## Computer predictions for 2006*

Well, as you probably know by now, my predictions for 2005 were not 100% accurate. Although the year is not yet over, it looks like the U.N. building in New York won't be used for target practice by the US military, at least not this year. Carrot Top is still walking around a free man. And Colonel Muammar Qadhafi and Mumia still did not win the Nobel Prize this year as I had predicted. (I was close, though. Convicted killer Stanley Tookie Williams, the Crips gang founder, was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize instead for his achievement of hardly ever committing any multiple murders. Well, maybe Mumia will win next year--unless old Usama gets it first. After Yasser Arafat, Usama seems likely to be next on the list.)

Clearly the crystal ball method is no longer working. So this year, we used a sophisticated computer program to predict the future. How does it work? The program is actually very simple. First, a news story from 2004 and a story from 2005 are digitized and subtracted, word for word, from each other. This difference is then added mathematically to a news story from 2005 to produce a "computer prophecy" of what the news will be like in 2006. In mathematical terms,

N' = N + ΔN

where N' is the new, predicted news, N is the original 2005 news story, and ΔN is what us technological types call an "annualized differential verbiation vector" or ADVV (known as a "fudge factor" to everyone else).

Of course, the computer prophecies are not always easily understood by the layman. The language tends to be extremely terse and obscure, with few verbs, no punctuation, many descriptive adjectives, and an occasional malapropism. Deriving meaningful predictions from the computer requires many hours of concentrated analysis by highly-trained technicians supervised by highly-paid researchers who receive expensive government grants. Predicting the future should not attempted by the average person!

So, what did the computer predict for 2006?

### News predictions

First we analyzed a news story that contained a summary of major events in 2005. The original story described the riots in France, events in Iraq, and the troubles of a poor Vietnamese girl who caught the bird flu virus. The computer said nothing about France, but predicted an ever more bleak and discouraging situation for terrorists in the continuing aftermath of 9/11. There will also be uncertainty about the fate of Saddam Hussein:
 ``` Downfallen frustration [will occur] .. [a] furious dose [will] underscore [the] drummed [up] discouragement [of the] ... sept aftermath. ```
 ` ... dictator [in] limbo ...`
A informant from the Syrian military will reveal his country's involvement in Iraq.
 ``` A Syrian exhales; [a] veteran alluding [to] turmoils [reveals a] cache ...[and] interrogates [a] bun.```
The President of the Philippines, Gloria Arroyo, will be implicated in a scandal, bringing out the darker side of her nature.
 ``` Imputed [in] deceiving [and] killing, Arroyo alerter exploiters trickier humidify [her] splenetic tendencies.```
There will be an incident involving Arabs and a fountain in the Bronx, although it is hard to tell exactly what.
 ``` Reub hoof fountains margin subschemas Bronx Arabs ... [the] intervening fringe [in] transitional Africa [will be] horrifying.```
The computer also predicted significant and continuous improvements on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange.
 ``` Market scramble ... Intel happiness ... systemwide unsatisfiability [will be] unbroken.```
But trouble for the oil companies will contribute to slower growth and inflation.
 ` Texaco blameworthy, refined [oil]... deceleration [will be] inflationary. `
It also made these two cryptic predictions, which we are still trying to analyze:
 ` McCracken packers [will] stuff anybody. `
 ` A horned Wolverton coed [will] crave aloft [a] mole dikes' tendencies. `
There was also some rather kinky stuff in the prediction that I won't bother to mention, a rather odd prediction about someone named Felice Crandall, and then this alarming prediction about a grenade attack in some sort of clinic in which human body parts are being grown:
 ``` Clinical spawning feet prefixes suffocation. [A] grenade nicked [the] eliminations, veered, [and struck the] corporals.```
Some of its predictions, however, sound somewhat implausible.
 ``` Postdoctoral clot rustlers [will] encircle Nagasaki, passed caulk ... Yalta phones [expressing] puzzlement.```
We feel we can safely say that the computer will probably turn out to be wrong on that one.

The prediction ends with a horrifying prophecy about an unspecified disaster in Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia, right before the program crashed:
 ``` Marcus remembered satisfactions abandons ventured backtracked Lumpur Lumpur Lumpur Lumpur Lumpur Lumpur Lumpur Lumpur Lumpur Lumpur Lumpur Lumpur Lumpur Lumpur Lumpur Lumpur Lumpur Lumpur Lumpur Lumpur Lumpur Lumpur Lumpur Lumpur Lumpur Lumpur Lumpur Lumpur Lumpur Lumpur Lumpur Lumpur Lumpur Lumpur Lumpur Lumpur Lumpur Lumpur Lumpur Lumpur Lumpur Lumpur Lumpur Lumpur Lumpur Lumpur Lumpur Lumpur Lumpur Lumpur Lumpur Lumpur Lumpur Lumpur Lumpur Lumpur Lumpur Segmentation fault.```

