Update 1/29/2015: Dead link.
“But I say unto you, that every idle word that men shall speak,
they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.”
What does this site do?
It keeps track of predictions of the future by public figures.
How does it work?
When someone makes a prediction, people post it to the site along with a brief description and a URL. We monitor it and change its status to true or false when appropriate.
What are the submission criteria?
- The prediction needs to make an empirically testable claim about the world.
- The prediction should be significant.
- The prediction must be by a public figure.
- The prediction should be testable within five years.
- Negative predictions (about things that are never expected to happen) are allowed.
What is the purpose of this site?
Research has shown that experts make predictions at a rate worse than chance. This site exists in order to hold people and media outlets accountable for pretending to see into an unpredictable future.
Soooooo good. Cited quotes, testable predictions, and a warm-fuzzy timer counting down to our pundits’ demise. There’s no discrimination between fields of ‘expertise’- if you’ve got a following and you make a prediction, you’re fair game.
The problem isn’t that experts in a field are bad at predicting the future, it’s that the people we see in the media predicting the future are far from experts. Certainty and exaggeration titillate and sell, so certainty and exaggeration are what we get. The real experts have boring, down-to-earth predictions, with calculated margins of error and a dull focus on ‘solid methodology’ and ‘accuracy.’ Who needs ‘em?
(Thanks for the pointer, Joi)