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Nicodemus

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2004+ Prognostications [Jan. 12th, 2004|01:15 pm]
Nicodemus
[Current Mood |detached]
[Current Music |Beethoven's Ninth]

I'm in a random somewhat cynical mood (I know, not that unusual) and felt like offering some wild predictions for this new year of 2004 and beyond. I'm not saying these are things I'd support or favor, just some out-and-out guesses about our future; I'm also trying to keep them from getting Nostradamusy by being specific on details.

Think I'm way off? Has something happened I didn't hear about? Got your own areas to predict? Feel free to contribute your own or meme this on your journal, as you like. No flames, please.

Political: Bush defeats Dean.

Dean narrowly beats a surprisingly strong showing from Clark at the primaries; he goes on to face Bush as a somewhat weak candidate but overcomes most of this. He is ultimately haunted by overly-candid comments. Bush mounts an enormous media popularity campaign, mentioning a wide variety of "accomplishments" for anything for which he's ever stated any sort of policy opinion. The capture of a high-level Al Qaeda member is touted as a success in the war on terror and boosts polls enormously.

International: We partly withdraw from Iraq but maintain authoritative control. Osama uncaptured; Omar captured. Instability spreads in Africa; Korea policies stabilize.

Forces are partly withdrawn from Iraq as part of a shift in our "war on terror". Additional troops are diverted to Afghanistan but we fail to capture Osama without any coherent military action. Mullah Omar [or another Al Qaeda leader] is captured. Iraq suffers from civil unrest through the entire year due to unstable governing forces and the inability of the U.S. to fully relinquish authority. Disease epidemic in Africa lead to increasingly brutal policies from governments; revolution breaks out in at least one country. Korea quietly and deliberately develops its nuclear program; international policies and negotiations slowly adjust to a fait accompli.

Space: Space shuttle flights resume although a date for obsolescence is discussed. Bush proposes moon base but it is without real funding or a firm timeline towards Mars.

Shuttle retrofits are completed and flights resume. Bush proposes a permanent moon presence for after the ISS is decomissioned. Bush talks about Mars in only vague terms. Republicans support the president's actions in public but fail to vote funding for the program resulting in legislative gridlock. The forward-looking plans spark discussion of the end of the shuttle program's lifespan as it is replaced by a more modern and reliable vehicle; this is the ultimate positive product of Bush's moon initiative in the foreseeable future.

Biology: Genetically-modified pets become trendy. Gene therapy not available; gene testing widely available. Learning about learning.

Genetically-modified fish are currently being developed; this will be followed by small mammals (e.g. hamsters) sold as pets. They will become a fad for 2005. The cosmetic modifications to cute animals leads to a wider popular acceptance of gene work, opening the door to GM crops down the road. Gene therapy research continues slowly and is not speeded by the government; gene-based medical tests become more widely available and affordable, however, for screening. Neurobiologists make significant discoveries in the area of neurochemistry and the processes of learning and memory.

Technology and Media: Apple closes year well. Linux gains ground on MS; MS positions for long-term secure platform. MPAA wants to silence critics.

Apple iPod and iTunes clones become popular and people (incorrectly) predict the imminent death of Apple (again). Apple rides high, however, and rumors circulate about a new desktop platform towards the end of the year. Microsoft loses ground in desktop OS space as the Linux movement coalesces on a user-friendly distribution and IBM promotes it; Microsoft, in turn, renews push for pervasive DRM technology to which it quietly holds patents. MS approaches switch to yearly licensing scheme for all products. Media organizations support MS's campaign and move for legal entrenchment of their right to profit. MPAA talks of suppressing critics who publish negative reviews. A push for a common rating scheme between TV, movies, and video games emerges.

Economics: Recovery falters after raise in interest rates; situation neutral at year's end. In California, Schwartzeneggar passes the bond measure allowing him to put together a budget; after much wrangling and alteration, it passes.

