So. One year ago today I made some predictions for 2012. All in fun of course. You can look at the list and decide how I did. Not half bad if I say so myself. Given that these things are only done in fun, here are my predictions for 2014. Feel free to make your own:
1) Republicans lick wounds, look around, figure out that they really are going to have to retool their message and rethink things from the ground up. Some people will not be happy about this. Results will be indeterminate until late 2014 so it will be hard to guage, but, there is no major shakeup in the House or Senate leadership.
2) Windows 8 is increasingly seen much like Windows Vista: not a complete failure but a major turn-off to the market with a whole lot of complaining. Microsoft remains stubborn and basically tells customers to lump it or leave it, but quietly retools in preparation for Windows 9 sooner than it had anticipated.
3) The national economy will continue to slowly improve but in a very hesitant and frustrating way.
4) Telecommuting finally becomes considered a mainstream and acceptable option in most of Corporate America.
5) Resentment at the power of corporate America will continue to escalate, though the debate will remain sharply between those who think the government is to blame and those who think government is the solution.
6) “The Hobbit” proves more successful financially than the first Lord of the Rings movie.
7) The so-called Rapture once again does not happen. Neither does the world end in any other manner, with the remote possible exception of a massive meteor strike.
8) A friend of mine with some rather impressive new technology continues to face frustrations, but does not give up.
9) The phrase “Men’s Rights Activists” will start appearing in more and more mainstream news outlets, subject to fierce criticism and debate, with some so-called MRAs behaving badly but others making inroads into mainstream acceptance in politics as well as in academia. This will turn out to be one of the most acrimonious subjects in the country, a debate that was forestalled for about ten years by 9/11. It will be a growing part of our politics this year and probably even moreso in the years after it. A generational dialogue on sex and gender issues that’s needed to happen for a long while finally begins.
10) So-called “global terrorism” will make a slight resurgence, but only slight, as the fight for reform in the Middle East continues to cause most people in the region to focus their energy on that rather than incoherent blaming of American and/or Israel for their woes.
11) Israel once again is not wiped from the map, and continues to see slowly improving relations and fortunes with the Palestinians.
12) Religious tensions begin visibly easing in America, as the so-called “Religious Right” comes to terms with the fact that most of their views are not within the mainstream of American discourse and most of their message is not a winning message.
13) There will be at least another crazed shooter or two in America who kills a bunch of people, or tries to, just because he’s nuts. This gives energy to the gun control movement, but not a lot of action.
14) NASA once again does nothing of great significance in space, although they continue to produce interesting stuff at home at places like JPL.
15) Egypt continues to face turmoil but outright civil war never occurs.
16) Bashar Assad, dead by end of year.
17) America continues its struggle in Afghanistan, where progress will remain frustratingly two-steps-forward-one-step-back but overall positive.
18) First self-driving car becomes available for sale, although it will be so expensive only someone very rich or a large corporation will be able to buy one (OK, didn’t happen last year, I’m thinking this year.)
19) Linux starts to become a Visible Presence in the gaming community, as frustration with Microsoft and with the limitations of consoles drives more and more gamers back to PCs and yet away from Microsoft.
20) No government in the Middle East truly “becomes Democratic” (as defined by Freedom House standards) but many continue to reform toward more democratic institutions.
21) North Korea stays internally quiescent, but its new dictator surprises everybody by opening talks with the outside world, though no big changes.
22) Fidel Castro finally dies. Raul has trouble keeping a lid on things. (I’ve made this prediction every year for many years running so I have to be right eventually, right?)
23) Obamacare continues to expand and while there will be changes to the law it will continue, and the result will not be fewer people with medical coverage, as the critics suggested, but rather, the number of people covered will increase.
24) Once again, no country ranked as a Democracy by Freedom House will go to war with any other country that is so-ranked. It has never happened, and it will continue to not-happen.
25) Some legislation is passed to make student loan forgiveness easier to obtain.
26) I will continue writing regularly on my blog, although more of my energy will be spent on YouTube and podcasting and writing on other sites.
OK some of those are pretty easy, some a little more edgy. What do you guys think? Got any predictions you’d like to make?
2013 graphic via shutterstock.com