I didn’t let myself check prediction markets when making these forecasts since that would spoil the fun. I also only permitted myself at most five minutes of research on any one question.

See the bottom of the post for a contest/survey.

** 1. Biden approval rating (as per 538) is greater than fifty percent: 40%
2. At least $250 million in damage from a single round of mass protests in US: 10%
3. PredictIt thinks Joe Biden is most likely 2024 Dem nominee: 80%
4: …thinks Donald Trump is most likely 2024 GOP nominee: 60%
5. Beijing Olympics happen successfully on schedule: 99%
6. Major flare-up (worse than past 5 years) in Russia/Ukraine conflict: 50%
7. Major flare-up (worse past 10 years) in Israel/Palestine conflict: 5%
8. Major flare-up (worse than in past 50 years) in China/Taiwan conflict: 5%
9. Honduran ZEDEs legally crippled to the point where no reasonable person would invest in them further: 5%
10. New ZEDE approved in Honduras: 30%

11. Gamestop stock price still above $100: 30%
12. Bitcoin above 100K: 20%
13. Ethereum above 5K: 20%
14. Ethereum above 0.05 BTC: 90%
15. Bored Ape floor price here below current price of $203K: 40%
16. Dow above 35K: 90%
17. …above 37.5K: 40%
18. Inflation for the year below five percent: 90%
19. Unemployment below five percent: 50%
20. Google widely allows remote work, no questions asked: 50%
21. Starship reaches orbit: 90%

22. Fewer than 10K daily average official COVID cases in US in December 2022: 20%
23. Fewer than 50K daily average COVID cases worldwide in December 2022: 1%
24. >66% US population fully vaccinated (by current standards) against COVID: 70%
25. India’s official case count is higher than US: 5%
26. Medical establishment reverses course and officially says any of Vitamin D, HCQ, or ivermectin is actually effective against COVID: 1%
27: FDA approves a COVID indication for fluvoxamine: 60%
28. Some new variant not currently known is greater than 25% of cases: 60%
29. Most people I see in the local grocery store 12/31/22 are wearing masks: 60%
30. Masks still required on domestic flights: 60%
31. CDC recommends that triple-vaxxed people get at least one more vax: 70%
32. China has fewer than 100,000 COVID cases this year (official estimate): 30%

33. [redacted]: 80%
34. No new (non-baby) residents at our housing cluster: 80%
35. No current residents leave our housing cluster: 80%
36. [friend] stays in Indiana: 90%
37. [friend] is in a primary relationship: 30%
38. [friend] is in a primary relationship: 30%
39. [friend] is in a primary relationship: 20%
40. [friend] is dating [friend]: 60%
41. [friend] has [job]: 30%
42. [friend] has published at least one issue of their EA journal: 95%
43. [friend]still works at [job]: 30%
44. [friend] is pregnant (or has given birth): 80%
45. [friend] is pregnant (or has given birth): 70%
46. [friend] is pregnant (or has given birth): 40%
47. [friend] is still working at [job]: 80%
48. [friend] gets engaged: 40%
49. [friend] takes on additional medical work beyond his job for the Board: 50%

50. I have a child: 20%
51. I still live in my current house: 95%
52. I’ve broken up with someone I’m seriously dating: 5%
53. At least three dates with a new person: 30%
54. I have started physical construction of an ADU: 40%
55. …or bought a tiny house instead of an ADU: 20%
56. I’m playing in a D&D campaign: 20%
57. I go on at least one international trip: 60%
58. I continue my current exercise routine, w at least one cycle in Q4 2022: 60%
59. I weigh less than 185 lbs for most of Q4 2022: 50%
60. I take some substance I haven’t discovered yet at least 5 times in 2022 (testing exempted): 30%
61. [redacted]: 20%
62. The Twitter account I check most frequently isn’t one of the five I check frequently now: 20%
63. I make/retweet at least 25 tweets between now and 2022: 40%
64. I have written at least 5 chapters of a new novel: 40%
65. [redacted]: 30%
66. [redacted]: 50%
67. [redacted]: 70%
68. [redacted]: 20%

