Nope, I’m not psychic nor do I pretend to be. As a skeptic, I see no evidence that psychic abilities are real. In fact, I would go as far to say that psychic predictions are indeed real – real crap, that is.
So not being a psychic, I do however possess an ability that allows me to make some pretty accurate predictions. No, I can’t narrow these predictions down to the day (though I’m working on it) but I can predict (within a range) things like how long you can reasonably expect to live, how long a corporation or country will continue to exist and how long a world leader in any given nation is expected to rule.
It’s called The Copernicus Method which was patterned after the Copernican Principle by astrophysicist professor John Richard Gott who, in 1969 during a visit to the Berlin Wall, was asked how long he thought the Wall would be standing.
A little background on The Copernican Principle.
The Copernican Principle was in use sometime as far back as the 16-17th century that basically said that the Earth’s place in the Universe isn’t special, that the Universe is pretty much the same from end to end and that there’s nothing really special about it.
Applying this, Professor Gott reasoned that his visit to the Berlin Wall in 1969 was of no special significance and applying the Copernican Principle to the question of how long the Berlin Wall would be standing he concluded (with a 75% confidence threshold) that given the age of the Wall (which was, at the time, 8 years) it would stand for at least 2.66 years and at most 24.
The Berlin Wall came down in 1989, 20 years later and within the upper limit prediction of 24 years.
The Copernican Method states that there’s a 50% chance you (or something) currently occupy the middle of two quarters of a timeline and that there’s a 50/50 chance you (or something) are either 1/4 from the beginning and 3/4 to the end of the timeline or you (or something) are 3/4 from the beginning and 1/4 to the end of the timeline.
Or, as my good friend William Roberts put it, it’s either the end of the beginning or the beginning of the end.
Now, if I apply this to myself I first work out what my age is (44 years) I come to a prediction which states that I will be around for at least 11 and at most 66 years which means I’m looking at a life expectancy of (at most) 110 years.
I don’t honestly believe I’m going to make it to 110 and if I do I have to ask myself what my quality of life is going to be at 110 and if it’s not anywhere near my comfort zone I may make “other” arrangements.
Paging Dr. Kervorkian…
Just how solid is Professor Gott’s Copernican Principle? Well, to emphasize and defend it he went on to give The New Yorker magazine a confidence threshold of 95% for the closing times of 44 Broadway and Off Broadway productions based only on their opening dates.
He was 95% correct – which is a much better track record than Sylvia Browne or any “psychic” ever had.
So I’m gonna go ahead and run with this and make a few predictions of my own.
IBM will be around at least for the next 25.5 and at most for the next 306 years. Apple, on the other hand, will be around at least for the next 9.25 and at most for the next 111 years.
North Korea will be around for at least for the next 16.25 and at most 71 years.
Robert Mugabe’s rule of ZImbabwe will end (with his death) at least within the next 6 and at most the next 15 years.
The reunification of Ireland and Northern Ireland will occur at least within the next 5.6 and at most 23 years.
Queen Elizabeth II will reign for at most the next 15.25 years. When Prince Charles becomes King, he will be 80 years old and will reign at least 5 and at most 20 years, unless he decides he doesn’t fancy being an 80 year old King – then it falls to his 46 year old son William.
Facebook will be around for at least 2 and at most 21 years, as will Twitter.
Microsoft will be around for at least 9.5 and at most 114 years.
WordPress will exist for at least 2 and at most 30 years.
The United States of America will exist in its current form for at least 57.2 and at most 700 years.
The UNIX operating system will be around for at least the next 11 and at most 132 years.
The sun will become hostile to all life on planet Earth in at least 500 million to at most 1.125 billion years.
Confirmation of intelligent life in the universe will be discovered in at least 10 and at most 150 years from now.
Sustainable fusion power reactors will be developed and in use in at least 10 and at most 120 years.