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Will Metaculus anticipate the biggest unforeseen trend of the 2020s?

Assume that in December 2029, a survey is given to at least one of the following groups of people,

  • Amazon Mechanical Turk workers

  • Redditors on /r/samplesize

  • A large non-political non-meme-based Facebook group, with at least 50,000 members.

  • Some other body of participants who can roughly be said to represent "the people".

asking them

In your opinion, what was the biggest trend in the 2020s that it seemed like no one anticipated?

A list of candidate trends will be curated using Google's "Year in Search" for each year in the 2020s (or if Google discontinues the list, another source of roughly equivalent content as discussed in the comments of this question). The order of the list will be randomized as to minimize bias in people's responses. After 1 week of the survey's publication, it will be closed and votes will be analyzed.

For the trend with the most votes, consider whether there was a question on Metaculus asking if the trend would happen, that closed before the trend is considered to have begun.

Whether or not Metaculus anticipated a trend will inevitably be up for debate. Therefore, the following method will be used to resolve ambiguity. Take all the questions that could reasonably be used to judge whether Metaculus had foreseen the biggest trend of the 2020s. Post them below as comments on this question, and after one week of posting, consider the one with the most "smile" reacts (ties broken by discretion of whoever is doing the survey). Now assume that there is another survey given to the same population as the original one described in this question, asking,

If your friend had assigned [the credence value Metaculus assigns to the chosen question] to the proposition [the title of the question modified in such a way to preserve grammatical correctness] on [question closing date], would you say it's accurate to say that your friend anticipated [the trend]?

If after one week, if the majority of survey respondents respond with "Yes", then the question resolves positively. Otherwise, it resolves negatively.


Metaculus help: Predicting

Predictions are the heart of Metaculus. Predicting is how you contribute to the wisdom of the crowd, and how you earn points and build up your personal Metaculus track record.

The basics of predicting are very simple: move the slider to best match the likelihood of the outcome, and click predict. You can predict as often as you want, and you're encouraged to change your mind when new information becomes available.

The displayed score is split into current points and total points. Current points show how much your prediction is worth now, whereas total points show the combined worth of all of your predictions over the lifetime of the question. The scoring details are available on the FAQ.

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Metaculus help: Community Stats

Use the community stats to get a better sense of the community consensus (or lack thereof) for this question. Sometimes people have wildly different ideas about the likely outcomes, and sometimes people are in close agreement. There are even times when the community seems very certain of uncertainty, like when everyone agrees that event is only 50% likely to happen.

When you make a prediction, check the community stats to see where you land. If your prediction is an outlier, might there be something you're overlooking that others have seen? Or do you have special insight that others are lacking? Either way, it might be a good idea to join the discussion in the comments.