I was happy to wake up on September 24 and find that the world hadn’t ended as David Meade, biblical numerologist, had predicted. I believe he recalculated after he found things were still the same on the 24th as they were on the 23rd, and predicted another date for our demise on October 15th. The rogue planet Nibiru, violating all physics principles, is predicted to collide with earth and set in motion all sorts of rannygazoo. We shall have to see what happens. I believe that is the date of Blevin’s book club. At least you will all be together.
It isn’t easy to make accurate predictions. Our world is so random that people search for certainty and cling to the idea that we can make sense of the universe. Consider poor Harold Camping, the evangelist and radio host who made multiple predictions of the Earth’s end in 2011, and who finally admitted in 2012 that he was sinful for even trying to make such predictions, falling back on Matthew 24:36 “of that day and hour knoweth no man”.
I am often asked as part of my work to make predictions regarding human behavior. Psychologists have a myriad of tests and ways of making such predictions, but it is never completely 100% accurate. I know that people who score certain ways on tests of cognition and memory probably have dementia. I know that people who score in certain ways on tests of emotions and personality probably have certain mental health diagnoses. I feel pretty certain predicting that parents with drug and alcohol use disorders who previously neglected and abused their children will probably do the same thing if they continue to abuse substances. I can predict, however, with almost 100% certainty, that if people are allowed to purchase machine guns, those guns will fired off. That is probably the easiest thing to predict, and you don’t need an advanced graduate degree to do so.
When have you been able to say “I told you so”?