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New Year: 2017 Prediction Calibration Results
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In the spirit of #SkinInTheGame, Taleb’s idea that pundits should at least stake their reputations on the strength of their knowledge, last year I made some predictions about 2017.

See also predictions and results for 2016.

As usual, I am calibrating my predictions by comparing the percentage of predictions I got right at each probability level versus their probability (e.g., for predictions at the 70% confidence level, perfect calibration would represent getting 7/10 of them correct). Predictions with a probability rating of less than 50% are converted to their inverse.

Correct predictions are left as is, while wrong predictions are crossed out. Additional comments are in bolded italics.

***

Predictions – World

World Affairs & Conflicts

  • No major conflict (>50 deaths) in East Asia/SE Asia that involves China and/or the US: 95%.
  • US will not get involved in any new major war with death toll of > 50 US soldiers: 80%.
  • No major conflict (>50 deaths), except Donbass, in the former Soviet space: 90%.
    • The big one here is Armenia vs. Azerbaijan, but because reasons, the likelihood of a new flareup is now considerably lower than last year.
  • Oil prices are higher than $60: 50%. WTI Crude is at $58.47/barrel as of 12/23/2017. Perfectly calibrated prediction.
  • China’s GDP grows by 6%+: 50%. Close: 6.9% in Q1, 6.9% in Q2, 6.8% in Q3.
  • China will have more top 500 supercomputers than the US throughout 2017: 70%. And by quite the margin, now.
  • There are fewer European migrant arrivals by sea than in 2016: 80%. 170,317 in 2017 vs. 362,753 in 2016, 1,015,078 in 2015.
  • Venezuela does not undergo sovereign default: 80%.
  • Israel will not get in a large-scale war (i.e. >50 Israeli deaths) with any Arab state: 90%.
  • North Korea’s government will survive the year without large civil war/revolt (>100 deaths): 95%.
  • No new global temperature record: 90%. Correct, this was the third hottest year.
    • If only because it will be hard to beat 2016. That said, I expect shipping in the Arctic to continue booming.
  • Radical life extension will not be developed: 99%.
  • Superintelligence will not be developed: 99%.
  • No further large scale civil wars/revolts/revolutions in Middle East/North African countries not already so afflicted: 70%.
  • No large scale civil wars/revolts/revolutions (>100 deaths) in USA: 95%.
  • No large scale civil wars/revolts/revolutions (>100 deaths) in China: 99%.
  • No large scale civil wars/revolts/revolutions (>100 deaths) in Russia: 95%.
  • No large scale civil wars/revolts/revolutions in any EU country (>100 deaths): 90%.

Syrian Civil War

  • Bashar Assad will remain President of Syria: 95%.
  • IS no longer in control of Raqqa: 50%.
  • IS no longer in control of Palmyra: 80%.
  • IS no longer in control of Mosul: 95%.
  • IS still controls some territory in Iraq and/or Syria: 90%. That’s a few bits of bare desert, but still.
  • Syria still controls Aleppo: 80%.
    • The first danger is a Turkish stab in the back, in which its proxies turn hostile and, in effect, encircle Aleppo between al-Bab and Idlib (though I don’t view that as being likely). The second danger remains the banal fact that most of the SAA is no good, especially its garrison units. I don’t fully exclude the possibility of the rebels seizing the city back once the elite units are sent off somewhere else.
  • Syria still controls Deir ez-Zor airport: 90%.
  • Idlib is still under rebel control: 70%.
    • That province has the lowest polled support for Assad of any in Syria, and that number has correlated very well with the difficulties the Syrian state has had in reimposing its authority there.
  • US/Allies will NOT impose no fly zone over Syria: 95%.
  • Turkey will not “backstab” Russia and the Syrian government: 90%.
  • The Syrian Civil War is still ongoing: 95%.
  • Russian intervention in the Syrian Civil War is scaled down relative to today in a year’s time: 70%.

War in Donbass

  • War in Donbass doesn’t reignite: 80%.
    • Incidentally, and quite ironically, Trump’s election may well have made Ukraine’s position safer (that at least is also the opinion of Igor Strelkov). Were HRC to bloody Putin’s nose in Syria with a no fly zone, three guesses as to who the object of a “short victorious war” to restore Putin’s reputation might have been. With Trump, Syria as a source of escalation is removed.
    • The Ukrainians also now have far fewer reasons to heat things up, because its a safe bet that Trump won’t be interested in pulling their chestnuts out of the fire.
  • No “Putinsliv”/abandonment of Russian support for DNR/LNR, with Ukraine recapturing Donetsk and Lugansk: 99%.
  • Mariupol still under Ukraine control: 90%.
  • Dnipropetrovsk, Odessa, and Kharkov all still under central Ukrainian control: 95%.
    • Kolomoysky has been defanged as a regional attractor, but Odessa remains a potential powderkeg. I think Ukraine will pull through – as I’ve always noted, Right Sector thugs count for more on the streets than protesting pensioners.
  • Poroshenko remains in power: 90%.
  • The Ukraine does not undergo sovereign default: 90%.
    • The next key date is January 2017 when the Commercial Court in the UK rules on the status of Russia’s $3 billion loan to Ukraine.
  • The Ukrainian economy shows GDP growth: 80%. Growth: Fell from 4.8% in Q4 2016, but remains decidedly positive at 2.5% in Q1, 2.3% in Q2, 2.1% in Q3.
    • If only because there is very little room for it to fall any further, with GDP per capita only 70% that of the UkSSR in 1989.

Russia

  • Putin remains Russian President: 95%.
  • Putin announces entry into Presidential race for his second (fourth in total) term: 90%.
  • GDP grows by 2%+: 50%. Russia’s growth was 0.5% in Q1, 2.5% in Q2, and 1.8% in Q3; growth for the entire year will probably be around 1.7%; will need to be 3.2% in Q4 to eke out 2%.
  • Putin’s approval rating according to Levada doesn’t dip below 70% during the year: 50%. They didn’t even dip below 80%; minimum was 81% in June and November.
  • Russians have a more positive view of the US than of the EU as of the last Levada poll in that year: 60%. This prediction actually came true by March 2017, when for a single month, marginally fewer Russians approved of the EU (36%) than of the US (37%) – a stunning reversal, since before the Ukrainian crisis, the EU had traditionally been seen in a much better light. Then came the attack on Syria, and by May, US approval was back down to 23% versus 27% for the EU. As of December, the EU has an approval rate of 28% to America’s 24%.
  • There will not be any substantial anti-government protests (>10,000): 90%. The most substantial oppositionist protest was Navalny’s “He is Not Dimon” meeting at Tverskaya; I was there personally and estimated 7,000-8,000. Khodorkovsky’s “Enough” got a pathetic 200. This year’s Russian March likewise had almost no people, the event having long been hijacked by pro-Ukrainians. The one demonstration that did satisfy this condition was the Anti-Khrushchevki Demolition Protest, which gathered around 20,000 people – however, they did not present a united anti-government agenda, even to the point of sending Navalny packing, so I don’t think this counts.
    • Trump isn’t interested, and the Europeans don’t have as much money.
  • Natural population growth: 70%. This year saw an ~11% decrease in Russian birth rates, a strange and sudden collapse that seems to have been part of a general Eurasian (Ukraine, Baltics) and maybe even industrialized world trend. Preliminary figures for Jan-Oct 2017: 1,418,090 births (1,588,095 in 2016), 1,532,955 deaths (1,567,803 in 2016), translating to natural decrease of -114,865 (+20,292 in 2016). Looks like the definitive end of the brief period of Russia’s natural growth during 2013-15.
  • Total population growth: 95%. Net immigration usually runs at around 250-300k / year, so this is still true.
  • The Crimea remains Russian: 99%.

