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MeTa Culpa
November 17, 2010 7:12 AM   Subscribe

We love predictions. Especially looking back on predictions that have since been proven incorrect. I was thinking about the fact that a while back I predicted a certain lots-of-babies-having couple would stay together when they have spectacularly broken up and then I thought that a website full of pompous know-it-alls like us should be able to point to a bunch of predictions that we made in years past with the kind of confidence and assurance only an internet expert can muster that have been proven completely wrong. "By 2010 cloned dinosaurs will be common house pets." or "After the Peak Oil riots of 2009 we will all be living in igloos made of dead cloned dinosaur house pets." That kind of thing. So, if you please, show me your Metafilter comment wrongness.

I should also say that if you could restrict yourself to where you (or a past incarnation of you) was wrong that would probably be better because I kind of envisioned this more as a "Ha Ha look how earnest and wrongheaded I was back in 2005. Aren't I adorable?" rather than "Can you believe what a stupid jackass ButtPuzzle was in 2005? I have been totally vindicated by time! HaHaHaHa!"
posted by ND¢ to MetaFilter-Related at 7:12 AM (64 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

There have sure been a lot of predictions about Wendell.
posted by grobstein at 7:17 AM on November 17, 2010 [6 favorites]


I was right every time. Why won't you people learn this and listen to me!
posted by cjorgensen at 7:23 AM on November 17, 2010


I was recently thinking about drawing up a list of philosophers who have made arguments with spectacularly wrong predictions. Dreyfus argued that a computer would never beat a human at chess. Wittgenstein used "man will never walk on the moon" as an example of a proposition that could not by doubted. Hegel thought he had a deductive proof that the number of planets is seven.
posted by painquale at 7:24 AM on November 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


Obama can fix this.
posted by gman at 7:24 AM on November 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


I remember this one time cjorgensen was going on about how right he was...
posted by electroboy at 7:26 AM on November 17, 2010


I've said a couple of times on MeFi that I have a vague fear that the current Chinese state is essentially a big bubble that could pop with devastating consequences. My fear was assuaged somewhat when China survived the most recent financial crisis pretty well. But like all vague fears, it's hard to get rid of.
posted by Kattullus at 7:33 AM on November 17, 2010


http://www.google.com/search?q=%22in+the+future%22+site%3Ametafilter.com
posted by pracowity at 7:47 AM on November 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


As far as I know, this didn't happen exactly as I predicted. Time will tell if Keyboard Cat will play us all out.

Whats-his-name never asked this question, though he did post something around that time.
posted by bondcliff at 7:47 AM on November 17, 2010


I don't know who the hell this Netcraft guy is but he's got some explaining to do.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:49 AM on November 17, 2010


I thought there were only six ways to pronounce MeFi. How wrong I was.
posted by iamkimiam at 7:50 AM on November 17, 2010 [4 favorites]


I thought one says Clav Divs (I could still be right)
posted by Namlit at 7:54 AM on November 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


One of us will be wrong in twenty years.
posted by flabdablet at 7:55 AM on November 17, 2010


Because it's about time for an update:

Reactions to Barack Obama on Mefi:
January 2007 vs. November 2008 vs. 2010


2007:
Oh I'm so tired of this guy.
post by delmoi at 6:00 PM on January 16, 2007 [+] [!]

2008:
But tonight, if everything works out the way it's looks like it will, we'll finally start putting our country back together again.

Not to get all sappy, but it's hard being a cynic in times like these.
post by delmoi at 10:39 AM on November 4 [1 favorite +] [!]

2010:
The problem is that Obama hasn't governed well. The stimulus was way to small. At the time it seemed like Obama was more interested in bipartisan comity then governing properly. That's a choice he made at the time and the result has been a disaster. (And the stimulus was obviously a budget vote, he could have passed a larger one via reconciliation)

The bottom line is that Obama has been incredibly naïve. He seemed to think that the republicans would just join hands and sing kumbya with him instead of actually try to beat him. He seems shocked that they are. And not only that, he's letting them kick his ass with a minority in the house and barely (or not even) enough seats to filibuster in the senate.
posted by delmoi at 6:47 AM on October 14 [4 favorites +] [!]

