Last year we offered our first prediction ever, and from a non-investigative stance, it looks like we were over 50% correct. In about a week we'll review it and post the results for your scrutiny. But today, after a few email exchanges, we're ready to put our predictions online for anyone to criticize. Read on after the break.
As your host, I will put in my predictions last just like last year. But from our venerable staff, these are their prognostications (personal stuff removed):
I predict that there will be one "major" natural disaster this year (something that warrants 24/7 news coverage for a few weeks)
I predict that there will be at least one instance of a group suicide in anticipation of the end of the world
I predict that Obama will win the election, but not by much
I predict that Valve will finally announce (only announce) a projected release date for Half Life 2 Ep. 3/Half Life 3
I predict that Obama loses the election.
I predict that Hillary is his new VP.
I predict that Microsoft will announce a new Xbox.
I predict Mitt Romney will win the primaries but lose the election.
I predict no major financial crises will occur this year (statistics say most years don't have one, so I'm safe here).
I predict this PAX to be the best one yet.
Vote Romney/Spielberg 2012. (Mormon/Jew ticket - big winner!)
Vote Romney/Schwarzenegger 2012.
Vote Romney/Sheen 2012.
Caveat: Ktal is working on his post-doc and doesn't exactly "get" politics - he's a scientist so cut him some slack.
I predict that the 2012 elections outcome will be disappointing for close to half of the population.
Lastly, for most people, the only thing that could happen this year to support the Mayan's end of the world prediction (if it were to happen) would be the Mormon Mitt Romney winning the elections.
Caveat: Buster hasn't finished his 4 year degree yet, so cut him some slack too.
Okay, I believe that was it for team predictions, so we'll move onto my (Conan) predictions for 2012.
First and foremost: the Mayan 12/21/12 prediction will be bunk - like so many other doomsday predictions that have circulated around the world. Glad to see that Harold Camping "retired" from that profession. This is not say there will not be turmoil as the world economies continue to deteriorate, but that there will be no 'end all' style doom in 2012.
There will be no recovery for world economies in 2012. Bailouts will have to continue just to retain the status quo. These will keep unemployment numbers between 9-10% (officially), but as the year drags on, these numbers will rise. The EU will lose some members which will cause a climb in the value of the dollar and precious metals will fall in accordance, however, past the middle of the year, gold will start its climb for the $2000/oz mark since the dollar will be de-valued with more bailouts coming in.Will the EU completely disintegrate in 2012? Possible, but I'd say less than 50% chance - but it is inevitable, according to the math.
Food prices will continue to climb because 1) crops will be devestated by abnormal weather conditions/pests, and 2) money 'value' will be in constant flux. Commodities will be the best area for investment due to this, at the expense of humanity.
More scandals will surface with the political class; specifically the Department of Justice and the Obama administration (et alii). This will cause political strife within the democratic party and loss of confidence with independents who were already removing support from the left.
Election 2012 will be epic - new record amounts of money spent to secure votes. Classless Biden will be removed from the ticket (or rather, he will "retire") and formidable powerhouse will replace him. Though it looks like Hillary could be the unifier for disenfranchised voters, my feeling is that she really does not like Obama and may tell him to look elsewhere, then she may potentially run in 2016 instead. If Hillary does not join Obama, then Obama may lose the election in 2012 to either Romney (most likely) or Ron Paul (less likely). Therein lies the problem as both candidates represent polar conservative agendas and neither supporters of said individuals are likely to jump ship unless they each select running mates that parallel the other's supporters. Or come together themselves on a successful Romney/Paul ticket. Failing to do this, then I predict Obama wins again, and the crap will get worse (unemployment, foreign policy, deficit, debt, scandals, civil unrest...).
I'll reiterate the above again:
Obama/Hillary = win
Obama/unknown = win, if:
Romney/Paul = win
More egregious laws like the NDAA will come forth from both political parties in 2012. Together they will completely negate the Bill of Rights, with the last one, the 2nd Amendment, being attacked after election day. With such laws coming down the pipeline, expect more civil yet disobedience from all sorts of folks - not just the OWS crowd. But that will only be part of the reason for people getting angry. Unrest will spring forth due to loss of wealth, status quo, and the generally accepted (yet ailing) norm of life. A lot of this will be blamed on government (which will cause above mentioned "egregious laws" prediction - a circle!).
Animal deaths will continue stump scientists just like in 2011. Except, many marine animals will die from acute radation exposure in the Pacific, yet little to nothing will be addressed with the Fukushima disaster even though everyone will know it was far worse than Chernobyl. Nuclear energy will still hold a belief in "clean energy" for a few more months. Sadly, the amount of people dying in Japan will increase dramatically but it will be too late to do anything significant for them. TEPCO will cease to exist in 2012.
North Korea will tread water for a while as they reassess their changes; they may even offer an olive branch toward the West in hopes of easing tensions and improving their welfare. It will be good news and a 'win' for the Obama admin, though North Korea's true stance will have not changed; reunification of Korea.
Iran will continue to assert themselves while playing chicken. Their best bet is to be pals with Pakistan who is now allowing China to build a military base in their northern region. Any false attack on Pakistan could cause China to become an enforcer for the middle east. Either way, it would not bode well for the US and their nation-building empire.
China will continue to languish into a deep recession. No longer will eyes look to the east to help remove them from a world economic depression, which is still on track to happen (but perhaps not in 2012 - seems a bit too soon). Watch for inflation and unemployment to rise in the Orient, with significantly lowered GDP. The 9-10% annual growth will be a thing of the past. Civil unrest will climb. India will falter economically as well as Brazil.
There will be lots of clamoring for war, and perhaps a few other smaller countries will be invaded and pillaged. If there is a major war, expect more incumbants to will re-election, "stay the course!".
Hacker group Anonymous will get their moment in the sun with a huge dump of classified information that will stun the masses. And then the SOPA law (or similar) will be passed and the Internet highly regulated thereafter. It'll be a Pyrrhic victory, and then folks will be madder at Anonymous than before because they can't access facebook 24/7.
Well, that's enough bad news for 2012. As for the good; people will begin to understand their collective power and will be able to coordinate themselves to make the first solid inlays to re-establishing power. News reports will be more heavily scrutinized and analyzed by people vested in wanting to know "truth." Science will make some discoveries that will begin to change the standards of life. The heavens will reveal more wonders that challenge accepted science. Accepted science will be questioned more thoroughly. Veterans will become more vocal about their doings and the veil placed between the public.
Two prominent entertainers will die. (Good news?)
And there will be a 2013, which is very good news to us because it gives Infinity Ward a chance to redeem themselves from the crappy MW3 game. Priorities, man! Treyarch can do no wrong in 2012 compared to this newest CoD game.