### Albert Einstein

We also were curious what the computer would have to say about scientific developments in 2006. For instance, what would Albert Einstein write if he were alive today? Many people have speculated that the great physicist would try to finish his grand unification theory which, it is hoped, will explain and unify all the forces of nature. To find out, we obtained a copy of his 1905 paper, "Zur Elektrodynamik bewegter Körper" ("On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies"), which introduced the world to his famous Theory of Special Relativity. To convert this file into a file describing the future works of Einstein, we digitized it and multiplied it with a file containing the complete prophecies of Nostradamus. Or, in mathematical terms,

E' = Eo × N

(where E' is Einstein's new theory, Eo is the original theory of relativity, and N is Nostradamus). The theory here is that multiplying or "convoluting" the two files will produce a prediction of what Einstein's theory would look like if he, like Nostradamus, could see into the future. Obviously, we couldn't just use ordinary multiplication, or the prediction would have come out all 'zzz's, suggesting that if Einstein were alive today he would spend most of his time sleeping. Perhaps this would not be surprising, since if he were alive today, he would be 127 years old. To avoid getting all 'z's, we multiplied the files using multiplication modulo 45418, which is the number of words in the dictionary file. This can be rationalized by supposing that despite Einstein's great genius, he, like us ordinary persons, must still use words that are contained in the dictionary. There is something profoundly Gödelian about this; I'm not sure what.

Another problem we encountered was that Einstein's paper was in German, while all of Nostradamus' prophecies were in French. To circumvent this problem, we used English translations of each work, so that we could use the English-language /usr/dict/words file. This enabled our computations to be carried out with the utmost rigor and accuracy.

We also had to extensively edit the Nostradamus file, because many of the place names were not in our dictionary. For example, instead of "Formande", which is Swedish for "formation", we had to substitute the word "frommage", as insisted upon by my spell checker. Unfortunately, "frommage" was also not in our dictionary, so we substituted the English equivalent, "cheese". Similarly, instead of "Mabus", which is the name Nostradamus gives to the Antichrist, we substituted "Mabel". Pretty darn close.

