Internet censorship predictions

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Date of prediction: 2009-04-23

In April 2009 Germany started to block access to child pornography site on the Internet. Some citizens suspect that this might be only a starting point for more extensive censorship. The Web site zensiertdas.net took bets what, after child pornography as the door opener, will be censored next. As of 2009-04-23 the conflated prediction of all participants is:

  1. Wikileaks
  2. File sharing
  3. Anonymization services
  4. The Pirate Bay
  5. Right-wing extremism
  6. Lists of censored sites
  7. Anscheinsjugendpornographie (hard to translate, it means pronography with adults that look like minors)
  8. Bomb construction manuals
  9. Killer games, meaning first-person shooters
  10. CCC, the Chaos Computer Club
  11. Fefe, a hacker and popular blogger
  12. rapidshare
  13. 4chan, an imageboard
  14. Hacker tools
  15. Regierungskritiker (people critical of the government; dissidents)
  16. gulli
  17. youporn
  18. Left-wing extremism
  19. illegale Internettauschboersen (illegal file sharing systems)
  20. Tor
  21. Warez
  22. Porn
  23. encryption algorithms
  24. torrent
  25. Gambling
  26. indymedia
  27. pedophile forums
  28. Free speech
  29. Web proxies
  30. Schäuble criticism
  31. TorServer
  32. piratenpartei
  33. This site
  34. The Pirate Bay
  35. Blogs
  36. Google
  37. Bomb construction manuals
  38. Your own opinion
  39. Al Qaida
  40. Chans
  41. Criticism of religion
  42. wikipedia
  43. Killer game manufacturers
  44. Gay porn
  45. neo-nazis
  46. Microsoft
  47. Autonomous channels
  48. cracks
  49. Heise
  50. Jungsforum, a pedophile portal

Here is the original list as a screenshot (click to enlarge):

Collective censorship bet, zensiertdas.net, 2009-04-23

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Trump not going to win

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Date of prediction: various (before election day)

Donald Trump elected President of the United States

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Date of prediction: 2015-08-13

Scott Adams, of Dilbert fame, predicts that Donald Trump will become the next President of the United States:

“Now that Trump owns FOX, and I see how well his anchor trick works with the public, I’m going to predict he will be our next president. I think he will move to the center on social issues (already happening) and win against Clinton in a tight election.”

(Scott Adams, Clown Genius, via Fefe)

Adams believes superior persuasion tactics on Trump’s part will do the job.

World’s climate could cool first, warm later

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Date of prediction: 2009-09-04

»Latif predicted that in the next few years a natural cooling trend would dominate over warming caused by humans. The cooling would be down to cyclical changes to ocean currents and temperatures in the North Atlantic, a feature known as the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO).

Breaking with climate-change orthodoxy, he said NAO cycles were probably responsible for some of the strong global warming seen in the past three decades. “But how much? The jury is still out,” he told the conference. The NAO is now moving into a colder phase.

Latif said NAO cycles also explained the recent recovery of the Sahel region of Africa from the droughts of the 1970s and 1980s. James Murphy, head of climate prediction at the Met Office, agreed and linked the NAO to Indian monsoons, Atlantic hurricanes and sea ice in the Arctic. “The oceans are key to decadal natural variability,” he said.

Another favourite climate nostrum was upturned when Pope warned that the dramatic Arctic ice loss in recent summers was partly a product of natural cycles rather than global warming. Preliminary reports suggest there has been much less melting this year than in 2007 or 2008.«

(New Scientist: World’s climate could cool first, warm later)

Apocalypse due today, say Maya calendar interpreters

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Date of prediction: unknown; scheduled here 2009-03-18

There is something in some Maya calendar that some people think might mean something. Something apocalyptic, to be as precise as possible, but they weren’t really sure back in 2006 about their predictions. They were sure, however, about the date:

»With humanity coming up fast on 2012, publishers are helping readers gear up and count down to this mysterious — some even call it apocalyptic — date that ancient Mayan societies were anticipating thousands of years ago.

Since November, at least three new books on 2012 have arrived in mainstream bookstores. A fourth is due this fall. (…)

Authors disagree about what humankind should expect on Dec. 21, 2012, when the Maya’s “Long Count” calendar marks the end of a 5,126-year era.«

(USATODAY.com:
Does Maya calendar predict 2012 apocalypse?)

So watch out and leave your EOTW stories in the comments.

Bold bitcoins predictions

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Date of prediction: 2011-05-15

The bitcoins nerds overestimate the power of their cryptographic toys:

We are 100% certain that governments will start banning bitcoins in the next 12 to 18 months. Additionally, we’re certain bitcoins will soar in value and a crush of folks will flood the system and start using them.

Currently there are 6M coins at $6.70 each for a total economy of about $40M. Bitcoin speculation and hoarding will also cause a massive spike in bitcoin value. For example, if 10M people find out about bitcoins in the next year and want to buy $100 worth, $1B will be infused into the bitcoin economy.

Finally, there will be massive breakage in bitcoins. If your laptop crashes and you didn’t back up your bitcoins, well, you’re SOL. If someone steals you laptop that has 10,000 bitcoins on it you won on Bitcoin Poker, you’re SOL. Lost your USB drive with 500 bitcoins on it after a night out on the town? You’re SOL.

Sites like 99designs, eLance and oDesk will start accepting bitcoins for payment. If they don’t, they will face competition from folks who do.

Bottom line: The world is going to be turned over by bitcoins unless governments step in and ban them by prosecuting individuals.This is about to get really interesting, everyone.

(Bitcoin P2P Currency: The Most Dangerous Project We’ve Ever Seen)

I predict they will fail to change the world.

Looking Back on the Limits of Growth

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Date of prediction: 1972

The Limits of Growth predicted in 1972 that the world was headed for disaster. Fast forward to 40 years later, a.k.a. today:

»Recent research supports the conclusions of a controversial environmental study released 40 years ago: The world is on track for disaster. So says Australian physicist Graham Turner, who revisited perhaps the most groundbreaking academic work of the 1970s,The Limits to Growth.

However, the study also noted that unlimited economic growth was possible, if governments forged policies and invested in technologies to regulate the expansion of humanity’s ecological footprint.«

(Smithsonian Magazine: Looking Back on the Limits of Growth)

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