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Predictions - Input Junkie
November 28th, 2016
09:02 am


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A whole lot of people are making a whole lot of predictions.

I recommend keeping track of your predictions so that you can learn something about how accurate your model of the world is.

If you have a testable prediction, there's Prediction Book for keeping track of whether it comes true. You can make your predictions public or private.

Not a testable prediction, but I promise to try to not gloat if you turn out to be wrong.

My informal prediction is that Trump and his friends will steal a tremendous amount of money. I'm less sure about governmental and street violence. Things will probably get somewhat worse, but I don't have a strong feeling about how bad things will get.

Annoyingly, we can only test predictions about the effects of one candidate's victory.

We are in historically unprecedented territory so far as I know. Normally, when a country starts to become authoritarian, it then becomes authoritarian. America, as a relatively free country with a strong opposition, is in an unusually good position to resist.

This entry was posted at http://nancylebov.dreamwidth.org/1086472.html. Comments are welcome here or there. comment count unavailable comments so far on that entry.

(4 comments | Leave a comment)

[User Picture]
Date:November 28th, 2016 04:36 pm (UTC)
America became seriously more authoritarian under Obama, and stood to go further down that road under Clinton. Trump worries me, and I certainly wasn't prepared to vote for him, but I couldn't see Clinton as any better.

I think it's also important to see that this isn't a purely American phenomenon. The Brexit vote in the UK is the same kind of unexpected electoral outcome. And Le Pen in France and Wilders in the Netherlands appear to be gaining increasing support, though whether either of them will benefit from a voting overturn remains to be seen. This looks rather like the uprising against the "beige dictatorship" that Charles Stross was predicting a few years ago—though his recent comments have some of the flavor of Heinlein's line about knowing water runs downhill, but not expecting it to reach the bottom.

Edited at 2016-11-28 04:41 pm (UTC)
[User Picture]
Date:November 28th, 2016 10:12 pm (UTC)
Can you be more specific? Which policies or actions by the Obama administration do you consider to be "more authoritarian" than previous administrations?
[User Picture]
Date:November 29th, 2016 03:08 am (UTC)
The individual mandate part of the Affordable Care Act, under which people are not legally permitted to decide that that don't want health insurance, or can't afford what the insurance companies are charging for it, but are subject to fines for going uninsured.

The laws that compel business owners to provide services to same-sex couples getting married, even if they believe that same-sex marriage is an offense against their God. Note that I have no problem with legally requiring a county clerk's office to register such a marriage; government officials have a legal duty to serve all citizens. But telling a private business owner that they aren't free to judge for themselves what they will or won't support is a direct attack on private conscience. Compelling conformity in religious matters is the mark of an authoritarian state, whether the conformity is to traditional theologically founded doctrines or to secular values.

There is also Obama's repeated use of executive decrees to do things that Congress refused to authorize. Under a Republican government that may bite the Democrats in the ass; but they'll have laid the foundations.

More broadly, see Charles Stross's discussion of the "beige dictatorship" amd what it implies.
[User Picture]
Date:November 28th, 2016 07:00 pm (UTC)
The US went through strong authoritarian trends in both World Wars, with the worst being directed at people who were "foreign" in any way. What we have now is something unprecedented in the US: the normalization of war as the permanent state of affairs. That's already shown results such as the Patriot Act and massive spying. It's likely to get worse under Trump, and I think it would under Clinton too, though perhaps not quite as fast.
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