Unfortunately, when we first tried to analyze Einstein's paper, the program once again crashed. Whatever concepts Einstein would have come up with were so complex the computer couldn't handle it. However, before crashing, the program printed part of Einstein's manuscript. What we observed was incredible! In 1905, Einstein seems to have predicted World War II! Below are some selected sentences.
 ``` Anarchism ... Austrianizes [the world's] agony, reaches [into] ... parlors, [and] often will, [with] Paganini aforethought, ... troubleshoot [a] massacre. The storming guiltless mightily houses [and] elects follies; [while] dilating studies, [it] effectuates opportunism .... then ... exterminates topological terrors.```
There are also many scientific passages. Unfortunately, the program was unable to decipher most of the equations.
 ` Contextually, Lowry emptiness enable[s] Hiss antisymmetry.`
Several times, Einstein mentions his concerns about the use of his own theory of relativity:
 ``` Radiating end unintended unprescribed [phenomena] scuttle [the] emphasized relativity. See [uninterpretable equation]. Decelerated slowing Ritter ... detaining mannered relativity. ```
Like all of Einstein's works, these quotes are complex and difficult to understand. But it is also well-known that Einstein had a playful side. The computer predicted that he would say this:
 ``` Melinda, the delicious brakeman, connotes six embassies. Parliament, disturbingly bombproof, drifts rurally [and] replays gingham brooches. ```

### Jessica Simpson

I know what you're probably saying ... international affairs and breakthroughs in science are great ... but what about the important stuff, like Jessica Simpson? Will she get remarried? Will she learn how to use two-syllable words? To find out, we ran a story about her through our simulation. The findings were shocking.

Right off the bat, the computer began talking about Ted Kennedy, the Senator from Massachusetts, who is famous for a traffic incident at Chappaquiddick that resulted in the untimely death of a woman named Mary Jo Kopechne:
 ``` Motoring despaired ... Massachusetts senator cornucopia versa hummed canner refinement [to] relatives lamentations.```
Could it be true that Jessica Simpson will form a liaison with Ted Kennedy? The computer seems uncharacteristically confident about its prediction, using the phrase "unvarying texts", and insisted repeatedly that the prediction has been substantiated:
 ``` [The] traversals [will] finish shuttled ... cottonseed redeems supremely horde unvarying texts angled substantiated substantiated substantiated substantiated substantiated substantiated substantiated substantiated substantiated substantiated substantiated substantiated substantiated substantiated substantiated substantiated substantiated substantiated substantiated substantiated substantiated substantiated substantiated substantiated substantiated substantiated substantiated substantiated substantiated Segmentation fault. ```
Although it is not clear whether the prediction describes an extramarital affair between Simpson and Kennedy or (heaven forbid) Ted Kennedy giving her a ride in his car, there is no question that Jessica's relatives will be distraught, and will sue the Kennedy family, which by this time will be living in Holyoke, Massachusetts:
 ``` [Her] stepmother [will be] terrorized, resorting [to] that logarithm [to which] their contributed Holyoke artificialities ... show lawsuits.```
I'm not sure what to make of this prediction, however:
 ``` A hung orangutan [will] attack [a] sable [and] appallingly reevaluate Wilkes' Zulus.```
The computer also predicted that Tina Turner will disclose having had an affair with Brendan Petersen, the little known half-brother of Scott Peterson. This will help immensely in his trial by providing an ironclad alibi.
 ``` Tina ratifies [and] maintains [a] documented smelt sniff [which will] influentially [support] Brendan Petersen['s] alibis. ```
But the computer goes on to predict tragedy here, too:
 ` ... [a] skindiving disaster [due to] gymnastic uncleanness ... `
Later in the year, Jessica Simpson will write a book that will not only be a flop, but get her in trouble with the police.
 ``` Sucked biography resolutions loaves moves Interpol [to] naughtiness, [but the] Acapulco switchboard aimer [will be] insignificant.```

### Hurricanes

Last year was a big year for hurricanes. As I predicted last year, an unfortunate event--it turned out to be Hurricane Katrina--did occur in August. But according to the computer, next year will be even worse. The levees in New Orleans will be bulldozed, causing major problems from an eastbound storm.
 ``` [They will] bulldoze [the] levees [into a] turgid stammer prairie ... eastbound [storm] evolutes eventfully. ```
Although my crystal ball insists that someone or something named "Nadine" will be a major problem in 2006, the computer made no mention of her. Instead, it predicted a major blizzard:
 ``` Inflationary snowbelt abandoning [vehicles] operate Ottomanize Mumford Pyrex.```
It will be necessary to airlift animals from the disaster area.
 ` North airlifts yelping milks bunnies investment. `
Angelina Jolie will become a movie director, and produce a movie about Shakespeare claiming that he was gay.
 ``` Angelina aristocrat directors Shakespearian Hunter rusting redisplay ... unfounded fancy. ```
There will be new revelations about the ozone hole that will shake up the established scientific orthodoxy.
 ` Multiple ionosphere wreaks exaggeration, booting paradoxes. `
Finally, something bad, perhaps a terrible chemical spill, will happen in Norway, causing widespread stress.
 ``` Dissolve frazzle Norway Norway Norway Norway Norway Norway Norway Norway Norway Norway Norway Norway Norway Norway Norway Norway Norway Norway Norway Norway Norway Norway Norway Norway Norway Norway Norway Norway Segmentation fault.```

* Note to the humor-impaired:
This page is humor and is not intended to be taken as a serious attempt to predict the future.

Back