Culture

Nobody Expects These Predictions

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I don’t come from the future, I only work there.

Or to put it another way, I spend a lot of my time thinking of where current events and current trends will lead in the future.

Mind you, that future is usually 500 or so years in the future, and I’m also likely to succumb to the rule of cool.  I don’t really expect them to have antigrav wands, but come on, guys, gangs of broomers roaming the skies? Perfect for cool stories, even if I wouldn’t want to live there.

Nearer term, and where you can be disproven, making predictions is risky. Or as the professor has been known to say, “making predictions is difficult, particularly about the future.”

So, take this with a grain of salt.

The thing is, I’ve grown so tired of seeing quite obviously fatuous predictions that I felt the need to write this, with both my own predictions and an explanation of the process of making predictions. Which is not only my business but honestly, the business of every sane human being. If you can’t correctly predict the results of events or actions, you have no clue of the link between cause and effect. That leads to a lot of problems. In general, we call it “the Obama administration” for easy shorthand — not that they had a monopoly on this behavior, unfortunately.

In fact, the entire left seems determined to go around pretending that the intention is the action. That is, they believe whatever they intended to do is what will come about, and there will be no glitch, no second-order effects, nor will people adjust their behavior in ways unanticipated by the left.

The results can be uproariously funny, like the “push model” in publishing leading eventually to the success of indie ebooks. (The short explanation is this: the push model is where, in dealing with chain bookstores, the publishers, who are overwhelmingly leftist, realized they could push them to stock whatever books they wanted to succeed, and then the customers would have to buy them because they were the only thing available. The end result was a nosedive in book sales, the death of Borders, and eventually the success of indie-published ebooks.) However, even there, on the way there, there was the tragedy of people not being able to find good things to read for a long time. (I remember us calling bookstore trips “going to be disappointed by Barnes and Noble.”)

Other times, their carefully laid plans are foiled by new technology — see, for instance, their slow-crawl through news reporting and other institutions being nullified by the internet and blogs, and a bunch of us bums working in their pajamas. (Actually, I’m wearing just a robe right now [Ed—woo woo!], but never mind that.)

But often the tragic/comic effects of their action lead directly to their undoing, in a beautiful, almost Shakespearean effect.

One of the predictions I’m seeing everywhere, for instance, is how now Human Resources will need a lot more power over companies to prevent more #metoo incidents of sexual importuning of women.

The funny thing about this is that anyone with two eyes and a modicum of understanding of the world knows that this is not where the crazy is headed. As the attempt to drown out the legitimate cases of harassment – mostly by leftists, in leftist-dominated institutions – by claiming #metoo and that all men were essentially harassers becomes more frantic, it has become obvious that any man can be accused of harassment at any time by anyone.

So, here is a genuine prediction: I predict that instead of giving HR more power, this will give companies pause before hiring women, which will lead to a lot of decent and qualified women being left unemployed.

The second-order effect of that, for companies that can’t avoid hiring women, is two-fold: they’ll either hire women to “make-believe” positions, in which they interact only or primarily with other women, creating a drain on the bottom line, or they will allow a lot more work-at-home by both men and women.  I predict we’ll see a great move towards that in the next year. Sure, it’s still possible to claim someone is harassing you via the phone, but one-party consent states at least will allow men to record everything in order to defend themselves.

Weirdly, I believe the long-term result of this will be the dismantling of the daycare and child-warehousing practice which has led to a lot of the left’s ascendency in education.

This is because no matter how much you wish to wishful think that companies will just give Human Resources more power, people who actually live and work in the world know this isn’t likely. Human Resources would mostly just make it impossible for anyone to get any work done.

In the same way, the people who are all happy that Google and Facebook will now be able to “counter fake news with information” seem to fail to understand that just because there is a link underneath some article I’m interested in from, say, NBC news or HuffPo, I’m no more likely to click on it than I am to run naked down the street. People who distort such simple things as the decision to cut down a magnolia tree in the White House garden for public safety reasons into an assault on history by the first lady don’t really deserve a look in.

My prediction here is that we’ll continue to point and laugh.

I also don’t believe that more and more people will join the #resistance — mostly because, seriously, what on Earth are they resisting? Weren’t we supposed to have camps by now? #worstHitlerever.

I fully expect, also, that not being forced to pay a fine for not having Obamacare will NOT result in the deaths of millions on the street.

This is probably because I’m so old I remember eight years ago when tons of people didn’t have insurance and yet didn’t die on the streets. Also, I’m so rational I remember that insurance is not, in fact, health care. Just because someone is paying for overpriced insurance, with no willing providers in their city or state, it doesn’t mean their health gets better. Good Lord, even fantasy writers need better world-building than that.

As for the rest of your predictions, I don’t know. My crystal ball is foggy. I predict however that services will get more decentralized, life will get more convenient, and, as the dinosaur-like institutions the left has taken over fail, better things will emerge to replace them. Sure, not all of them. And sure, sometimes we’ll have to go through bad times to get there. But to quote Robert A. Heinlein, “the future is usually better than the past.”

The one thing I can predict for sure is that the left will continue to shriek with unhinged fury at everything that Trump does and fails to do.

So the one solid bet I have for you is: “Buy popcorn futures. You can’t go wrong.”