* * *

2007:
All the same, I'm not comfortable backing him 100%, because he's never been in a tight spot where he had to make hard decisions. That's when character gets revealed, and as far as I can see, he's never really been tested.

Who knows whose side he'll end up on when the shit hits the fan?
post by empath at 6:28 PM on January 16, 2007 [1 favorite +] [!]

2008:
There went the waterworks. I may need to turn the tv off and compose myself.

We really did it. I can't believe it.
post by empath at 10:09 PM on November 4 [4 favorites +] [!]

2010:
Here's the worst part of it all.

Despite the fact that the Democrats are complicit in mass murder and war crimes, they are still the only goddamned party I can vote for, because the alternative is so much fucking worse.

If Obama manages to wind the Iraq War down and doesn't start another fucking war by 2012, I'll have considered his Presidency a success, no matter what else happens.
posted by empath at 10:08 AM on November 9 [10 favorites +] [!] [quote]

* * *

2007:
Just remember: It Can't Happen Here.

Obama on the job: A brief overview of highly questionable voting decisions.
post by Blazecock Pileon at 7:01 PM on January 16, 2007 [+] [!]

2008:
We did it! Congratulations to everyone who played a part in this momentous event in history. We are now back on the road to making a fresh start, to fixing our country.
post by Blazecock Pileon at 10:06 PM on November 4 [1 favorite +] [!]

2010:
I'm tired of "pragmatism" used as a crap excuse to lie to me and to bully me. The Democratic Party and their bullies and liars can shove off and get votes from someone else, as far as I'm concerned. I'm done with their lies, their fear and their bullying.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:29 PM on October 6 [11 favorites +] [!]

* * *

2007:
I look forward to learning more. And I hope he proves to be the man that so many want him to be.
post by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:04 PM on January 16, 2007 [+] [!]

2008:
For the first time in 30 years, at least for now, I'm hopeful. If any nation in the world, any President, can truly make a historic change to reverse the course of our civilization, it is America, and it may just be this new president of yours. Who knows if our man will be able to shoulder the burden of the hopes of so many that he has willingly assumed. Bless him for trying, whether he succeeds or not.

Thank you, Americans, for doing the right thing, finally, and thanks for fanning that dream of the possibility of a better world alight again in this tired ol' heart of mine.
post by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:05 PM on November 4 [62 favorites +] [!]

2010:
It's not everything we'd hoped for, but a damn sight better than we had.

This, I suspect, will be the way we remember the Obama administration. And I guess that'll have to do.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:09 PM on July 21 [+] [!]

* * *

2007:
I dunno about President, but I'd certainly vote for Obama for America's Next Top Political Dreamboat. He could go around on floats and wave and look pretty, bringing joy to the hearts of millions.

Or, y'know, run for President and do sort of the same thing, but sell his soul and lose a lot of money in the process.
post by grapefruitmoon at 10:21 PM on January 16, 2007 [+] [!]

2008:
I am totally, totally exhausted and I realize that part of what I feel right now, other than pride and joy, is RELIEF. Man, this election cycle was rough on the soul, but I could start crying all over again. As one of the fathers in my Schmoop's music class said: he's what the world needs now.

My first election I participated in was 2000, where I became totally disenfranchised with "the system." Now I see that we CAN and we WILL totally ROCK THE SYSTEM. Power to the people! For the first time in my adult life I *get* what it means to be an American, and it's an awesome, awesome thing. I could hug us. Every last one of us.
post by grapefruitmoon at 5:32 AM on November 5 [+] [!]

2010:
Have you seen our political landscape? It looks not unlike Mars mixed with a nuclear holocaust. Yes, we voted for Bush... twice... but we also elected Obama and a Democratic majority and as has been pointed out ad infinitum, they haven't necessarily wielded power effectively - more like a child with a baseball bat trying to play Teeball (create your own inept sports analogy for non-US-centric sports) than a Jedi with a light saber. We're not dumb. We're pissed, disgruntled, and frankly, the Republicans get shit done. I hate them, but they're damn effective.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 8:12 AM on April 12 [+] [!]

