Thursday, October 02, 2014

My Record as a Prophet

A claim I usually deny. But consider:

1973: My chapter on Uber

1973: My chapter on China's transition to capitalism

1973:  My chapter on SpaceX and Virgin Galactic

1989: My chapter on our interventions in Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan

(Link goes to the relevant part of the chapter).


Shaddox said...

The jitney prediction is my favorite. Just like Heinlein in The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, you failed to predict the ubiquity of portable telephones and the Internet, but the ideas are readily adaptable to such technology!

Anonymous said...

What will the Mega Millions numbers for next week be?

JamesFromPittsburgh said...

I finished The Machinery of Freedom a month or so ago and thinking about how off-the-wall some of these ideas must have sounded 40 years ago was an unexpected source of amusement.

Care to share a few predictions that you were wrong about, so we don't start coming to you and asking when we should plant our crops?

Tibor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tibor said...

When I first read the Machinery of Freedom two or so years ago, I though jitney travel was a great idea and I even went to see a programmer friend of mine about it, I though just about doing something like that. But he was kind of busy and a bit skeptical about it (although most importantly, he said it would require us to do it full time to do it properly and we were still finishing school by then, so neither of us was willing to do that). But Uber was operating at that time anyway (although it was still largely unknown in Europe) and they apparently were much more determined (and perhaps capable) than we were.

I should probably read it again to find something that has not been used yet :D

David Friedman said...

It isn't in _Machinery_, but I'm pretty sure I at some point predicted that we would have anonymous ecash by now.

Unknown said...

Anonymous ecash.

Simon said...

I read in the Darkcoin FAQ:

"Is Darkcoin fully and 100% anonymous?

Privacy / Anonymity is a developing field in cryptocurrencies and while advances are being made, it is unlikely that 100% anonymity will be achieved soon by any cryptocurrency.

Darkcoin's Darksend begun in pre-Alpha stage in February of 2014 and it is a work in progress. It aims to provide obfuscated money flows in a trustless and decentralized way, improving step-by-step to achieve this goal. The "easy" part of the job is to obfuscate things to a degree that it is virtually impossible for 99.99% of the people to "see through" the obfuscation layer. This can allow for a practical degree of anonymity/privacy. The "hard" part is to render an extremely capable adversary with vast resources (think someone with NSA-level resources) incapable of breaking through the obfuscation layers."

So maybe we're not quite there.

kaninchen said...

Impressive. But we're only seeing one side of the coin here - where are the predictions which were horrendously wrong?

Larry White said...

I thought that, being an Anarcho-Capitalist, you would be more interested in profits than prophets.

On the other hand, you could be an amazing prophet in the SCA, predicting how the middle ages DID turn out!

Anonymous said...

Any prediction that you got totally wrong?

Anonymous said...

many 3rd world countries have forms close to this and it's great