I think it is more likely than not (~65%) that SARS-CoV-2 will turn out to be a laboratory-made derivative of RaTG13 or a close relative, trained on human cells in legitimate (but risky) [gain-of-function research](https://www.the-scientist.com/news-opinion/lab-made-coronavirus-triggers-debate-34502), and released accidentally. However, we may *never* have definitive proof. I think what is likely is a slow drip-drip of circumstantial evidence, combined with increasingly erratic and self-incriminating behavior from Beijing. Even *no* news benefits the la...

@honeypuppy Yeah, I was about to comment that this is trying to capture "when will Democracy take over China" but is actually much more likely to capture "when will China take over The Economist."

The main criticism of the Economist model seems to be that it's overconfident, with excessively thin tails. It seems to me that such a model will typically score a little better than a properly calibrated one, though losing out over time through occasional wild misses. I think this is correct.

@2e10e122 How about forecasting the population of Prospera in, say, 2035?

Report: [Turkey operated STM Kargu-2 drones in lethal autonomous mode against Haftar forces in Libya](https://thebulletin.org/2021/05/was-a-flying-killer-robot-used-in-libya-quite-possibly/) > Logistics convoys and retreating [enemy forces] were subsequently hunted down and remotely engaged by the unmanned combat aerial vehicles or the lethal autonomous weapons systems such as the STM Kargu-2 ... and other loitering munitions. The lethal autonomous weapons systems were programmed to attack targets without requiring data connectivity between the operator...

That's right, I'm thinking that with careful planning I could GUARANTEE myself five or even SIX imaginary internet points in a mere 30 years hence

@(Uncle Jeff) I agree that there is substantial hypocrisy on the left in refusing to condemn BLM- and Antifa-related property destruction and thuggery, but I'm not aware of any examples of e.g. a Minneapolis city councilman whipping up a crowd to march on a police station, which they then burn down. When you say Democratic mayors and governors are "nurturing" BLM riots you seem to have something a lot less direct in mind than what Trump did. In the case of Antifa, I don't know what you've been told, but they absolutely despise Democratic mayors and gover...

Trump hints that he "was all set" to call Bernie a Communist, until Biden won Super Tuesday:

I'll tell you, I was all set for Bernie because I thought it was going to happen. We get ready for things. So mentally I’m all set for Bernie, communist, I had everything down. I was all set and then we have this crazy thing that happened on Tuesday...

Ryan Matsumoto on Twitter:


Trump +195,953 votes

6,277,135 votes reporting

~88% estimated vote reporting

~855,973 votes remaining

Biden must win remaining votes 525,963 to 330,010.

Biden must win remaining ballots 61% - 39%.

Biden is favored. Mail ballots are HEAVILY D.

Politico reports that "The Newsom recall just got real. The campaign to oust Newsom went from unlikely to unavoidable this week." Not sure why they thought it was unlikely, perhaps they should have been checking Metaculus!

I'd be interested in a short fuze question about pardons or commutations for one or more Capitol stormers over the next week-and-a-half.

Not looking great for the 97% Metaculus prediction here.

AP: [McConnell points finger at Trump in Capitol riot](https://apnews.com/article/biden-inauguration-joe-biden-politics-ron-klain-mitch-mcconnell-45d78184ec204e0a775e0f38496ff67b) > Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is explicitly pointing his finger at President Donald Trump for helping to spur the attack on the Capitol by the outgoing president’s supporters. > The Kentucky Republican said Tuesday on the Senate floor, “The mob was fed lies. They were provoked by the president and other powerful people.” > McConnell spoke six days after the Democr...
Related questions: * [Will NASA's SLS launch a person to the Moon before 2024?](https://www.metaculus.com/questions/2795/will-nasas-sls-launch-a-person-to-the-moon-before-2024/)     (Currently **4%**) * [When will NASA's SLS first launch a person to the Moon?](https://www.metaculus.com/questions/2818/when-will-nasas-sls-first-launch-a-person-to-the-moon/)     (Currently **Oct 21, 2028**, with a 35% chance of not before 2030) * [Will China land the next person on the Moon?](https://www.metaculus.com/questions...

I think the underlying event is ~60% to happen but I'm not sure about whether the surveillance and reporting will actually make that clear until years afterwards. That was the pattern on a smaller scale with swine flu.

Two factors to consider: * NYC is to use [ranked choice voting](https://www.cityandstateny.com/articles/politics/new-york-city/how-ranked-choice-voting-will-work-new-york-city.html) for the first time, which is thought to favor positive campaigners. But [the incumbents want to delay implementing it.](https://www.politico.com/states/new-york/albany/story/2020/11/21/top-mayoral-candidate-admonishes-new-voting-system-amidst-efforts-to-delay-it-1337593) * [Turnout is extremely low](https://nextcity.org/daily/entry/yeah-voter-turnout-in-the-years-mayoral-ra...

Since everyone hates too many questions about the coronavirus, let's have a perfectly innocent non-coronal question about whether final US Census apportionment numbers will be submitted to the President by year's end as required by law.

@(alexanderpolta) > It's really important to keep in mind that most polls are total garbage-in-garbage-out exercises. We're talking about 400 people who answer their land-line or cell-phone, here. Biden definitely looks strong. This is simply a mischaracterization of polls. A typical-quality national telephone poll with n=400 is useful information. When essentially all polls converge on Joe Biden having a marked lead over all other Democratic contenders (though nowhere near a majority support,) you have to take that as the actual state of the race. To s...

The current peak is in April which saw about 20 million confirmed cases worldwide, more than any other calendar month. Community right now has about 40% probability on impossible answers (January-March and May, unless a very surprising number of backdated confirmed cases comes in for May).