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.

Weather and Climate Change

There will be massive mudslides in CA (90%)

Yes. It didn't make the news much because we all had other problems. ( https://www.cnn.com/2019/02/15/us/california-storms-mudslides-wxc/index.... ) In the future I'm going to need to find some sort of specific measurement for "massive" mudslides.

There will be CA wildfires burning more than 1.5 Million Hectares (90%)

Yes. 1,779,730 Hectares burned. It should be noted that I messed this up when I made the prediction. I MEANT to say 1.5MM acres, which was a safe 90% bet. Over 4MM acres burned in actuality, so even though I messed up my unit, I still landed the prediction. Takeaway #1, be careful about units.

There will be at least one Category 5+ Atlantic Hurricane (90%)

Yes. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hurricane_Iota

There will be at least one Category 4+ Hurricane With Landfall (80%)

Yes. (Several. But among others Iota did)


The senate will NOT find Donald Trump guilty in the Impeachment hearing (90%)

Yes. (This set of predictions was explicitly for 2020. I never would have guessed that there would be a second impeachment, as you can see in my wording. Black swans abound this year)

Trump will win re-election (80%)

No. Thank god, good riddance.

The U.S. Senate will remain Republican controlled (80%)



The Dow will end the year above current levels (90%)

Yes $28,500 -> $30,606 ( This should not be. In my opinion this in the face of covid reveals more about disfunction

Bitcoin will end year above $9000 (80%)

Yes $7,177 -> $28,990 ( Not that shocked. it was either going to be up a little or up a lot)

Etherum will end year up (90%)

Yes $130 -> $738

My Son's Life

My Son will be potty trained (90%)

No. We never even tried; if we had, I think it would have gone well.

My Son will be using full sentences (90%)

Yes. He was doing this by Feb, and he's super verbal.

My Son will be able to catch a ball (80%)

Yes, just barely hit this one in December. That still puts him at precocious.

My Son's weight will be over 27 lbs (80%)

Yes, 30.6 lbs (this is GREAT, he's up from ~5% to about 45%. He was sickly and is now healthy. This is mostly due to relentless hard work by my wife)

My Life

I will do my daily journaling exercise more than 200 days (80%)

No (185 days and a lot of those were really sloppy)

I will write and post 9+ blog posts, this one included (80%)


I will have moved out of the United States (90%)

No (COVID knocked this down)

I will meditate more than 150 days (90%)


So how did I do?

The goal here is Calibration getting 10/10 right on 80% predictions is just as bad as getting 6/10 right on 80% predictions. When I wrote these, I tried to make it easy on myself with the math and make predictions in blocks of 10.

Of my 90% predictions, I got 8/10 right. Given the Covid, that's pretty good. Surprisingly one that I missed (potty training) wasn't thrown by Covid. I do feel like I got a little lucky with this in a black swan sense.

Of my 80% predictions, I got 4/8 right. A few things are apparent with this.
First, my calibration is way off. 50% on 80% guesses is pretty bad. I think part of this is that many of them were effectively co-dependent on things that got black-swanned by covid. We will see if stuff balances out over multiple years.
Second, we learned that I couldn't count. There were supposed to be 10 80% predictions to make the math easy.

In general, I think I learned that I am way better at guessing developmental stages, finance, and weather than I am politics or personal productivity. I will attempt to scale the next set of predictions accordingly.

On a slightly related subject:

I want you to know that if you ever make a long bet with me I will hold up my end of the deal. If you ever make a long bet with me and don't hold up your end of the agreement, I will never look at you the same way.