Monday, December 03, 2007

On a slightly more serious note

If you listened to someone who was completely wacko, what are the odds he would actually predict something correctly? Let's look at the track record of a famous psychic.



Criswell.

Here are some of his more interesting predictions.

Global Warming

New York will not exist as we know it today after January 21, 1980. Shifting ocean currents and earth tremors will begin to remake the eastern coast of the United States beginning in 1971. At first the changes will be small, but within three years our geologists will know what is happening. As the coast-line shifts, the land will sink and the ocean will pour inland. Before 1978, Long Island will be mostly underwater. Only the areas that can be protected by hastily erected dikes will escape—and they, not for long. Manhattan will become a city of canals, like Venice. Billions of dollars will be spent to save New York, but by 1980, all efforts will have failed and a new New York will rise, further inland, at a great expense.

The Gay Life

I predict that perversion will flood the land beginning in 1970. I predict a series of homosexual cities, small, compact, carefully planned areas, will soon be blatantly advertised and exist from coast to coast. These compact communities will be complete with stores, churches, bars and restaurants which will put the olden Greeks or Romans to shame with their organized orgies. You will be able to find them near Boston, Des Moines, Columbus, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., San Francisco, St. Louis, New Orleans, Dallas, and Miami.

Much thought and planning will be expended in setting up these communities where perversion will parade shamelessly. And all this will be within the law because the perverted will claim they have been discriminated against. The Supreme Court will rule that whatever these consenting adult males, or females, wish to do, they can!

Life Online

I predict education will be given to children through the television screen, no personal teachers, but there will be a warden on duty to see that one hundred percent interest is sustained. Later, education-memory pills will help give you all of the education you can possibly use.

Of course Criswell got most things absolutely wrong. For example:

I predict that Kansas will become the most important state in the United States, due to the moving of the Federal capital from Washington, D.C., to Wichita. The broad plains and prairies will be a roof above multi-story government buildings, constructed wholly underground. The largest airports in the world will be constructed in Kansas to serve the needs of the new capital of the United States.

But of course, if there's another, larger September 11, Criswell may yet be proved right. Who knows?

We are all interested in the future, for that is where you and I are going to spend the rest of our lives. And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future. You are interested in the unknown... the mysterious. The unexplainable. That is why you are here. ... My friend, we cannot keep this a secret any longer. Let us punish the guilty. Let us reward the innocent.

God help us in the future.

8 Comments:

Blogger Peter Grynch said...

I read an article many years ago on how to be a world-famous psychic. It was a simple two-step process:
1) Make lots of wild predictions
2) After the fact, publicize the ones you got right.

Now, however, we are in the Information Age and everything you say is part of the permanent record. You can no longer count on institutional amnesia to burnish your record.

The other key (which Crizwell violated) is: Never predict an event AND a time. Nostradamus would be considered a fraud if he had time-stamped his prophecies.

Jimmy-the-Greek had a reputation of being phenomanally good at handicapping sports events. A reporter wanted to see how good he was, so he attempted to research Jimmy's predictions. What he discovered was that Jimmy the Greek never made predictions. If asked about the Bear's chances in their next game he'd say, "Their running game is great, but I'm worrried about their quarterback." If they won, he'd credit his running game comment, if they lost he'd highlight his QB concerns.

My prediction: If Global Warming doesn't kill us, something else will. Eventually.

12/03/2007 05:08:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

Jeane Dixon predicted that in the 1970's the US would be at war. In Iceland. And that there would be a huge gun shortage in the country at that time.

I recall seeing a non-psychic series of predictions on a major network TV show circa 1970. They predicted that well before the end of the century the people of the U.S. would envy those in countries such as India and China. Maybe they were talking just about those people trying to call Sears and Roebuck.

The best discussion I have ever heard on failed preductions was on the Art Bell show several years back. When Art asked for an explantion from a "remote viewer" - who had predicted an alien attack associated with the Hale Bopp comet that would wipe out most life on Earth and then later predicted a massive solar flare that would do much the same thing - the guy responded "Don't shoot the messenger."

12/03/2007 08:46:00 AM  
Blogger John Sadowski said...

These (non-"psychic", just fun) predictions from 1900 are pretty amazing. There's a lot that's wrong, but some that are pretty accurate.

12/03/2007 11:28:00 AM  
Blogger Zenster said...

It's rather curious how none of them could foresee the Psychic Friends Network going bankrupt.

12/03/2007 11:51:00 AM  
Blogger Peter Grynch said...

John sadowski,
Great link, thanks. I checked to see if it was true or an internet hoax (some of those predictions were phenomanally ahead of their time) and i found this text-searcheable easier to read version.
http://www.yorktownhistory.org/homepages/1900_predictions.htm

The guy was legit, and even has a wikipedia page!

12/03/2007 01:00:00 PM  
Blogger John Sadowski said...

Yeah... that is more readable. Your link's a little broken... it's here.

"Man will See Around the World. Persons and things of all kinds will be brought within focus of cameras connected electrically with screens at opposite ends of circuits, thousands of miles at a span. American audiences in their theatres will view upon huge curtains before them the coronations of kings in Europe or the progress of battles in the Orient. The instrument bringing these distant scenes to the very doors of people will be connected with a giant telephone apparatus transmitting each incidental sound in its appropriate place. Thus the guns of a distant battle will be heard to boom when seen to blaze, and thus the lips of a remote actor or singer will be heard to utter words or music when seen to move."

Giant telephone apparatus!

12/03/2007 05:43:00 PM  
Blogger Peter Grynch said...

Hey, the guy predicted spy satellites in 1900. Cut him some slack if he thought they'd make "talkies"!
:^)

12/04/2007 04:37:00 AM  
Blogger Alex Sloat said...

John Sadowski: Damn, that's good accuracy. I doubt I could have done half as well. If you're a bit liberal in your interpretation, pretty much everything but some of his agricultural predictions and the bits about pneumatic tubes was right.

The other predictive work I've heard of that impressed was Jules Verne's Paris in the 20th Century. Again, it's not perfect, but it's pretty good for someone looking forward 140 years.

12/05/2007 12:17:00 AM  

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