Ideonexus’ Futurism Scorecard

Posted on 31st July 2008 by Ryan Somma in Geeking Out

Our ignorance is not so vast as our failure to use what we know.
– M. King Hubbert

I’m going on five years of blogging now, which gives me enough material to go back and grade my own aptitude at prediction. My favorite bit of personal futurism was my article, Bring on the High Gas Prices, posted August 14, 2005. This idea was not mine at all, I was merely throwing my weight behind M. King Hubbert’s predictions that oil would run out in Texas, which it did. I reviewed the competing hypotheses, and I threw my support behind the idea of Peak Oil based on the data. I’m glad I got it right, but the idea was not mine.

April 2007 I officially threw my lot in with those who accept the theory of Anthropogenic Global Warming. I reviewed the data, and was convinced that (1) It’s happening (2) We’re causing it. How fast? How much? Where? When? I don’t know, the models are being improved and the Earth’s symptoms monitored. Things are getting really bad, and things are going to get much much worse. Again, not my idea, but I knew which horse to bet on.

In my book, The Spiraling Web, originally written in 2002, I talked about two super computers battling it out on a Chessboard in order to solve the game once and for all. Chinook would solve Checkers just a few years later, but the idea of “solving” games was not a new one. I would later find that it is a topic of great interest to computer scientists who are actually working on solving Chess and other games. My idea, but others had it to. So great minds think alike (or fools seldom differ).

My bad predictions are harder to find, because I’m so resistant to posting predictions unless I feel 99.9 percent certain of their veracity. My unposted political predictions are usually wrong: “Hillary will be President” (2008), “John Kerry will be President” (2004), and “George Bush will slip on a banana peel and die in an amusing fashion before he can do any harm” (2000).

Although I never came out and said it on this blog, all of my talk about panspermia, Von Neumann Machines, and extremeophiles was a prelude to the Mars Phoenix Lander. I was working to preempt the discovery of life on Mars. I was 99.9 percent certain Phoenix would find microbial life in the Martian soil.

No such luck, but I’m still hoping. I can’t fathom Mars not having microbial life thriving on it. That seems almost an impossibility to my mind.

1 Comment

  1. I told you I stole that Von Neumann Machine idea of yours, (bacteria, protein, dna, all that) and did a project on it in AP Biology yeah? Got a 97 on it too.

    Mmmm. Most entertaining project there was in that class.

    Comment by DJ Nicko — July 31, 2008 @ 6:13 pm

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