Dan Goodman's prediction and politics journal.

Friday, May 14, 2004

Friday May 14, 2004. I've been thinking about failed predictions in science fiction -- particularly the ones which fail soon enough to embarrass the writer. And I think it's often the sensible predictions which fail.

Sensible political predictions: The US and USSR would continue to be Earth's two superpowers well into the 21st century. And they would continue to be the two leading powers in space.

Or perhaps the Japanese would dominate.

The Soviet Union is gone. The US looks less and less like a functional superpower. The European Union's space program already seems to be better in some ways than the US space program.

Sensible social predictions: It was obvious that cigarette smoking would continue to be respectable.

Computer networks were one prediction which came true. But it was taken for granted that the information they carried would be provided by corporations, governments, and large nonprofit institutions. A gossip columnist along the lines of Matt Drudge? Yes, but as an employee.

(More on this later.)
Writing: "Well Met, Well Met, My Old True Love" -- The story has taken firm enough shape that I can work on getting the scenes right. Then will come getting the words right.

Killing Futures -- nothing done today.
Pointer from Juan Not-Volokh at the Volokh Conspiracy
ROBERTS, Circuit Judge: It was a close thing, but Benedict Arnold’s bold plan to capture Canada for the Revolution fell short at the Battle of Quebec in early 1776. As a result, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission must now decide when affiliates of Canadian utilities — utilities not subject to FERC jurisdiction — may sell power at market-based rates in the United States.
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