Wednesday, April 04, 2012

UC 2012 Predictions update!

On 31 December of last year "we" at Unforeseen Contingencies made a few predictions for 2012. The first quarter of 2012 is now behind us, and generally our predictions are looking pretty good.

It is now clear that Mitt Romney will be the GOP presidential nominee, as predicted. After Wisconsin and Maryland (and his failure to even get on the ballot in DC) it's now obvious to all that Rick Santorum is finished as a contender for the GOP nomination. Of course, Romney's nomination is only a sub-prediction of Prediction #3, which is that Barack Obama will narrowly defeat Mitt Romney in November. Rick Santorum now claims this is just halftime and that he'll continue his nasty campaign against Romney. Since it's obvious that Santorum is finished, we can only surmise that Santorum is actually a UC reader and is now devotedly working to sabotage the Romney campaign on our behalf. (Gee, thanks Rick... I guess.)

Most of our other predictions also seem no less likely that they did three months ago, although many court watchers are now wondering about SCOTUS and the PPACA (Prediction #5). Prediction #10 looks a little doubtful now, but we are happy to stand by it, because Predictions #2, #7, #8, and #9 still seem good to us, and the spillover of wars, rumors of wars, and foreign economic crises could easily make unemployment increase in the U.S.

Prediction #11 is the one we're most concerned about: the discovery of life on another planet. NASA researchers now suggest that by 2014 humans will likely discover an Earth-like exoplanet in the "habitable zone" of its star. That's good news for our prediction; OTOH the time window is a little too big for our comfort. And simply finding such a planet is not a "hit" for us. The planet will have to have life that we can detect -- perhaps engineering, or possibly vegetation seasonal patterns -- something dramatic.

Hence prediction #11 is, in "our" estimation, looking a bit less likely as each day passes.

We at Unforeseen Contingencies stand by all our predictions, of course -- the sport in end-of-year predictions this is seeing how they come out, not in updating them as new facts develop.

We do think, incidentally, that Prediction #11 is almost a certainty within the near future, say 10-15 years. And when it occurs, it will radically change the way humans perceive the universe. Whether that radical change is swift and dramatic or slow and subtle will depend on what is discovered, but it is coming.

Picture: artist's conception of recently discovered planet Kepler 22b, circling a Sol-like star in the habitable zone, but thought too big to be "Earth-like." From

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