New Year: Predictions for 2017
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Last year, I resumed my New Year’s tradition of posting annual predictions.
I recently analyzed the success rate of those predictions for 2016, the year when meme magic became real.
Here are my predictions for 2017:
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%.
- China’s GDP grows by 6%+: 50%.
- China will have more top 500 supercomputers than the US throughout 2017: 70%.
- There are fewer European migrant arrivals by sea than in 2016: 80%.
- 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%.
- 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%.
- 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%.
- 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.
- Putin remains Russian President: 95%.
- Putin announces entry into Presidential race for his second (fourth in total) term: 90%.
- GDP grows by 2%+: 50%.
- Putin’s approval rating according to Levada doesn’t dip below 70% during the year: 50%.
- Russians have a more positive view of the US than of the EU as of the last Levada poll in that year: 60%.
- There will not be any substantial anti-government protests (>10,000): 90%.
- Trump isn’t interested, and the Europeans don’t have as much money.
- Natural population growth: 70%.
- Total population growth: 95%.
- The Crimea remains Russian: 99%.
- 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%.
- US relaxes or removes Russia sanctions: 50%.
- Trump might support that, but Congress surely won’t.
- The Alt Right acrimoniously splits into Trumpists and anti-Trumpists: 70%.
- 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%.
- Freedom House lowers United States Freedom Rating: 50%.
- 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%.
- 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.
- The Unz Review has fewer viewers than in 2016: 70%.
- 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%.
- I should imminently have a lot more free time so my productivity should increase.
- There will be more comments than in 2016: 80%.
- There will be more visits and views than in 2016: 80%.
- I will create a Russian language blog and write more than 10 posts for it: 60%.
- I will write 30+ book reviews: 50%.
- Reviewing things will definitely be more of a priority from now on.
- I will write 5+ game reviews: 50%.
- I will write fewer than 5 movie reviews: 80%.
- I will author or coathor a paper: 90%.
- An S Factor analysis of Russia is forthcoming.
- I will author or coathor two papers: 70%.
- I will not author or coauthor more than two papers: 80%.
- I will finish writing at least one book: 70%.
- I will publish that book by Dec 31, 2017: 50%.
- 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%.