* * *

Here's hoping the pendulum swings equally hard come 2012.
posted by Rhaomi at 8:16 AM on November 17, 2010 [26 favorites]


Turns out I never abused it at all.
posted by quin at 8:25 AM on November 17, 2010


On September 29, 2006, I claimed that "the voracious mechano-children of the future will be satisfied with nothing less than 5000 virtual yuan deposited directly in their mental market accounts" on their techno-birthdays.

Today, it's clear that I overestimated the rapacity of the new decade's cyberyouth. They will, in fact, settle for €250 or a 16 GB iPhone.

Mea maxima culpa.
posted by Iridic at 8:27 AM on November 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


I don't get how I (the artist formerly known as gfm) am exactly wrong. The fact that I really like Obama and am proud of Americans for electing him still holds as true as the fact that the Republicans are a bunch of weasly weasels who act like weasels and get shit done.

My feelings about Obama =/ my feelings about the Democratic Party. Our political landscape does look like Mars mixed with trash day. We're doing our best, but we're not exactly presented with awesome choices over here.
posted by sonika at 8:29 AM on November 17, 2010


(I've probably been wrong about tons of other stuff though. I'm infamously wrong at predicting the genders of fetuses. I'm worse than rolling the dice on that one. If you're having a baby and I guess its gender, just assume it's the other one. Any other one. Not what I say, because I'm certain to be wrong.)
posted by sonika at 8:30 AM on November 17, 2010


Once, I thought I made a mistake, but I was wrong.
posted by Eideteker at 8:42 AM on November 17, 2010


Here's a thread about a speech Obama made in March of 2008. Lots of people thought it was a total game-changer -- one for the ages. His Gettysburg address. 2½ years on, eh. Not so much, unfortunately.
posted by crunchland at 8:44 AM on November 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


I recall threads where, prior to the real estate bubble, I was saying real estate was a great long-term investment. I still think it's a great long-term investment, but I gather everyone would have a great big chuckle if they looked back at what I wrote.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:05 AM on November 17, 2010


I was going to post all the howlers in the Apple threads, but then I found this nifty prediction:

iPad predicted a decade early
posted by entropicamericana at 9:07 AM on November 17, 2010


Here's a thread about a speech Obama made in March of 2008. Lots of people thought it was a total game-changer...

That was the speech that gave me the desperate hope that just maybe he wasn't like all the rest.

I was wrong.
posted by Joe Beese at 9:28 AM on November 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


Wait a few more months until the US market crashes and buy low.
posted by T.D. Strange at 11:31 PM on July 7, 2008 [4 favorites +] [!]

Can we also boast about our nice calls?
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:34 AM on November 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


Well, it pre-dates my time here at Metafilter but back in the day, I used to announce to any and all that the so-called American Empire was doomed, and soon. Which, of course, has proven correct. I was also right about the world coming to an end sometime in May 2009.

And chemtrails have been conclusively proven to cause Republicanism, haven't they?
posted by philip-random at 9:36 AM on November 17, 2010


Well, I just searched my activity for all the big stuff - Obama, Sarah Palin, the iPad, the economy - and I just can't find any prediction or statement that was incorrect. I am an infallible superbeing. Someone is right on the internet.
posted by naju at 9:41 AM on November 17, 2010


At one time, I believed that a minotaur with a trident could defeat a centaur with a crossbow. I know, I know, I was young.
posted by Jpfed at 9:55 AM on November 17, 2010 [8 favorites]


It came very very close to happening, actually. I blame Michaëlle Jean and CTV.
posted by Chuckles at 9:55 AM on November 17, 2010


All of the predictions back in 2008 that the Republicans were gone for a generation were really funny at the time, and now are just kind of tragic.
posted by klangklangston at 10:05 AM on November 17, 2010 [7 favorites]


All of the predictions back in 2008 that the Republicans were gone for a generation were really funny at the time, and now are just kind of tragic.

