One year ago today, I posted a List of 9 detailing my predictions for 2018. As I mentioned back then, the fun part of annual predictions is checking in later to see how wrong these arrogant prognosticators turned out to be. And oh, how wrong I was! I honestly tried to be realistic, dear reader. I didn't try to game the system. All of my predictions were quite plausible. Nevertheless, I blew it. Here's how I did, point by embarrassing point:
- My prediction: Twitter would ban Donald Trump. I figured it would be just a 24-hour ban. But Twitter didn't discipline the President at all. (They did ban InfoWars and other far-right hate mongers.)
- My prediction: The Post would win the Academy Award for Best Picture. Not only was I wrong about the winner, I was wrong when I said that Get Out and Dunkirk were the only other major contenders. Of course it was The Shape of Water that won.
- My prediction: The Democrats would not take back Congress. I was half-right, but in the wrong way: I surmised that the Senate could turn blue, but the House would not. The exact opposite happened.
- My prediction: We would finally begin phasing out the penny. Senate Bill S.759, a.k.a. the "COINS Act", was introduced in 2017. If passed, it would suspend the penny and phase out paper dollar bills. There was absolutely no movement on this in 2018.
- My prediction: The Happytime Murders would be the sleeper hit of 2018. This movie bombed with both audiences and critics. I just watched it myself – it's pretty bad. Oh well. You'll have to trust me when I say that I had originally pegged A Quiet Place as the sleeper hit of the year... and it pretty much was. But at the last minute, I moved my bet over to Happytime. Glad I didn't put money on that.
- My prediction: Aquavit would become a trendy drink. The caraway-flavored Norwegian spirit is indeed having a moment in Minneapolis, a city with strong Nordic roots. But it hasn't really taken off elsewhere.
- My prediction: Snapchat would go the way of MySpace. Anyone in late 2017 could guess that Snapchat was losing its cool. I thought it would fall into ruin. But despite layoffs, a 75% nosedive in stock value, and apparent decrease in usage, Snapchat is still alive. The real 2018 flameout I should have predicted was MoviePass and its parent company Helios and Matheson: in October 2017, their stock was peaking at nearly $40 a share. Now it's trading at a penny a share – and that's after a reverse stock split, which means each share is actually worth like 1/250th of a penny!
- My prediction: Bitcoin would crash. Bitcoin's value certainly plummeted, from over $19,000 in December 2017 to under $4,000 today. But that's not the same as crashing and taking Silicon Valley down with it, which was my forecast.
- My prediction: People would text less and talk more. Maybe somewhere on this earth, but not in Los Angeles!