2019 Ask Me Anything (AMA) Results
Where I put on my New Years Hat and you can Ask me Anything!
I started a tradition on New Year’s Eve 2018. “Ask Me Anything” about a topic in the coming new year and get an improvised, off-the-cuff, unsourced, but what I hope is an interesting forecast. This document presents each question asked in the 2019 New Years Eve AMA followed by the Forecasts I wrote at the time (12/30/2018 through 1/2/2019). Then I present my review of Results (written 12/20-12/20/2019) and make up a “score” for accuracy. The posts are pulled from Facebook so apologies in advance for lack of ‘polish.’
Review of 2019 AMA Questions
Click on any of the below to navigate directly to the Forecast and Results. Click on (Return to Top) on the bottom of any page to return here.
Q1 What will happen in Yemen?
Q2 What’s the long-term impact of cybersecurity attack on newspapers?
Q3 Whether the South China Sea dispute will resolve?
Q4 What will likely happen re: impeachment if there is a viable case presented by Mueller?
Q5 What is Russia’s likely response to any impeachment proceedings?
Q6 How long will the shutdown will last?
Q7 Will Libya become unified and/or stable?
Q8 What is the single greatest threat to the downward trend of crime in America?
Q9 Will org LARPing remain a mess?
Q10 Will Brexit remain a mess?
Q11 Relations between US and EU in the coming year?
Q12 Thoughts on Elizabeth Warren running for President?
Bonus Round Q13: Israel’s election. (Passed.)
About these Forecasts
System dynamicists do not predict the future. Much like Dr. Strange we prefer to run many simulations and identify a range of possible future manifestations, and what contingencies will cause them to exist. We also focus on trends over time rather than discrete “point-predictions”. For example a forecast might answer whether the stock market might be higher or lower next year, and why, but won’t try to predict that the market drops by 10% on October 5th, 2020.
In this regard these forecasts are not “predictions” insomuch as they are just one of many possible future scenarios and the contingencies I think people should be looking for to see if it will manifest or not. Also these forecasts are made on the spur of the moment, as questions are asked, and without extensive research (or actual simulation.) This represents what I might respond if you asked me the same question in a coffee-shop rather than in a peer-reviewed paper. Consider these forecasts more than anything else as edutainment, don’t take them seriously. (Unless I’m right, then of course all of the above doesn’t matter.)
Also although I don’t have a horrible track record on getting the scenario right – I’m downright miserable on correctly picking the time frame in which the scenario will occur. So when I give a forecast for 2020, think 2020-2025.
My overall score over 12 questions was 10.5 meaning my final grade was 87.5%. Not bad for a completely unscientific entirely subjective exercise. Had I been flipping coins calling heads or tails behind a screen and telling you whether I guessed it correctly I probably only would’ve gotten 60-70%.
But to me this is an interesting exercise in the questions that were forefront on the minds of people going into 2019, an improvised forecast of what I thought might happen using systems thinking and my own knowledge and experience, combined with a review of the year past to see what actually happened.