United States

  • Trump remains US President: 95%.
  • Rex Tillerson becomes and remains Secretary of State: 80%.
    • Had already predicted his rise at PredictIt well before Trump made it public (see right).
  • Hillary Clinton does not get prosecuted: 90%.
  • US economy grows by 3%+: 50%. Growth: 2.0% in Q1, 2.2% in Q2, 2.3% in Q3 – not gonna happen.
  • US relaxes or removes Russia sanctions: 50%. We’ve now transitioned to the US likely selling Javelins to the Ukraine, LOL.
    • Trump might support that, but Congress surely won’t.
  • The Alt Right acrimoniously splits into Trumpists and anti-Trumpists: 70%. Absolutely.
    • This prediction actually dates back to May 2016.
    • Incidentally, this is yet another fascinating Putin/Trump parallel – Putin’s Solovyev/Starikov are Trump’s Milo/Cernovich, while the ethnats have at best a “mixed” relationship with them.
  • The “Ferguson Effect” reverses or at least stabilizes (homicides in major urban areas peak off): 60%. Apparently so.
  • *** Freedom House lowers United States Freedom Rating: 50%. We need to wait until Jan 31 for the Freedom in the World 2018 report to come out; moving this prediction into next year’s.
    • For instance, lowers “Civil Rights” category from 1 to 2, because they are too triggered by Trump.
  • There will be fewer campus disinvitations “from the Left”: 70%. In 2017, there were 29 disinvitations (43 in 2016), of which 24 “from the Left” (35 in 2016).

Europe

  • François Fillon becomes French President: 70%.
  • Marine Le Pen will not be French President: 80%.
    • Yes, to be sure, last year’s events made fools of mainstream analysts, but the fact remains that the French political system is very tough for nationalists. Trump wouldn’t have won in that format either.
  • Merkel remains German Chancellor: 70%.
  • Frauke Petry will not be German Chancellor: 90%.
    • Based on opinion polls, I just don’t see how it’s possible.
  • No country leaves the Eurozone: 95%.
  • Article 50 is invoked in the UK: 90%.
  • No second Scottish referendum is called: 80%.
  • Scotland remains in the UK: 95%.
  • No Islamic terrorist attack in Europe causing more than 100 deaths: 70%.
  • The EU relaxes or removes Russia sanctions: 60%.
    • The Mediterraneans don’t care and are getting increasingly restive.

Misc

  • The Unz Review has fewer viewers than in 2016: 70%. I was wrong. Great!
    • Would be great to be wrong, but it’ll be hard to beat the (last) Current Year.
  • Mount & Blade: Bannerlord released: 95%.
  • GRRM publishes Winds of Winter: 80%.

Predictions – The AK

  • I will still be in Russia: 95%.
  • I will make my hajj to Crimea: 50%.
  • I will continue blogging: 95%.
  • I will write a record amount of blog posts (172+): 70%. Will finish up at around 260, versus 128 in 2016 and 130 in 2015.
    • I should imminently have a lot more free time so my productivity should increase.
  • There will be more comments than in 2016: 80%. 17,743 and counting, versus 6,204 in 2016 and 5,504 in 2015.
  • There will be more visits and views than in 2016: 80%. 751,826 views and counting, versus 493,156 in 2016 and 382,574 in 2015. I’ll be sure to do some more statistical navel-gazing on the 10th anniversary of my blogging career (January 9, 2018). How do I stack up against the others here? Steve Sailer gets an order of magnitude more views (c.11 million in 2017). James Thompson will be a little shy of half a million.
  • I will create a Russian language blog and write more than 10 posts for it: 60%. I actually wrote considerably more for akarlin.ru – around 32 posts. Though due to low intensivity, commentary is inactive. That said, our ROGPR podcast is growing by leaps and bounds – the YouTube channel already has 4,000 subscribers.
  • I will write 30+ book reviews: 50%. Total fail.
  • I will write 5+ game reviews: 50%. Total fail.
  • I will write fewer than 5 movie reviews: 80%.
  • I will author or coauthor a paper: 90%. Total fail. Though a couple are now tantalizingly close.
    • An S Factor analysis of Russia is forthcoming.
  • I will author or coauthor two papers: 70%.
  • I will not author or coauthor more than two papers: 80%.
  • I will finish writing at least one book: 70%. Total fail.
  • I will publish that book by Dec 31, 2017: 50%. Total fail.
  • I will not be banned or shadowbanned on Twitter or Facebook: 90%.
    • Of course it helps that I barely use them nowadays.
  • I will finally get a RationalWiki “hagiography” ala JayMan or hbdchick: 50%.

***

Here is my calibration graph:

predictions-calibration-2017

Did pretty poorly on the 50% confidence predictions. However, of my 50% confidence personal predictions, all five were wrong; cancel them out, and the calibration for this level would be a much more respectable 42%.

My main weak point was being massively over-optimistic on what I could get done in 2017.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Prediction, Rationality 
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  1. There are fewer European migrant arrivals by sea than in 2016: 80%. 170,317 in 2017 vs. 362,753 in 2016, 1,015,078 in 2015.

    I find the numbers for 2017 difficult to believe, there were more than 200 000 new applications for asylum just in Germany this year, and there seems to be a very substantial number of recently arrived Africans in Italy who haven’t yet made it across the Alps. So probably at least somewhat of an undercount.

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  2. Mr. Hack says:

    No “Putinsliv”/abandonment of Russian support for DNR/LNR, with Ukraine recapturing Donetsk and Lugansk: 99%.

    So when is the heralded reunification of the ‘triune nation’ to take place? I notice that it’s not even listed on your 2017 wish list? Don’t feel bad Anatoly, the czars couldn’t do it, neither could the commies under the guise of a new ‘soviet nationality’, maybe Putin, with 5 more years at the helm, might still be able to pull it off? :-)

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    Most likely, never. Putin isn't interested.