The core interest rate is slowly raised to counteract the crunch on retirees and people dependent on investment earnings. The housing market weakens, ultimately to suffer a moderate crash early next year once rates have gone up more than 1%; this has repurcussions to the national economy and, more importantly, consumer confidence. Schwartzeneggar manages to get his bond passed and a budget through legislative gridlock; partisanship is still a major barrier to the budget process and many of Schwartzeneggar's goals are not achieved. Schools and social services are heavily cut; taxes are raised the following year. A major earthquake weakens the economic situation and the state requests disaster relief from the government which, it is later revealed, was partly used to cover for underfunded infrastructure and budget holes.

Sports: People play games. One team wins.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: kit_ping
2004-01-12 02:27 pm (UTC)
This is only somewhat cynical?

Backrubs and hot tea for you, m'lad, when you get home. Some serious relaxation is needed.
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[User Picture]From: nicodemusrat
2004-01-12 02:42 pm (UTC)
You see, the original fully cynical one had Bush throw his support behind a Constituional amendment against gay marraige in 2005. Instead, this version gives us the possibility of purple hamsters. So it's much more optimistic. :)
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[User Picture]From: kit_ping
2004-01-12 04:05 pm (UTC)
You can have purple hamsters already! You just have to aim carefully as you throw them in the dye... ;)
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[User Picture]From: nicodemusrat
2004-01-12 03:29 pm (UTC)
Interesting... And I didn't know the procedure in a tie, either. I'm figuring NV or AZ will be Republican. Did you could MI as red? (I don't know which version of the map you're using and I am not dedicated enough to fiddle with the numbers to deduce it. :)

A tie would be most fascinating.
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[User Picture]From: nicodemusrat
2004-01-12 05:00 pm (UTC)
No, evidently not!
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[User Picture]From: richardf8
2004-01-12 03:02 pm (UTC)
Hmm, I think that where Dean is concered, the candidness of the candidate is his greatest strength. He will easily overtake Bush in the polls, and die in a plane crash a week before the election.
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[User Picture]From: nicodemusrat
2004-01-12 03:30 pm (UTC)
An interesting prediction! I'll hope for the first half but not the second, I think. :)
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[User Picture]From: kit_ping
2004-01-12 04:08 pm (UTC)
The fateful plane will have been donated to Dean by a charity later found to be a front for Bechtel.
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[User Picture]From: 3catsjackson
2004-01-12 04:40 pm (UTC)
Hey, I didn't know Diebold made planes too!
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[User Picture]From: chipuni
2004-01-12 03:57 pm (UTC)
*grin* One of your prognostications is already true. Genetically-engineered fish that glow in the dark are already available. (I want one!!!)

I need to go through and give my best guesses about each state, tally them up, and post the electoral results...
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[User Picture]From: seinnichts
2004-01-12 04:27 pm (UTC)
Where does one get these fish? I heard about them, and I want one too ;)

I think you may be right on for a few of your predictions, however, I think we will have a slightly different turnout this year as far as sports is concerned... I'm betting on an unusual occurance of Ties on the order of 100%. That would be really funny.

But Bush will win. As the man said Its not those who cast the votes who decide the winner, its those who count them. Can you guess who that man was? :-D
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[User Picture]From: nicodemusrat
2004-01-12 04:36 pm (UTC)
I knew they were being developed but I didn't know they were actually available for purchase yet. I must admit, they look darn cool!
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[User Picture]From: kit_ping
2004-01-12 04:58 pm (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: traveller_blues
2004-01-13 04:03 pm (UTC)
This might actually be a good thing.

"Hon, why are Sapphire's teeth glowing in the dark?"

'Check the fish tank.'

-Traveller.
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[User Picture]From: kit_ping
2004-01-13 04:25 pm (UTC)
Hee! :)
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[User Picture]From: traveller_blues
2004-12-29 07:37 pm (UTC)
Nic...

This is scary, looking back at this now -- the only 'wrong' thing was that it was Kerry, not Dean.

-Traveller
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