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Blog Archive for the ‘Long Bets’ Category

Long Bets table at WorldFuture 2013

by Andrew Warner on July 11th, 02013

From July 19th- 21st in Chicago, the World Future Society will be hosting their annual conference, WorldFuture 2013. The conference has over 60 sessions, workshops, and special events over the course of two and a half days, including a keynote from former SALT speaker Nicholas Negroponte.

Topics range from Artificial Intelligence and the future of. . .   Read More

The Imagined Future of 02013

by Charlotte Hajer on May 6th, 02013

Long Now’s Long Bets project is founded on the premise that we can improve our long-term thinking by holding ourselves accountable for the predictions we make about the future. By revisiting our forecasts as time goes by, we reveal the subtle mechanics of society’s evolution, and teach ourselves something about what kinds. . .   Read More

Buffett pulls ahead in wager against hedge funds

by Austin Brown on February 13th, 02013

In 02008, Warren Buffet placed a Long Bet that will take until 02017 to resolve. He predicted that for those ten years, “the S & P 500 will outperform a portfolio of funds of hedge funds, when performance is measured on a basis net of fees, costs and expenses.”

Below is a summary of how. . .   Read More

Long Bets – 02013 Update

by Austin Brown on February 8th, 02013

Predicting the future is hard. Long Bets is a project by The Long Now Foundation that is testing how hard it really is, and maybe making us just a little bit better at it. The site allows users to post Predictions of at least two years’ duration. Should someone disagree with the likelihood of a […]

Long Predictions Facebook Page

by Austin Brown on February 8th, 02013

We’re going to try something new for a little while – we’ve created a Facebook Page called Long Predictions where we’ll post predictions from the Long Bets site, on the web or in the media.

We’re interested in fostering thoughtful, respectful discussion about the future and our culture’s hopes, fears and. . .   Read More

US Presidential election process largely unchanged in 02012 – Long Bet 291

by Austin Brown on February 7th, 02013

In 02007, political tensions were running high and the US was beginning to contemplate who would replace the second President Bush. Amid this polarized climate, Jason Galbraith predicted that,

Neither major U. S. political party will hold conventions or indeed primaries to select their 2012 Presidential nominees.

Unconvinced by Galbraith’s premonitions of anarchy, coups. . .   Read More

First 5-year decline in US vehicle miles traveled since WWII – Long Bet 197

by Austin Brown on February 7th, 02013

In 02005, Daniel K. Simon, believing the effects of Peak Oil to be close at hand, wrote,

The U.S Department of Transportation Bureau of Transportation Statistics ( will report a lower number of total highway vehicle miles traveled in 2010 than in 2005.

His Challenger, Glen Raphael, responded,
“Five years is too. . .   Read More

Russian software industry fails to take global lead – Long Bet 5

by Austin Brown on February 7th, 02013

This was one of the our first Long Bets, made in 02002. Over ten years ago now, Esther Dyson predicted that,

“By 2012, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times will have referred to Russia as “the world leader in software development” or words to that effect.”

She was challenged by Bill Campbell. . .   Read More

Long Data: Predicting Solar Storms

by Austin Brown on February 1st, 02013

As Samuel Arbesman’s recent article on Long Data might suggest, all the data in the world on the Sun’s activities today can’t tell us what it will do tomorrow. But careful observation over the last several centuries has allowed us to develop a predictive understanding of the patterns in solar storm activity. . .   Read More

How to Win at Forecasting – an Edge conversation with Philip Tetlock

by Austin Brown on December 10th, 02012

Former SALT speaker Philip Tetlock spoke with Edge recently about his research into forecasting. In 02005, he published Expert Political Judgement: How Good is it? How Can We Know?, for which he spent over a decade recording and assessing the predictions made by public policy experts. He found them to be not much better than. . .   Read More