69. Lorien has 150+ patients: 40%
70. 200+ patients: 10%
71. I write at least five more Lorien pages: 40%
72. [redacted]: 70%
73. [redacted]: 80%
74. I have switched medical records systems: 10%
75. I have changed my pricing scheme: 20%
76. I make a time-off coverage agreement with someone

77. ACX is making more than $400K: 80%
78. …more than $500K: 50%
79. …more than $600K: 30%
80. At least one post gets more than 300 likes: 80%
81. I run another Book Review Contest: 90%
82. I go to at least 6 meetups in 6 different cities: 60%
83. I run a survey or am extremely prepared to run one in January: 80%
84. I finally finish posting the analysis of the remaining birth order results: 60%
85. I run another ACX Grants round with at least $100,000 moved: 70%
86. I add at least two more dictators to the Book Club: 80%
87. I’m still the top-ranked blog in Substack’s “Science” category: 70%

88. No new real-money prediction market becomes bigger than Polymarket: 70%
89. Manifold Markets is still alive and active: 30%
90. New legal US real-money prediction market at least half as big as Kalshi: 5%
91. New illegal but easy-to-use market satisfying the above: 20%
92. I post my scores on these predictions before 2/1/23: 80%

These next two sections are based on Vox’s22 Predictions For 2022 and and Matt Yglesias’ predictions in his Predictions Are Hard post. In both cases, inspired by Zvi, I’ve given the original predictor’s estimate, then either stuck with it, or bought/sold to some other level. This is kind of unfair, because I get to see the original predictor’s thoughts and they don’t get to see mine - also, I’m a few weeks later than they are, and in a few cases that gives me extra knowledge. So:

1. Democrats will lose their majorities in the House and Senate (95%): SELL TO 90%
2. Inflation in the US will average under three percent (80%): HOLD
3. Unemployment in the US will fall below four percent by November (80%): SELL to 60% if they mean in November, otherwise hold
4. Supreme Court will overturn Roe v. Wade (65%): SELL to 60%
5. Stephen Breyer will retire from the Supreme Court (55%): N/A
6. Emmanuel Macron will be reelected president of France (65%): HOLD
7. Jair Bolsonaro will be reelected president of Brazil (55%): SELL to 50%
8. Bongbong Marcos will be elected president of the Philippines (55%): BUY to 60%
9. Rebels will not capture Addis Ababa (55%): N/A
10. China will not reopen its borders in the first half of 2022 (80%): BUY to 90%
11. Chinese GDP will continue to grow for the first 3/4 of the year (95%): SELL to 90%
12. 20% of US kids between 0.5 and 5 years old will get at least one COVID vaccine by year’s end (65%): HOLD
13. WHO will designate another Variant Of Concern by year’s end (75%): HOLD
14. 12 billion COVID shots will be given out globally by 11/2022 (80%): HOLD
15. At least one country will have less than 10% of people vaccinated with two shots by 11/2022 (70%): BUY to 95%
16. A psychedelic drug will be decriminalized/legalized in at least one more US state (75%): HOLD
17. AI will discover a new drug promising enough for clinical trials (85%): HOLD
18. US govt will not renew the ban on funding gain-of-function research (60%): HOLD
19. The Biden administration will set the social cost of carbon at $100/ton or more (70%): HOLD
20. 2022 will be warmer than 2021 (80%): HOLD
21. Kenneth Branagh’s Belfast will win Best Picture (55%): SELL to 30%
22. Norway will win the most medals at the 2022 Winter Olympics (60%): HOLD

While I agree things don’t look good for the Democrats, 95% chance they lose both houses of Congress implies 97.5% chance of losing each house, which seems too high. I’m smashing the BUY button as hard as I can on “at least one country will fail to get to 10% vaccination rate” - there are a lot of countries, and as far as I know North Korea is refusing all vaccines out of general evilness. Although I’m not supposed to check betting markets, Dylan writes that he checked the betting markets for the Academy Awards, saw a 30% chance that Belfast would win, but he thinks the number is more like 55%. I know nothing about movies, but where markets and a puny mortal disagree I’ll go with the market. I’ve rated a few options N/A because they’ve already resolved or had big updates since Vox made their predictions.

