Ten years ago, lesswrong users made predictions about the 2010s. Review them here.

New Comment
10 comments, sorted by Click to highlight new comments since:

One of the lessons I draw from this: listen to gwern.

Most of them seem... quite wrong, and also called out as overconfident at the time. (See, as an example, James Miller here, and gwern's response.) And many of the rest seem pretty business-as-usual; like orthonomal's prediction that health care expenditures would be approximately as predicted (they came in lower than that, at $3.6 trillion).

Thanks for following up on this!

Orthonormal's comment on subcultures:

I expect that over the next 10 years, more and more niche cultures will arise and begin to sprout their own characteristics, with the measurable effect that cultural products will have to be targeted more narrowly. I expect that the most popular books, music, etc. of the late 2010s will sell fewer copies in the US than the most popular books, music, etc. of the Aughts, but that total consumption of media will go up substantially as a thousand niche bands, niche fiction markets, etc. become the norm. I expect that high schoolers in 2020 will spend less social time with their classmates and more time with the groups they met through the Internet.

I certainly have an impression of "woah there's lots of subcultures" but I'm not sure how quantified that is. Would be interested in someone a) formalizing a methodology in advance about how to measure it, b) then going and measuring it

Vladimir_Golovin on the uncanny valley:

I'm 90% confident that the cinematic uncanny valley will be crossed in the next decade. The number applies to movies only, it doesn't apply to humanoid robots (1%) and video game characters (5%).

The most obvious things to look at were Rogue One (I think a lot of people reported being creeped out by Tarkin and Leah? Although I don't think I was)

I feel like the rate of subculture formation has actually gone down from what it used to be in the 00's. Rather than people forming small visible tribes (e.g. furries), most get sucked into large-scale visible tribes (e.g. social justice) instead.

My most testable prediction (that the top movies/books/albums would make up a much lower fraction of overall revenue) was completely wrong across all media.


Gemini Man is an even more obvious crossing of the uncanny valley, I think.

De-aging is different from a fully CGI character.

We can test if the most popular books & music of 2019 sold less copies than the most popular books & music of 2009 (I might or might not look into this later)

I'd be interested to see a list of obvious glaring black swans no one had predicted 10 years ago, not even accidentally or ironically. (E.g. the Trump presidency was predicted, ironically, in multiple popular media long ago.)


Does bitcoin count? It was a year old at that point but basically no one considered it anything more than an interesting experimental project, even the people who were working on it.