    Crimea was essentially about vacating Russia's military bases together with the peninsula itself (getting humiliatingly kicked out of Ukraine when he was already at 60% approval would have come close to seriously jeopardizing his power), while the Donbass rebellion was kicked off by voluntarists without the Kremlin's approval or enthusiasm.

    The only scenario in which the Ukraine would come under mortal danger is if Russian nationalists were to come to power (unrealistic for the foreseeable future), or if it was to dissolve by itself (a Western Russophile fantasy that was unlikely in 2014-2015 and can be all but excluded in 2018).
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  3. Your personal predictions should be counted separately. It distorts the statistics and shouldn’t affect your worth as a pundit.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    Good point, will make a note to do that next year.
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  4. This year saw an ~11% decrease in Russian birth rates, a strange and sudden collapse that seems to have been part of a general Eurasian (Ukraine, Baltics) and maybe even industrialized world trend. Preliminary figures for Jan-Oct 2017: 1,418,090 births (1,588,095 in 2016), 1,532,955 deaths (1,567,803 in 2016), translating to natural decrease of -114,865 (+20,292 in 2016). Looks like the definitive end of the brief period of Russia’s natural growth during 2013-15.

    Forgive my ignorance, but would this not be natural given the very low birth rates in the 1990s, the children of which are now 18-27 years of age?

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    There was a similar significant decrease in Hungary.
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  5. My New Year’s resolution is to have love and compassion for all human beings regardless of their race/ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation or political beliefs.

    lol, jk

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    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    Thug life!
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  6. Art Deco says:

    I’m wondering how many comments there will be before that navy guy shows up to piss all over you.

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    Andrei Martyanov? He’s not stupid, his flaw is that he doesn’t seem to seriously entertain the possibility of him being wrong. Maybe I’m also like that (it’s up to others to evaluate that), but I didn’t get that feeling from other commenters.
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  7. @Art Deco
    I'm wondering how many comments there will be before that navy guy shows up to piss all over you.

    Andrei Martyanov? He’s not stupid, his flaw is that he doesn’t seem to seriously entertain the possibility of him being wrong. Maybe I’m also like that (it’s up to others to evaluate that), but I didn’t get that feeling from other commenters.

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  8. @Greasy William
    My New Year's resolution is to have love and compassion for all human beings regardless of their race/ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation or political beliefs.

    lol, jk

    Thug life!

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  9. @Swedish Family

    This year saw an ~11% decrease in Russian birth rates, a strange and sudden collapse that seems to have been part of a general Eurasian (Ukraine, Baltics) and maybe even industrialized world trend. Preliminary figures for Jan-Oct 2017: 1,418,090 births (1,588,095 in 2016), 1,532,955 deaths (1,567,803 in 2016), translating to natural decrease of -114,865 (+20,292 in 2016). Looks like the definitive end of the brief period of Russia’s natural growth during 2013-15.
     
    Forgive my ignorance, but would this not be natural given the very low birth rates in the 1990s, the children of which are now 18-27 years of age?

    There was a similar significant decrease in Hungary.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Swedish Family

    There was a similar significant decrease in Hungary.
     
    I'm sure you're right, but then the original question applies to Hungary too: is the decrease the result of fewer women at peak fertility (because of the low birth rates of the 90s), or is it still present when you adjust for changes in the population pyramid?
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  10. @reiner Tor
    Your personal predictions should be counted separately. It distorts the statistics and shouldn’t affect your worth as a pundit.

    Good point, will make a note to do that next year.

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  11. @Mr. Hack

    No “Putinsliv”/abandonment of Russian support for DNR/LNR, with Ukraine recapturing Donetsk and Lugansk: 99%.
     
    So when is the heralded reunification of the 'triune nation' to take place? I notice that it's not even listed on your 2017 wish list? Don't feel bad Anatoly, the czars couldn't do it, neither could the commies under the guise of a new 'soviet nationality', maybe Putin, with 5 more years at the helm, might still be able to pull it off? :-)

    Most likely, never. Putin isn’t interested.

    Crimea was essentially about vacating Russia’s military bases together with the peninsula itself (getting humiliatingly kicked out of Ukraine when he was already at 60% approval would have come close to seriously jeopardizing his power), while the Donbass rebellion was kicked off by voluntarists without the Kremlin’s approval or enthusiasm.

    The only scenario in which the Ukraine would come under mortal danger is if Russian nationalists were to come to power (unrealistic for the foreseeable future), or if it was to dissolve by itself (a Western Russophile fantasy that was unlikely in 2014-2015 and can be all but excluded in 2018).

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mr. Hack

    while the Donbass rebellion was kicked off by voluntarists without the Kremlin’s approval or enthusiasm.
     
    Not according to some Russia pundits, who have steadily and persuasively maintained that the whole Donbas operation was strictly hatched in the Kremlin, with the approval of you know who:

    Had Russia not acted as it did, there would be no war in the East- period. To speak about Russian-backed separatists is to pretend that there was some substantial separatist movement in Eastern Ukraine where there was not- even the early incarnation of a separatist movement (totally obscure and marginal prior to 2014) was the creation of Russian “political technologists” and groups like the Eurasianist movement of Alexander Dugin. The war was started by Russia, just as Russian citizen and “Novorossiya” armed forces commander Igor “Strelkov” Girkin admitted.
     
    https://nobsrussia.com/2017/12/15/on-applebaum-and-the-holodomor/

    I wonder who to believe? Who's playing loose and creatively with the facts here, and who's not?

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  12. @reiner Tor
    There was a similar significant decrease in Hungary.

    There was a similar significant decrease in Hungary.

    I’m sure you’re right, but then the original question applies to Hungary too: is the decrease the result of fewer women at peak fertility (because of the low birth rates of the 90s), or is it still present when you adjust for changes in the population pyramid?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    A decline in crude birth rates was on the cards since forever - it is built in, and I was always saying as such (short of continued compensatory increases in Total Fertility Rate).

    But 11% decline in one year is far too large to be explained by that. With TFR being kept equal, it should be a decline of around 3% per year. Russia's TFR has consequently dropped from around 1.75 children / woman in 2016, to around 1.65 this year.
    , @Cicerone
    In Hungary, the decline is small enough that it can be entirely explained by the decreasing number of potential mothers (currently declining at 1.2% per year).
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  13. @Swedish Family

    There was a similar significant decrease in Hungary.
     
    I'm sure you're right, but then the original question applies to Hungary too: is the decrease the result of fewer women at peak fertility (because of the low birth rates of the 90s), or is it still present when you adjust for changes in the population pyramid?

    A decline in crude birth rates was on the cards since forever – it is built in, and I was always saying as such (short of continued compensatory increases in Total Fertility Rate).