1. Democrats lose both houses of Congress (90%) HOLD
2. Democrats lose at least two Senate seats (80%) HOLD
3. Democrats lose fewer than six Senate seats (80%) HOLD
4. Nancy Pelosi announces retirement plans (70%) HOLD
5. Stephen Breyer does not retire (60%) N/A
6. Some version of Build Back Better passes (60%) HOLD
7. Joe Biden is still president (90%) HOLD
8. At least one Biden cabinet-rank official resigns (70%) HOLD
9. No military conflict between the PRC and Taiwan (a worryingly low 90%) HOLD
10. New U.S. sanctions on Russia (70%) HOLD
11. Saudi Arabia and Israel establish diplomatic relations (60%) SELL to 50%
12. Fewer U.S. Covid deaths in 2022 than in 2021 (80%) BUY to 90%
13. Emmanuel Macron re-elected (60%) HOLD
14. Traffic light coalition exploits loopholes to get around the constitutional debt brake (70%) HOLD
15. No recession in 2021 (90%) SELL to 80%
16. Liz Cheney loses primary (80%) HOLD
17. Some version of USICA passes Congress (70%) HOLD
18. Lula elected president of Brazil (60%) SELL to 50%
19. China officially abandons Covid Zero (70%) HOLD
20. Fewer U.S. Covid-19 deaths in 2022 than in 2020 (80%) BUY to 90%
21. Additional booster shots of mRNA vaccines authorized for seniors (80%) HOLD
22. November 2022 year-on-year CPI growth is below 6% (70%) BUY to 80%
23. November 2022 year-on-year CPI growth is above 4% (70%) SELL to 50%
24. The Fed ends up doing more than its currently forecast three interest rate hikes (60%) HOLD
25. Russia does not invade Ukraine (60%) HOLD
26. Viktor Orbán loses power in Hungary (60%) HOLD
27. Sinn Fein becomes the largest party in the Northern Ireland assembly (60%) HOLD
28. The U.S. and Canada reach an agreement on softwood lumber (70%) HOLD
29. Democrats go down at least one governor on net (60%) HOLD
30. The unemployment rate stays between 4 and 5% (70%) SELL to 60% if you mean 12/22, to 40% if you mean it never gets outside that range at all

Yglesias is mostly forecasting things he understands much better than I do, so I’m mostly holding. I’ll go hard on “fewer US COVID deaths in 2022 than previous years” because Omicron seems less deadly and there’s less “dry tinder” of unvaccinated people; I could be wrong if a non-Omicron lineage spits out a really severe new variant. I’m pretty confused by Matt predicting high inflation for next year; my understanding is the Fed and markets predict lower; I totally admit Matt knows more about inflation than I do but in order to make things interesting I’ll bet against him anyway. I’m equally confused about his prediction of a pretty narrow band of unemployment rates; if I understand right, last month was already outside his band (3.9%) and so he’s betting no future month will repeat that. Again, Matt knows more econ than I do but I’ve sold anyway.

Sam Marks and Eric Neyman have kindly turned this tradition into a contest.

If you want, you can go to their form and predict the same set of questions I did (minus the personal and redacted ones). Use the same rules I did: no peeking at the prediction markets, and no more than five minutes of research per question. If you don’t know anything about a question, you can leave it blank and it will get filled with my prediction by default.

The winner will get eternal glory (realistically: mentioned on an Open Thread) and a free ACX subscription.

- Read the contest description/rules here
- Give feedback on the contest here
- And once again, the form where you take the contest is here