but but but but . . . shifting demographic landscape!
posted by Think_Long at 10:28 AM on November 17, 2010


Most of the things that people were saying were going to be a super big deal and I said would not be such a big deal in a few weeks turned out not to be such big deals.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:31 AM on November 17, 2010


I'm still worried about the Y2K bug.
posted by shakespeherian at 10:49 AM on November 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


Rhaomi: The Daily Show called, and are offering you a job.
posted by schmod at 10:51 AM on November 17, 2010


I thought Ted Haggart was innocent.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 10:54 AM on November 17, 2010


Someone said the South will rise again, and sure enough! South Korea is blooming.
posted by Cranberry at 10:58 AM on November 17, 2010


I recently said that Juan Williams would be immediately fired from Fox News after the 'scared of Muslims' brouhaha and Fox instead offered him $2M.

Got me again, FN!
posted by unixrat at 11:35 AM on November 17, 2010


I was like 0/10 on Battlestar Galatica Predictions but full dance card score on True Blood guesses.
posted by The Whelk at 11:51 AM on November 17, 2010


ND¢: "rather than "Can you believe what a stupid jackass ButtPuzzle was in 2005?"

You have to admit, though, that ButtPuzzle was WAY off base.
posted by Chrysostom at 12:13 PM on November 17, 2010


I'm still worried about the Y2K bug. --- Oh, you'll be fine. Just don't shake his hand.
posted by crunchland at 12:33 PM on November 17, 2010


I know I said just name yours, but I'm not the boss of me, here is a good one:

I don't expect an elected (ie, not President in a Gerald Ford scenario) black President in another 25 years.
posted by matteo at 3:48 PM on September 26, 2007
posted by ND¢ at 2:13 PM on November 17, 2010


I went back and read this thread again. This has to be the most embarrassing moment in Mefi history.
posted by klue at 2:41 PM on November 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


wow. I must be some kind of genius. I stayed out of that thread.
posted by philip-random at 2:57 PM on November 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Why is it embarrassing? The alternative was John McCain and Sarah Palin - Sarah Palin! - driving this country straight into the ground. That day marked the end of the Bush era and neocon rule, for a few years at least. It marked the first black president America ever had, something many of us thought we'd never live to see. I didn't comment in that thread for some reason, but hey, I completely agree with the celebratory tone of it, even in light of the mild hangover of the ensuing two years.
posted by naju at 3:01 PM on November 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


My previous incarnation made two predictions:
I predict that this site will spawn a whole bunch of people videoing their friends posing for pictures.
Wrong. The site is moribund.
and
I predict that Fukuda will get a knife in the butt from McCartney for ripping off 'Live and Let Die'.
Wrong. Fukuda did not get a knife in the butt from McCartney.
My current Dianthus caryophyllus has made no such flowery predictions.
posted by unliteral at 3:06 PM on November 17, 2010


The alternative was John McCain and Sarah Palin - Sarah Palin! - driving this country straight into the ground.

I'll go on record with this now...

SARAH PALIN IS NOT RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT

Feel free to hurl this in my face should I be proven wrong.
posted by Joe Beese at 3:10 PM on November 17, 2010


I was totally wrong about the Nevada senate race (I thought Reid would lose to Lowden and didn't see Angle coming)
posted by r_nebblesworthII at 3:43 PM on November 17, 2010


I had a series of predictions in a peak oil thread two and a half years ago, along with what I was doing personally to anticipate the changes. Most of the forecast was long-term: we won't know if I was right or wrong for most of it for at least another decade or two. My prediction that peak petroleum production was in 2007 appears to be holding, but we'll need at least a few more years to be certain. However, I was dead wrong about prices of crude oil: I did not anticipate the effects of the crash, or the world-wide recession that followed, on the demand for petroleum.
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 4:08 PM on November 17, 2010


Hegel thought he had a deductive proof that the number of planets is seven.

This sounded likely untrue, and, hey, the internet agrees.
posted by nobody at 8:29 PM on November 17, 2010


I know I said just name yours, but I'm not the boss of me, here is a good one:

I don't expect an elected (ie, not President in a Gerald Ford scenario) black President in another 25 years.

posted by matteo at 3:48 PM on September 26, 2007
posted by ND¢ at 5:13 PM on November 17 today whenever it gets time stamped.

hold on there now because my nose twitched.

