2020 Predictions Evaluated

At the beginning of 2020 I made a series of predictions. I made these predictions before anyone knew COVID-19 was coming, but it's critical that we evaluate our predictions in the face of black swans. Let's see how I did.

COVID: Map of the future check-in

Back in May, when Covid was kicking into gear in the US, I did the exercise of making base-line predictions for the upcoming months using the back of the envelope math and trying to factor in how politics, the economy, and Covid would interplay with each other. I left it posted (of course) and you can see it here: Map of the future 2020 . More than anything, it was an exercise it trying to stomach what we were going into.

CA Proposition guide for 2020

There's more going on this election year than the presidential election and the possibility of a civil war that seems to be coming with it. As usual, California voters will sort through an array of public policy choices and participate in direct democracy, for better or worse. My vote for president is Biden not because I like him, but because I am exceedingly dissatisfied with the Trump administration's goals, competence, and ethics. My vote in this matter hardly matters as California is "dark blue" as always.


The Ultimatum Game Goes Negative

If you are not familiar with the ultimatum game, it's a sort of social psychology experiment. You (the tester) pick two people and give one of them (Alice) the chance to distribute $100. She can then offer as much or as little of it as she wants to the other (Bob). Finally, Bob can choose to either accept the offer or require that they both give back the money.

Map of the Future: May-Dec 2020

funny image of Covid-19

This document was written on May 4th, 2020

This is a predictive roadmap, with a lot of guesswork in it. It is fairly USA-centric, but will glance at some other locations I am forming opinions about as well.

Dog With Cancer Wins the Superbowl

I'm always interested in what advertisements get run during the super bowl. I think that in general you can pick up a lot of information about the zeitgeist from watching them. I was interested to see a post on reddit mentioning that this year a guy is buying a $6 million dollar spot thanking vet's for saving his pet dog's life. This obviously feels odd.

20 predictions for the year 2020

As I did last year, I'm going to make predictions regarding the upcoming year of 2020. These are ONLY predictions for this coming year, not for the whole decade. I'm also going to endeavor to make more predictions, so that I can do a better job calibrating off of them. Last year I only made 6 predictions, and they were also spread across too many likelihood percentiles to really use for calibration. This year I'm trying to make 10 predictions with 90% likelihood and 10 with 80% so that I can do a better evaluation at year end.

Evaluated: 2019 Predictions

I have taken a hit from some of my favorite bloggers (Scott and JMG) and started doing recorded yearly predictions, along with evaluations. In 2019 I made Six Predictions which I evaluate below:

Exploring Virtue Ethics

Kronk, perhaps my most beloved Disney character struggles with virtue

Virtues are broad prescriptions about how one should behave. Virtues represent a collective history and tendency to make specific choices, however those choices need not continue to be made. For instance "courage" is a virtue, someone who is "courageous" usually doesn't flee from what they fear, but it is a choice available to them at every encounter. This draws a distinction between virtues and traits. Physical strength is a trait, and not an (ethical) virtue, just because it is a trait that is useful in many situations does not give it a moral value.

Six Types of Ethics Walk Into a 2x2

Ethics is fundamentally about answering the question "how should you live your life". Implicit in that question is the question "what is good?" as well as the rest of the mess that lives on the other side of Hume's guillotine. Mostly we when we think of ethics we think of a preacher exhorting us to give to charity, or a parent teaching a child not to lie, but "go to college so you can succeed in life" is just as much an ethical statement as "don't lie".


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