difference between the fields, but the difference in how you proposed to measure them. Your computing prediction was about your own reaction and thus fairly easy to score. But your medical predictions were about absolute progress, hyper, and research, and thus difficult to score.

My pet peeve on these threads are predictions like yours that I cannot identify as predicting stasis or change! If you predicted amazement in 2012, just like in 2011, at least I'd know that and I could make a parallel prediction about my own amazement. If you had chosen a specific instance of amazement in 2011, it would have made it clear to me what you meant and it might have helped you judge whether your 2012 experiences lived up to it.

Comment author: 01 January 2013 03:31:43PM *  1 point [-]

I predict that the comet ISON will be barely visible and not at all the most spectacular comet in history, as the current hype goes.

Comment author: 01 January 2013 07:20:31PM 1 point [-]

With what confidence?

Comment author: 01 January 2013 07:39:34PM 1 point [-]

90 percent that it will not be very bright and 99.99% that it will NOT be a historic record.

Why? For several comets from the past decades I remember, the expectations how bright they will be, were very high. With a naked eye we then hardly saw one or two. This is one reason.

The other one is that the composition data of this comet and of all the others should be very good, for such claims. What is not a case.