"John Scully's" comic strip that has a farewell every day (drawn and written by Ruben Bolling)

"John Scully's" comic strip that has a farewell every day (drawn and written by Ruben Bolling)
"John Scully's" comic strip that has a farewell every day (drawn and written by Ruben Bolling)
September 19 is the last post for this blog. Thanks to all my readers!

Monday, March 11, 2013

11 March 2013

Anton Yelchin b. 1989
Johnny Knoxville b. 1971
Robots released 2005

Mr. Yelchin's best known role in the genre is as Chekov in the reboot of Star Trek.

In the year 2000!

Prediction: Top 10 most populous cities

Predictor: OMNI Future Almanac

Prediction vs. Reality:

Regular readers will know that the Monday slot for predictions is shared between the Popular Mechanics' Wonderful Future That Never Was and the 1982 treasure trove The OMNI Future Almanac. As Tyrion Lannister might say, "There's the pretty one, and then there's the clever one." It's not so much that OMNI gets everything right - not everybody can be John Elfreth Watkins -  but it is absolutely chock full of predictions with dates, the daily bread of this blog.

Here are their predictions of the ten most populous cities, with the real position and population in parentheses, along with a percentage by which they missed the population. Their source for these numbers was a U.N. report from 1979.

1. Mexico City 31 million (real position: #1 real pop.: 26.3 mil, off by 18%)
2. Sao Paulo 25.8 million (real position: #2 real pop.: 24 mil, off by 8%)
3. Tokyo-Yokohama (real position: #3 real pop.: 17.1 mil, off by 42%)

A break for a comment. They got the top three cities in correct order, a nice piece of work looking 17 years forward. But you will notice they over shoot a lot of predictions of how many people there would be. That trend continues.

4. Greater New York City 22.8 million (real position: #6 real pop.: 15.5 mil, off by 47%)
5. Shanghai 22.7 million (real position: #8 real pop.: 13.5 mil, off by 68%)
6 Beijing 19.9 million (real position: #21 real pop.: 10.8 mil., off by 84%)

The first major oopsie. The almanac gives the correct populations and positions in 1980, predicts some growth for NYC and massive growth for Beijing. In reality, New York's population shrunk by about 5 million and Beijing hardly grew at all.

7. Rio de Janiero 19 million (real position: #9 real pop.: 13.3 mil, off by 43%)
8. Greater Bombay (Mumbai) 17.1 million (real position: #5 real pop.: 16 mil, off by 7%)
9. Calcutta (Kolkatta) 16.7 million (real position: #4 real pop.: 16.6 mil, off by 1%)
10. Djakarta 16.6 million (real position: #13 real pop.: 13.3%, off by 30%)

Okay, they got 8 of 10 cities right, which would get a B in most classes. The two top ten cities they missed were #7 Seoul at 13.5 million and #10 Delhi at 13.3 million. The place where the grade might get marked down is the huge discrepancy in total population of these cities, off by 50 million total, 30% higher overall. The overestimation of growth rates would look even worse.

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE! It's Heinlein's turn, and since I used something from his fiction last week, I'll use a prediction from one of his many forecast essays. Will that mean it will be less ridiculous? Signs point to no.

Join me then... IN THE FUTURE!

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