Predictions for 2021

January 11, 2021

Making predictions for the year seems like a good beginning-of-the-year tradition, so I’m trying it out. My evaluation criterion for these predictions will be their Brier score, where I interpret the score roughly as follows:

  • > 0.25: Bad (worse than predicting 50% for everything)
  • 0.20-0.25: Okay
  • 0.15-0.20: Good
  • < 0.15: Excellent! (my expected score if all these predictions are perfectly calibrated is about 0.17)

COVID-19

  • The new COVID strain causes a noticeable rise in cases in the US1: 85%
  • More than 3 million global COVID deaths: 75%
  • More than 10 million global COVID deaths: 15%
  • Giving only a single dose of one of the RNA vaccines is approved in the US: 30%
  • I get COVID: 5%
  • I get a vaccine by the end of April: 10%
    • …by the end of May: 30%
    • …by the end of June: 60%
    • …by the end of July: 70%
    • …by the end of the year: 95%

Economy

  • No major stock market crash2: 60%
  • My investments outperform the S&P 500: 80%
  • Bitcoin reaches $100k at some point in the year: 20%

Personal

  • I adopt or foster a cat or cats: 60%
  • I travel to a country other than Canada: 30%
  • I travel back to Canada at least twice: 80%
  • I don’t switch jobs: 90%
  • I return to in-person work: 85%
  • I write at least three blog posts other than this one: 65%
  • I make another predictions post at the start of 2022: 90%
  • I go on at least three dates: 75%
  • I go on at least three in-person dates: 60%
  • I get a USHPA P2 rating: 65%
    • …and a P3 rating: 10%
  • I get an amateur radio license: 60%
  • I run 5km in less than 28 minutes3: 60%
    • …in less than 25 minutes: 25%
  • I solve a Rubik’s cube in less than 10 seconds4: 60%
  • [Redacted 1]: 60%
  • [Redacted 2]: 40%
  • [Redacted 3]: 20%
  • [Redacted 4]: 5%

Meta

  • My Brier score for these predictions is better than 0.25: 80%
    • …better than 0.20: 60%
    • …better than 0.15: 15%
  • At least one of the questions in this section has self-referential issues5: 10%

  1. Hard to operationalize6, but I expect it to be pretty obvious.
  2. A decline of at least 20% from the peak.
  3. I did run 5k in 28 minutes in 2018, but I haven’t been running recently.
  4. My current best is 10.687.
  5. It can consistently resolve in either direction, or it is inconsistent no matter which direction it resolves.
  6. Attempt: there is evidence of its presence in >20 states, and there are more than 2.5M confirmed cases per week in the US at its peak, sometime between March and June.