    But 11% decline in one year is far too large to be explained by that. With TFR being kept equal, it should be a decline of around 3% per year. Russia’s TFR has consequently dropped from around 1.75 children / woman in 2016, to around 1.65 this year.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Philip Owen
    This is intriguing. Marriages have dropped too but I haven't done the sums to relate it to the pool of unmarried women. GDP has fallen but large numbers of people have retired. Job security, especially for young people with modern skills is good. Most economic shocks take 18 months to fully manifest. I suppose we are seeing the imflation and uncertainty of 2014/15 filtering into social change.
    , @Philip Owen
    I suppose that returning to work after pregnancy now looks more difficult than it did.
    , @Simpleguest
    As someone has already mentioned, it was on a different thread I think, now it's a good time for you to get married and make a personal contribution to stabilize or even increase the Russian TFR.
    Happy (or "Happier") New Year to you, to all others here and, why not, to the World.
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  14. Cicerone says:
    @Swedish Family

    There was a similar significant decrease in Hungary.
     
    I'm sure you're right, but then the original question applies to Hungary too: is the decrease the result of fewer women at peak fertility (because of the low birth rates of the 90s), or is it still present when you adjust for changes in the population pyramid?

    In Hungary, the decline is small enough that it can be entirely explained by the decreasing number of potential mothers (currently declining at 1.2% per year).

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    The decrease was 1.2% lower for the first ten months of the year, and considering that last year was longer by one day, the decrease was merely 0.8%. But your explanation is likely wrong in and of itself. The intra-year trends are worrisome. In January the number of births exceeded January 2016 by over 10%. After that, it each month was lower than the corresponding month of the previous year. The worst was October, when births were 6.6% lower than October 2016. In other words, there’s a negative intra-year trend. I hope the last two months will prove to have been better, but I wouldn’t bet my house on it.
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  15. neutral says:

    The Alt Right acrimoniously splits into Trumpists and anti-Trumpists

    You cannot seriously call yourself alt right and be pro Trumpist, its just beyond absurd. Here is a president that is the biggest ar$e licker for Israel than any president before (which is difficult to achieve when they were all so immensely pro Israel). Ignoring Israel, the rest of his foreign policy is just more of the same neocon nonsense. If you want to argue that foreign policy is not that important, then what has he done domestically? A tax cut, thats it, you might as well have elected Jeb or Rubio because they would have done exactly the same. He will not build a wall, he cares nothing for censorship and purges occurring online, immigration from the third world continues with vast numbers, the demonisation of whites increases by the day and he replaced most of his cabinet with neocons and generic Jeb/Rubio type advisors. His empty words that might make some leftists angry at times achieves nothing.

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  16. Darin says:

    OT: What is going on in Iran? Fake news, flash in the pan, or is the #IranSpring the real thing?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    I am skeptical.

    1. People were talking of hundreds of demonstrators (this was a couple of days ago), not the hundreds of thousands that are being claimed.

    2. Growth has been very strong and inflation is down since sanctions were removed.

    3. Seems awfully convenient this would be happening now, of all times, when Iran is facing a real threat from the US.

    That said, I am not an Iran expert (duh), nor do I follow it closely, so it would be good to have feedback from people who have a better read on the pulse.
    , @German_reader

    "We are Aryans! We don't worship the Arab [God]"
     
    Great, I like that slogan.
    Can't imagine though that this will lead to much, recent media reports claimed that even secular oppositionists had become supportive of the regime because of the pressure from Trump's administration.
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  17. @Darin
    OT: What is going on in Iran? Fake news, flash in the pan, or is the #IranSpring the real thing?

    https://twitter.com/MediAction411/status/947228425508372480

    https://twitter.com/SGhasseminejad/status/946475151113183232

    https://twitter.com/sedaye_iran/status/947198556712161281

    I am skeptical.

    1. People were talking of hundreds of demonstrators (this was a couple of days ago), not the hundreds of thousands that are being claimed.

    2. Growth has been very strong and inflation is down since sanctions were removed.

    3. Seems awfully convenient this would be happening now, of all times, when Iran is facing a real threat from the US.

    That said, I am not an Iran expert (duh), nor do I follow it closely, so it would be good to have feedback from people who have a better read on the pulse.

    Read More
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  18. @Darin
    OT: What is going on in Iran? Fake news, flash in the pan, or is the #IranSpring the real thing?

    https://twitter.com/MediAction411/status/947228425508372480

    https://twitter.com/SGhasseminejad/status/946475151113183232

    https://twitter.com/sedaye_iran/status/947198556712161281

    “We are Aryans! We don’t worship the Arab [God]“

    Great, I like that slogan.
    Can’t imagine though that this will lead to much, recent media reports claimed that even secular oppositionists had become supportive of the regime because of the pressure from Trump’s administration.

    Read More
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  19. Protests seem to be rather small-scale though so far:

    https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/12/iran-protests-change-unlikely-mashhad-inflation-high-prices.html

    So will probably just fizzle out, but the US, Israel and Saudi-Arabia will use it for propaganda.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Darin
    Reports from Kashan seems to be fake news, spread by newly created twitter accounts (some of them misspelling Kashan as Kasham). Let's wait and see.

    https://twitter.com/JulianRoepcke/status/947232199572643841
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  20. Mitleser says:

    François Fillon becomes French President: 70%.
    Marine Le Pen will not be French President: 80%.
    Yes, to be sure, last year’s events made fools of mainstream analysts, but the fact remains that the French political system is very tough for nationalists. Trump wouldn’t have won in that format either.

    But Fillon could have. He was the French Trump, not Le Pen.
    His victory against Juppe in 2016 was the French Brexit moment.
    In 2017, the French establishment pulled and executed Plan B, the rise of Macron.

    Read More
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  21. If I’m wrong about Iran, though.

    Damn, did Jorjani pick a fine time to defect from the Alt Right into Iranian nationalism.

    Read More
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  22. Darin says:
    @German_reader
    Protests seem to be rather small-scale though so far:
    https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/12/iran-protests-change-unlikely-mashhad-inflation-high-prices.html
    So will probably just fizzle out, but the US, Israel and Saudi-Arabia will use it for propaganda.

    Reports from Kashan seems to be fake news, spread by newly created twitter accounts (some of them misspelling Kashan as Kasham). Let’s wait and see.

    Read More
    • Replies: @German_reader
    Doesn't sound credible at all that such a major city could be taken over like this, comparisons with Syria are nonsensical imo. If even this lying BILD cretin Röpcke has to admit it didn't happen, there probably isn't anything to it.
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  23. @Darin
    Reports from Kashan seems to be fake news, spread by newly created twitter accounts (some of them misspelling Kashan as Kasham). Let's wait and see.

    https://twitter.com/JulianRoepcke/status/947232199572643841

    Doesn’t sound credible at all that such a major city could be taken over like this, comparisons with Syria are nonsensical imo. If even this lying BILD cretin Röpcke has to admit it didn’t happen, there probably isn’t anything to it.

