Monday, January 02, 2017

Predictions for 2017

Lance's Complexity Year in Review, posted the last week of the year (lets hope that P vs NP is not resolved on Dec 31) is a tradition that goes back to 2002.  Bill posting predictions for the coming year is a tradition that goes back to 2016. Here is the last one: here.  My predictions were not very good- all of those that came true were obvious (P vs NP will not be resolved, CS enrollment will go up). My biggest goof- that Hillary Clinton would beat .. Ted Cruz, by accusing him of being born in a foreign country.

However, being wrong never stopped me before, so here are my predictions for 2017

1) Some people think Trump be more presidential once he takes office. Some point to Checks and Balances in the System - but the Congress is ruled by his party. Some point to the media as a watchdog. e.g:  here. A more accurate picture is  due to John Oliver here. Some say Trump is a closet liberal. But I doubt his true beliefs, if he has any, matter. Its going to be bad. I second Scott Aaronson's call to not normalize this:  here.

2) Not a prediction but a thought: Prior arguments against Trump were countered with `Well Hillary is just as bad'  They can't use this anymore. The following absurd conversation might happen:

NEWS: Today some democrats and John McCain questioned Donald Trumps nominee, Rex Tillerson for Sec of State, about his past dealings with Russia and Putin.

 FOX NEWS: But Hillary was the worst Sec of State ever! Bengazi!

3) I will be asked to review at least one paper claiming P=NP (or P NE NP or it won't be clear what they are saying) and at least one paper claiming to determine a Ramsey or VDW number.  They will be garbage. Cranks are  getting into more sophisticated areas so others may be asked to look at ``solutions'' to open problems in harder areas of math. The Navier-Stokes equations (A Millennium problem, see  here)  might be a good area for cranks since they might get out some numbers and think they've solved it.  I'm glad I'm not in that area.

4) Our Popular Posts links (which is determined by a program, not by us) will continue to have some of our most recent posts AND my very old post on Russell and Whitehead using 300 pages to prove 1+1=2. Why is that post seen as being so popular? I doubt it IS that popular. So--- whats going on?

5) Recall that Josh Alman and Ryan Williams showed that one method for lower bounds prob won't work  here . There will be more results that rule out techniques.

6) n-person envy-free cake cutting can now be done with number-of-cuts TOW(n).
There will be better upper bounds or some lower bounds on this proven this year.

7) There will be a big breakthrough on derandomization- possibly L=RL.

8) There will be a big data breach.

9) Some minor celebrity will die the last week of the year and hence not make either the
`who died in 2017' lists, nor the `who died in 2018' lists. In  2016 this happened to William Christopher. Why do people make the `end of the year lists' before the year ends?

10) Fake News will become worse and worse.  After Pizzagate there was NO apology or regret from the people who spread the false news.

11) Fake Journals, Schools, and accreditation agencies will continue to grow.


  1. So sad to see Aaronson's blog (and thinking) overtaken by politics this past year. Now this. It's a helluva drug.

  2. "Fake News will become worse and worse" - weren't it you who warned that the "fake news" argument might be used to silence (US) dissidents? Did you change your mind?

    Among the worse "fake news" are those which are coming from US propaganda machines such as NYT, CNN and the like, and smear Russia.
    Why are you silent about this? American patriotism?

    1. I said it would get worse and wosre. I did not say it should be banned. I don't know what the answer is.

      As for the New York Times vs Pizzagate:
      The New York Times (and many other Main Stream Media) helped lead us into the Iraq War which was pointless and lead to ISIS. The PIzzagate story only lead to (so far) to one deragned lunatic almost shooting up a pizza place. Gee, if you want to give an provable example of how the NYT and others are fake news, the Iraq War is a far better example then anything about Russia.

  3. Number 1 isn't really much of a prediction either....

    1. AH- in terms of being testable, no, its not a prediction.
      To make it into a testable prediction parameters you care about (unemployment rate. inflation, global temp, number of mass shootings) and see if they go in a bad direction.

      If there was some measure of conflict of interest or corruption then I would use that for my prediction. I think the economy will also go bad so some parameter there also.

      Sorry- this is still not really a prediction.