Merry New Year’s Eve! It has long been the custom at this blog to make predictions for the coming year (we’ll do that tomorrow, on New Year’s Day) and then to check them on the last day of that year. The one who makes the best prediction–that is, the most precise and unexpected prognostication–will be heaped with accolades. This year we will also heap the winner with World Table ratings.
We have a clear winner, someone who made a prediction out of the blue that few would have believed at the time of its makings, but that came true.
We also had some pretty good runners up. And only one dramatic loser, which, however, is amazing for reasons of its own. I will discuss them and make the presentation after the jump.
See for yourself at Make your predictions for 2015. (Click the “Disqus” option. It says there are 0 comments, but that is wrong.)
Overall, the predictions were thoughtful, insightful, and surprisingly on target.
Most of the predictions were extrapolations from what was happening in 2014: Russia throwing its weight around in Ukraine and elsewhere. ISIS had begun its beheadings and a number of you predicted that this scourge would intensify. Pope Francis had been making statements that put the media into a frenzy, to be clarified later by his Vatican handlers, and some of you predicted correctly that this would continue.
Here are some honorable mentions: SAL predicted that “ISIS will expand and hold territory in multiple Middle Eastern states.” I don’t know that anyone else saw that coming. Nils and reg both predicted that the US and Iran would come to an accord. Sven was the only one to predict that the Supreme Court would legalize same-sex marriage.
92JazzQueen made three prescient predictions: The commercial and critical success of Pixar’s Inside Out. The emergence of the issue of religious liberty in connection with gay rights. Pope Francis would put more emphasis on environmental stewardship. All of those certainly came true.Jeremiah Oehlerich and Nils both predicted the success of the new Star Wars movie, a year before it was released. (Jeremiah also predicted that this blog would have more posts about Hillary Mantel’s Wolf Hall series. He nailed my taste in novels, but the third volume that will take Cromwell to the chopping block wasn’t released last year.)
But the winner is Joe–is that you, Joe Olsen?–for predicting that the price of a barrel of oil would fall to $35. Oil fell to $34.53 on December 14 of this year. In December, 2014, when the prediction was made, the price was around $60 per barrel. So for that highly specific, out-of-the-blue projection, we proclaim Joe the winner.
The loser was the winner a few years ago, the person who defined the benchmark in unlikely predictions. I am referring to tODD, who, like an Old Testament prophet, in 2010 foresaw the death of North Korea’s dictator Kim Jong-il (who died on December 17, 2011) and the accession of his unlikely son Kim Jong-un.
This time tODD predicted that Vladimir Putin will be ousted, Hillary Clinton will not run for president, and that “Disqus releases an update that everyone here lauds as excellent and helpful.” Instead, we got something tODD hates beyond measure: World Table!
But World Table lets us rate posts. I would like Joe and the others named here to present themselves and say how they came to their conclusions. Then I would like everyone to give Joe the highest ratings. Also give the others the highest ratings, as you see fit, including tODD.