    Read More
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  24. Dan Hayes says:

    Anatoly:

    In Iran is there a newly constituted Kermit Roosevelt busy doing the CIA’s work?

    Along with a newly minted Shah awaiting his grand entrance under American tutelage?

    All in tandem to lead the Iranian populace into a glorious future under American domination/subjugation (take your pick)?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Alden
    It may not be the USA behind the latest demos in Iran, but someone is behind it

    Israel, Soros, Saudi, who knows? Maybe the current government drawing out dissidents to imprison them in a few weeks? Isn’t that what Erdogan recently did in Turkey?
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  25. @Anatoly Karlin
    A decline in crude birth rates was on the cards since forever - it is built in, and I was always saying as such (short of continued compensatory increases in Total Fertility Rate).

    But 11% decline in one year is far too large to be explained by that. With TFR being kept equal, it should be a decline of around 3% per year. Russia's TFR has consequently dropped from around 1.75 children / woman in 2016, to around 1.65 this year.

    This is intriguing. Marriages have dropped too but I haven’t done the sums to relate it to the pool of unmarried women. GDP has fallen but large numbers of people have retired. Job security, especially for young people with modern skills is good. Most economic shocks take 18 months to fully manifest. I suppose we are seeing the imflation and uncertainty of 2014/15 filtering into social change.

    Read More
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  26. @Anatoly Karlin
    A decline in crude birth rates was on the cards since forever - it is built in, and I was always saying as such (short of continued compensatory increases in Total Fertility Rate).

    But 11% decline in one year is far too large to be explained by that. With TFR being kept equal, it should be a decline of around 3% per year. Russia's TFR has consequently dropped from around 1.75 children / woman in 2016, to around 1.65 this year.

    I suppose that returning to work after pregnancy now looks more difficult than it did.

    Read More
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  27. Mr. Hack says:
    @Anatoly Karlin
    Most likely, never. Putin isn't interested.

    Crimea was essentially about vacating Russia's military bases together with the peninsula itself (getting humiliatingly kicked out of Ukraine when he was already at 60% approval would have come close to seriously jeopardizing his power), while the Donbass rebellion was kicked off by voluntarists without the Kremlin's approval or enthusiasm.

    The only scenario in which the Ukraine would come under mortal danger is if Russian nationalists were to come to power (unrealistic for the foreseeable future), or if it was to dissolve by itself (a Western Russophile fantasy that was unlikely in 2014-2015 and can be all but excluded in 2018).

    while the Donbass rebellion was kicked off by voluntarists without the Kremlin’s approval or enthusiasm.

    Not according to some Russia pundits, who have steadily and persuasively maintained that the whole Donbas operation was strictly hatched in the Kremlin, with the approval of you know who:

    Had Russia not acted as it did, there would be no war in the East- period. To speak about Russian-backed separatists is to pretend that there was some substantial separatist movement in Eastern Ukraine where there was not- even the early incarnation of a separatist movement (totally obscure and marginal prior to 2014) was the creation of Russian “political technologists” and groups like the Eurasianist movement of Alexander Dugin. The war was started by Russia, just as Russian citizen and “Novorossiya” armed forces commander Igor “Strelkov” Girkin admitted.

    https://nobsrussia.com/2017/12/15/on-applebaum-and-the-holodomor/

    I wonder who to believe? Who’s playing loose and creatively with the facts here, and who’s not?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    1. In the real world, Dugin has negligible political influence.

    2. There were 20,000 Ukrainian troops in Crimea, which were successfully subdued by a similar number of Russian troops. The only unit that put up armed resistance there was one composed of Galicians, who had been trained by Americans (fortunately subdued without bloodshed on either side). Crimea was indeed an "operation [that] was strictly hatched in the Kremlin, with the approval of you know who." Even so, it's worth noting that even Crimea didn't have the unanimous support of the Kremlin elites, with Defense Minister Shoigu being noticeably against it (according to the liberal journalist Zygar's All the Kremlin's Men).

    The entirety of "Novorossiya"'s eight oblasts probably had a similar number of troops, who could have been subdued almost as easily by the little green men. Instead, you had the historical reconstructionist Strelkov gathering a brigade at Slavyansk, while leisurely chaos reigned in Donetsk. If that was supposed to be a Kremlin military operation, it was one of the most incompetent ones in history. Alternative, more likely, explanation: The Kremlin was playing wait-and-see. If Ukraine had dissipated, sure, they'd have snapped up Novorossiya; if not, they'd have closed up the whole affair (but Strelkov threw a wrench in their works).

    Kovpak calls the LDNR terrorist organizations, loyally echoing official Ukrainian propaganda. They are not recognized as terrorist organizations by anyone other than Kiev. Despite my sympathies, which I don't make a secret of, I don't call the Poroshenko regime Ukronazis, fascists, a junta, and so forth. Feel free to draw your own conclusions.
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  28. On Iran:

    Interesting to see so many people here backing CNN, NYT, Obama-ites over Trump.

    Read More
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  29. @Mr. Hack

    while the Donbass rebellion was kicked off by voluntarists without the Kremlin’s approval or enthusiasm.
     
    Not according to some Russia pundits, who have steadily and persuasively maintained that the whole Donbas operation was strictly hatched in the Kremlin, with the approval of you know who:

    Had Russia not acted as it did, there would be no war in the East- period. To speak about Russian-backed separatists is to pretend that there was some substantial separatist movement in Eastern Ukraine where there was not- even the early incarnation of a separatist movement (totally obscure and marginal prior to 2014) was the creation of Russian “political technologists” and groups like the Eurasianist movement of Alexander Dugin. The war was started by Russia, just as Russian citizen and “Novorossiya” armed forces commander Igor “Strelkov” Girkin admitted.
     
    https://nobsrussia.com/2017/12/15/on-applebaum-and-the-holodomor/

    I wonder who to believe? Who's playing loose and creatively with the facts here, and who's not?

    1. In the real world, Dugin has negligible political influence.

    2. There were 20,000 Ukrainian troops in Crimea, which were successfully subdued by a similar number of Russian troops. The only unit that put up armed resistance there was one composed of Galicians, who had been trained by Americans (fortunately subdued without bloodshed on either side). Crimea was indeed an “operation [that] was strictly hatched in the Kremlin, with the approval of you know who.” Even so, it’s worth noting that even Crimea didn’t have the unanimous support of the Kremlin elites, with Defense Minister Shoigu being noticeably against it (according to the liberal journalist Zygar’s All the Kremlin’s Men).