I'm going to proxy my good enemy matteo, if he does not show up.
He typed expect This is not a prediction.
the ford comment...HA.

2 more years sir and the wax is ours. KHf$ is forming a bloom upon the hum within the wind blown fans for those we passed through on a hot florida day- 'off to go flying show the lady im mad'. the west is not secure 18 months unless REASON is set into play then it's just Capri for us, comfortably flung, with towered hand waves 'faster we must go faster' qua fuck YEAH marianetti sicfuckingspell over our new fangled tinsel dome globalscram, soon the center...like dantons plan and the incorruptable shall hold festunivals as they tear apart each other over ether. Fake, joke, fililitoe gams Wired (Q) notsza slack daw rack tall getting to the bone.the beatles are still here, somewhat shaded with comet ice. you buick. Sans-culottes sicdoodlespell
with a cool new belt.

posted by clavdivs at 11:22 PM on November 17, 2010


or not
posted by clavdivs at 11:22 PM on November 17, 2010


So did scarabic (or the person who asked the question) get away with disposing of the body or what?
posted by IndigoRain at 12:50 AM on November 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


SARAH PALIN IS NOT RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT

I'm gonna go on the record predicting that Sarah Palin will be our next President. If you thought Bush II was a gas wait till you get a load of President Palin. She will be a one-term president and then Hillary will be get two terms before another scion of the Bush family takes back over.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 7:06 AM on November 18, 2010


She will be a one-term president --- Will quitting halfway through count as one term? If I had to guess, the ticket would be Palin - Rubio in '12. We could end up with President Rubio in 2013.
posted by crunchland at 8:09 AM on November 18, 2010


It doesn't matter. There's no difference between Obama and Palin anyway.

/ducks
posted by shakespeherian at 8:14 AM on November 18, 2010


/geese
posted by SpiffyRob at 8:26 AM on November 18, 2010


/swan

as in swan song of the American Republic.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 8:54 AM on November 18, 2010


/runs around the circle to get back to his original seat
posted by shakespeherian at 8:54 AM on November 18, 2010


Great. Now I have to sit in the fucking mush pot.
posted by SpiffyRob at 11:22 AM on November 18, 2010


'Sarah Palin will be our next President.'

aelfy, have you ever seen Noh
then kabuki?
posted by clavdivs at 11:42 AM on November 18, 2010


I'm partial to Bunraku where the puppets are manipulated by the puppeteers without any pretense in clear view of the audience. A fitting metaphor for presidential politics don't you think. But yes I've seen Noh and Kabuki. :)
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 3:03 PM on November 18, 2010


Oh and another prediction for the books. We will still be in Afghanistan in 2015 with no end in sight.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 1:39 PM on November 19, 2010


We will still be in Afghanistan in 2015 with no end in sight.

Semar
i recall opus dark typing something 8-9 years years ago...something about 10 or so years the blow back from the taliban of massoud or something will....i remember ....'plastic bottles'. it was a logical assumption IMO terror begets terror. no end in sight is to vauge...being there...'and in the spring time'...In force you say as in being there or merely a controlling interest.
posted by clavdivs at 4:56 AM on November 20, 2010


Hey thanks for the link clavdivs. I mean to say we will still be fighting a war in Afghanistan in 2015. We will most definitely have bases there as a "controlling interest" but I'm going to predict we are still fighting a war in 2015. It is possible that we will try to transition into a situation like Iraq but I don't think that will fly in Afghanistan.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 9:46 AM on November 20, 2010


I'd wager your right. but not En Force. I love Wayang. But Palin...no. How about in the next 6 years another bush will be running for something big and not Jeb.

the tanks- could be used as 'magnates' shhh, do not tell joe.


posted by clavdivs at 4:55 PM on November 20, 2010


controlling
typo, not an inference.
posted by clavdivs at 5:00 PM on November 20, 2010


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