    The entirety of “Novorossiya”‘s eight oblasts probably had a similar number of troops, who could have been subdued almost as easily by the little green men. Instead, you had the historical reconstructionist Strelkov gathering a brigade at Slavyansk, while leisurely chaos reigned in Donetsk. If that was supposed to be a Kremlin military operation, it was one of the most incompetent ones in history. Alternative, more likely, explanation: The Kremlin was playing wait-and-see. If Ukraine had dissipated, sure, they’d have snapped up Novorossiya; if not, they’d have closed up the whole affair (but Strelkov threw a wrench in their works).

    Kovpak calls the LDNR terrorist organizations, loyally echoing official Ukrainian propaganda. They are not recognized as terrorist organizations by anyone other than Kiev. Despite my sympathies, which I don’t make a secret of, I don’t call the Poroshenko regime Ukronazis, fascists, a junta, and so forth. Feel free to draw your own conclusions.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mr. Hack

    Kovpak calls the LDNR terrorist organizations, loyally echoing official Ukrainian propaganda. They are not recognized as terrorist organizations by anyone other than Kiev.
     
    This may change in the future. The new Trump administration has just agreed to provide Ukraine with lethal weapons, signaling a hardening of the US response to Russian backed insurgency in Ukraine. There have been pragmatic reasons behind the West's reluctance to label the DNR & LNR as terrorist organizations, hoping to get Russia to soften its support for the ragtag collection of rambos, soldiers of fortune and otherwise unemployed 'heroes' of these Russian funded organizations:

    'Western nations do not recognize the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics (DNR and LNR) as terrorist organizations, as this would automatically lead to the recognition of Russia as a sponsor of terrorists resulting in the introduction of permanent sanctions against Russia.

    Evgen Vorobiev, an analyst of the Polish Institute of International Affairs (PISM) told this in an interview with the UNIAN correspondent in Poland:'


    “The problem is that if it recognizes these organizations as terrorists, the West will need to formally recognize Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism, as there are established facts of direct and indirect support from Russia to these organizations,” he said. “This will automatically mean the imposition of sanctions not for a restricted, specific period, but sanctions which will be much more difficult to cancel. For example sanctions imposed against terrorist groups in the Middle East. The sanctions which last for decades, not years,” he noted. According to the expert, European politicians believe that this way will block the possibility for negotiations with Russia for a peaceful resolution of the conflict in the Donbas. “Many European capitals have an understanding that if we recognize these self-proclaimed republics as terrorist organizations, this will require continued [long-lasting] sanctions against Russia, but they really do not want this,” he said.
     
    http://euromaidanpress.com/2014/10/30/polish-expert-explains-why-west-refuses-to-declare-donetsk-and-lugansk-peoples-republics-terrorist-organizations/

    Because the soft approach by the West in Ukraine has not showed much promise to bring about a peaceful resolution to the conflict, perhaps a new stronger approach will? After all, Russia has historically only really reacted to a position of strength, not negotiation.
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  30. @Cicerone
    In Hungary, the decline is small enough that it can be entirely explained by the decreasing number of potential mothers (currently declining at 1.2% per year).

    The decrease was 1.2% lower for the first ten months of the year, and considering that last year was longer by one day, the decrease was merely 0.8%. But your explanation is likely wrong in and of itself. The intra-year trends are worrisome. In January the number of births exceeded January 2016 by over 10%. After that, it each month was lower than the corresponding month of the previous year. The worst was October, when births were 6.6% lower than October 2016. In other words, there’s a negative intra-year trend. I hope the last two months will prove to have been better, but I wouldn’t bet my house on it.

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  31. Mr. Hack says:
    @Anatoly Karlin
    1. In the real world, Dugin has negligible political influence.

    2. There were 20,000 Ukrainian troops in Crimea, which were successfully subdued by a similar number of Russian troops. The only unit that put up armed resistance there was one composed of Galicians, who had been trained by Americans (fortunately subdued without bloodshed on either side). Crimea was indeed an "operation [that] was strictly hatched in the Kremlin, with the approval of you know who." Even so, it's worth noting that even Crimea didn't have the unanimous support of the Kremlin elites, with Defense Minister Shoigu being noticeably against it (according to the liberal journalist Zygar's All the Kremlin's Men).

    The entirety of "Novorossiya"'s eight oblasts probably had a similar number of troops, who could have been subdued almost as easily by the little green men. Instead, you had the historical reconstructionist Strelkov gathering a brigade at Slavyansk, while leisurely chaos reigned in Donetsk. If that was supposed to be a Kremlin military operation, it was one of the most incompetent ones in history. Alternative, more likely, explanation: The Kremlin was playing wait-and-see. If Ukraine had dissipated, sure, they'd have snapped up Novorossiya; if not, they'd have closed up the whole affair (but Strelkov threw a wrench in their works).

    Kovpak calls the LDNR terrorist organizations, loyally echoing official Ukrainian propaganda. They are not recognized as terrorist organizations by anyone other than Kiev. Despite my sympathies, which I don't make a secret of, I don't call the Poroshenko regime Ukronazis, fascists, a junta, and so forth. Feel free to draw your own conclusions.

    Kovpak calls the LDNR terrorist organizations, loyally echoing official Ukrainian propaganda. They are not recognized as terrorist organizations by anyone other than Kiev.

    This may change in the future. The new Trump administration has just agreed to provide Ukraine with lethal weapons, signaling a hardening of the US response to Russian backed insurgency in Ukraine. There have been pragmatic reasons behind the West’s reluctance to label the DNR & LNR as terrorist organizations, hoping to get Russia to soften its support for the ragtag collection of rambos, soldiers of fortune and otherwise unemployed ‘heroes’ of these Russian funded organizations:

    ‘Western nations do not recognize the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics (DNR and LNR) as terrorist organizations, as this would automatically lead to the recognition of Russia as a sponsor of terrorists resulting in the introduction of permanent sanctions against Russia.

    Evgen Vorobiev, an analyst of the Polish Institute of International Affairs (PISM) told this in an interview with the UNIAN correspondent in Poland:’

    “The problem is that if it recognizes these organizations as terrorists, the West will need to formally recognize Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism, as there are established facts of direct and indirect support from Russia to these organizations,” he said. “This will automatically mean the imposition of sanctions not for a restricted, specific period, but sanctions which will be much more difficult to cancel. For example sanctions imposed against terrorist groups in the Middle East. The sanctions which last for decades, not years,” he noted. According to the expert, European politicians believe that this way will block the possibility for negotiations with Russia for a peaceful resolution of the conflict in the Donbas. “Many European capitals have an understanding that if we recognize these self-proclaimed republics as terrorist organizations, this will require continued [long-lasting] sanctions against Russia, but they really do not want this,” he said.

    http://euromaidanpress.com/2014/10/30/polish-expert-explains-why-west-refuses-to-declare-donetsk-and-lugansk-peoples-republics-terrorist-organizations/

    Because the soft approach by the West in Ukraine has not showed much promise to bring about a peaceful resolution to the conflict, perhaps a new stronger approach will? After all, Russia has historically only really reacted to a position of strength, not negotiation.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    Such a development can't be excluded in the blackpill timeline.

    I don't know if the US can credibly speak to Russia from a "position of strength" with respect to territories directly on its border, where Russia has military dominance, which many Russians (not even nationalists) view as being part of their civilization.

    That said, this might succeed, who knows. But in that, case the Kremlin risks an internal legitimacy crisis - especially bad since it's likely that it would likely coincide with the transition to Putin's successor.
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  32. @Mr. Hack

    Kovpak calls the LDNR terrorist organizations, loyally echoing official Ukrainian propaganda. They are not recognized as terrorist organizations by anyone other than Kiev.
     
    This may change in the future. The new Trump administration has just agreed to provide Ukraine with lethal weapons, signaling a hardening of the US response to Russian backed insurgency in Ukraine. There have been pragmatic reasons behind the West's reluctance to label the DNR & LNR as terrorist organizations, hoping to get Russia to soften its support for the ragtag collection of rambos, soldiers of fortune and otherwise unemployed 'heroes' of these Russian funded organizations:

    'Western nations do not recognize the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics (DNR and LNR) as terrorist organizations, as this would automatically lead to the recognition of Russia as a sponsor of terrorists resulting in the introduction of permanent sanctions against Russia.

    Evgen Vorobiev, an analyst of the Polish Institute of International Affairs (PISM) told this in an interview with the UNIAN correspondent in Poland:'


    “The problem is that if it recognizes these organizations as terrorists, the West will need to formally recognize Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism, as there are established facts of direct and indirect support from Russia to these organizations,” he said. “This will automatically mean the imposition of sanctions not for a restricted, specific period, but sanctions which will be much more difficult to cancel. For example sanctions imposed against terrorist groups in the Middle East. The sanctions which last for decades, not years,” he noted. According to the expert, European politicians believe that this way will block the possibility for negotiations with Russia for a peaceful resolution of the conflict in the Donbas. “Many European capitals have an understanding that if we recognize these self-proclaimed republics as terrorist organizations, this will require continued [long-lasting] sanctions against Russia, but they really do not want this,” he said.
     
    http://euromaidanpress.com/2014/10/30/polish-expert-explains-why-west-refuses-to-declare-donetsk-and-lugansk-peoples-republics-terrorist-organizations/

    Because the soft approach by the West in Ukraine has not showed much promise to bring about a peaceful resolution to the conflict, perhaps a new stronger approach will? After all, Russia has historically only really reacted to a position of strength, not negotiation.

    Such a development can’t be excluded in the blackpill timeline.

    I don’t know if the US can credibly speak to Russia from a “position of strength” with respect to territories directly on its border, where Russia has military dominance, which many Russians (not even nationalists) view as being part of their civilization.

    That said, this might succeed, who knows. But in that, case the Kremlin risks an internal legitimacy crisis – especially bad since it’s likely that it would likely coincide with the transition to Putin’s successor.

    Read More
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  33. Mr. Hack says:

    with respect to territories directly on its border, where Russia has military dominance, which many Russians (not even nationalists) view as being part of their civilization.

    And what about the Ukrainians? You seem to forget that they’re the ones most directly affected by this crises and seem to be overwhelmingly in support of Russia keeping its mits off of Ukraine. I’ve provided you ample opportunity to defend, much less explain to me just how the ideological underpinnings of ‘triunism’ is being best served by Russia’s continued support and inspiration for the LNR andDNR?
    So far, you haven’t been up to the task?…

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  34. utu says:

    Do not understand the methodology.

    No major conflict (>50 deaths) in East Asia/SE Asia that involves China and/or the US: 95%.

    What numbers 95% above suppose to mean and how it supposed to be verified one year later?

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    95% chance (according to Anatoly). If there are 20 predictions with 95% probability, and 19 of them come true, then they were, on average, good predictions. It’s easier to verify the lower probability predictions, because you don’t need that many examples. With the very high probability predictions you might need many years data to check if they were, on average, good.
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  35. @utu
    Do not understand the methodology.

    No major conflict (>50 deaths) in East Asia/SE Asia that involves China and/or the US: 95%.
     
    What numbers 95% above suppose to mean and how it supposed to be verified one year later?

    95% chance (according to Anatoly). If there are 20 predictions with 95% probability, and 19 of them come true, then they were, on average, good predictions. It’s easier to verify the lower probability predictions, because you don’t need that many examples. With the very high probability predictions you might need many years data to check if they were, on average, good.

    Read More
    • Replies: @utu
    So if I make 19 trivial predictions (like sun will rise in the East and gravity will continue to work) and one non-trivial (like I will win 1 million in lotto) to all of which I assign 95% value then one year later I can claim that my predictions (including the one about the lotto) were correct at 95% level because 95% (19 out of 20) of them turned out to be correct?

    The point is that assigning a number (say 95%) to any singular prediction is really meaningless. It is a deceptive packaging. Nice wrapping (mathematic, scientific, wow) but inside the box is BS. But it seems that people eat up this BS otherwise AK would not engage in it.
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  36. @Anatoly Karlin
    A decline in crude birth rates was on the cards since forever - it is built in, and I was always saying as such (short of continued compensatory increases in Total Fertility Rate).

    But 11% decline in one year is far too large to be explained by that. With TFR being kept equal, it should be a decline of around 3% per year. Russia's TFR has consequently dropped from around 1.75 children / woman in 2016, to around 1.65 this year.

    As someone has already mentioned, it was on a different thread I think, now it’s a good time for you to get married and make a personal contribution to stabilize or even increase the Russian TFR.
    Happy (or “Happier”) New Year to you, to all others here and, why not, to the World.

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  37. utu says:
    @reiner Tor
    95% chance (according to Anatoly). If there are 20 predictions with 95% probability, and 19 of them come true, then they were, on average, good predictions. It’s easier to verify the lower probability predictions, because you don’t need that many examples. With the very high probability predictions you might need many years data to check if they were, on average, good.

    So if I make 19 trivial predictions (like sun will rise in the East and gravity will continue to work) and one non-trivial (like I will win 1 million in lotto) to all of which I assign 95% value then one year later I can claim that my predictions (including the one about the lotto) were correct at 95% level because 95% (19 out of 20) of them turned out to be correct?

    The point is that assigning a number (say 95%) to any singular prediction is really meaningless. It is a deceptive packaging. Nice wrapping (mathematic, scientific, wow) but inside the box is BS. But it seems that people eat up this BS otherwise AK would not engage in it.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mitleser
    What do you suggest as alternative to the numbers?
    , @Swedish Family

    So if I make 19 trivial predictions (like sun will rise in the East and gravity will continue to work) and one non-trivial (like I will win 1 million in lotto) to all of which I assign 95% value then one year later I can claim that my predictions (including the one about the lotto) were correct at 95% level because 95% (19 out of 20) of them turned out to be correct?

    The point is that assigning a number (say 95%) to any singular prediction is really meaningless.
     
    These are valid objections, but your argument assumes that the author throws in trivial, "softball" predictions to improve the averages, which I see no sign of here.
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  38. Mitleser says:
    @utu
    So if I make 19 trivial predictions (like sun will rise in the East and gravity will continue to work) and one non-trivial (like I will win 1 million in lotto) to all of which I assign 95% value then one year later I can claim that my predictions (including the one about the lotto) were correct at 95% level because 95% (19 out of 20) of them turned out to be correct?

    The point is that assigning a number (say 95%) to any singular prediction is really meaningless. It is a deceptive packaging. Nice wrapping (mathematic, scientific, wow) but inside the box is BS. But it seems that people eat up this BS otherwise AK would not engage in it.

    What do you suggest as alternative to the numbers?

    Read More
    • Replies: @utu
    What do you suggest as alternative to the numbers?

    Why one needs to or feels compelled to assign degrees of probability to predictions in the first place? The complex events in the future at best can be talked in terms of likely-unlikely very likely-very unlikely, certain -impossible. These terms have no mathematical meaning but we somehow know and feel what they mean. Do you have experiential knowledge of difference between 60% and 75% chance? Now way.

    It is possible to make a prediction and assign probability to it in some cases like for example whether you survive year 2018. You can look up yourself in actuarial tables and you will get numerical probability. You can improve on it if you know how risky are your activities and what is your state of health but if you live in Syria the actuarial tables will be useless.

    My alternative is to be respectful of language including that of language of mathematics and not abuse it particularly to create a deception.
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  39. utu says:
    @Mitleser
    What do you suggest as alternative to the numbers?

    What do you suggest as alternative to the numbers?

    Why one needs to or feels compelled to assign degrees of probability to predictions in the first place? The complex events in the future at best can be talked in terms of likely-unlikely very likely-very unlikely, certain -impossible. These terms have no mathematical meaning but we somehow know and feel what they mean. Do you have experiential knowledge of difference between 60% and 75% chance? Now way.

    It is possible to make a prediction and assign probability to it in some cases like for example whether you survive year 2018. You can look up yourself in actuarial tables and you will get numerical probability. You can improve on it if you know how risky are your activities and what is your state of health but if you live in Syria the actuarial tables will be useless.

    My alternative is to be respectful of language including that of language of mathematics and not abuse it particularly to create a deception.

    Read More
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  40. Anon • Disclaimer says:

    @ alternative is to be respectful of language including that of language of mathematics and not abuse it particularly to create a deception.

    Laughing here. I tell my kids they have to be proficient in arithmetic/algebra because it is a language that teaches precision, if you can read a math sentence without overlooking any of the symbols, you can read a prose sentence the same way. And even if you end up working only with words, this exactness is crucial to ‘understanding’.

    When crafting a document, I was taught to ‘slant’ with: one, nuance and two, numbers (an 85% increase in…). Numbers impress.

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  41. I do my prediction retrospectives a year late (to make sure all data is available), so here’s my 2016 prediction calibration results:

    https://medium.com/@Enopoletus/retrospective-on-predictions-for-2016-3a8bc96b7c00

    I don’t count 50% confidence predictions, as it makes no sense to do so.

    My main weak point was being massively over-optimistic on what I could get done in 2017.

    Same. Also, I overestimated militant Islamists’ power outside of Iraq.

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  42. @utu
    So if I make 19 trivial predictions (like sun will rise in the East and gravity will continue to work) and one non-trivial (like I will win 1 million in lotto) to all of which I assign 95% value then one year later I can claim that my predictions (including the one about the lotto) were correct at 95% level because 95% (19 out of 20) of them turned out to be correct?

    The point is that assigning a number (say 95%) to any singular prediction is really meaningless. It is a deceptive packaging. Nice wrapping (mathematic, scientific, wow) but inside the box is BS. But it seems that people eat up this BS otherwise AK would not engage in it.

    So if I make 19 trivial predictions (like sun will rise in the East and gravity will continue to work) and one non-trivial (like I will win 1 million in lotto) to all of which I assign 95% value then one year later I can claim that my predictions (including the one about the lotto) were correct at 95% level because 95% (19 out of 20) of them turned out to be correct?

    The point is that assigning a number (say 95%) to any singular prediction is really meaningless.

    These are valid objections, but your argument assumes that the author throws in trivial, “softball” predictions to improve the averages, which I see no sign of here.

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    • Agree: reiner Tor
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  43. Mr. XYZ says:

    : Is it really fair to call the Donbass separatists terrorists, though? I mean, they certainly engage in violence in order to try achieving their goal (specifically separation from Ukraine, in some form) but that’s also true of any other insurgency.

    Also, I wonder how many people in the Donbass would be willing to support a South Tyrol-style solution to this conflict–specifically having large-scale autonomy but not veto power in regards to Ukrainian domestic and foreign policy.

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    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    You are forgetting an old wisdom that the army shoots its own people only once, after that it shoots foreign people. There are too many victims of the Ukrainian army, “national guard”, and “pravy sector” in Donbass for any kind of reconciliation.
    There is a monument now to children killed by the Ukrainian army in Lugansk
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  44. Happy New Year, AK!

    I’m sure the “Rational Wiki” article is coming closer every day.

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  45. AnonFromTN [AKA "Anon"] says:
    @Mr. XYZ
    @Mr. Hack: Is it really fair to call the Donbass separatists terrorists, though? I mean, they certainly engage in violence in order to try achieving their goal (specifically separation from Ukraine, in some form) but that's also true of any other insurgency.

    Also, I wonder how many people in the Donbass would be willing to support a South Tyrol-style solution to this conflict--specifically having large-scale autonomy but not veto power in regards to Ukrainian domestic and foreign policy.

    You are forgetting an old wisdom that the army shoots its own people only once, after that it shoots foreign people. There are too many victims of the Ukrainian army, “national guard”, and “pravy sector” in Donbass for any kind of reconciliation.
    There is a monument now to children killed by the Ukrainian army in Lugansk

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  46. Alden says:
    @Dan Hayes
    Anatoly:

    In Iran is there a newly constituted Kermit Roosevelt busy doing the CIA's work?

    Along with a newly minted Shah awaiting his grand entrance under American tutelage?

    All in tandem to lead the Iranian populace into a glorious future under American domination/subjugation (take your pick)?

    It may not be the USA behind the latest demos in Iran, but someone is behind it

    Israel, Soros, Saudi, who knows? Maybe the current government drawing out dissidents to imprison them in a few weeks? Isn’t that what Erdogan recently did in Turkey?

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