9 Predictions About Pandemics... Illustrated with Pandemic
Aside from board games, prediction tournaments are my other passion. This string of questions can be found at http://www.metaculus.com/questions/#/search/series--pandemics/ . These numbers are very likely to change over time. Some paraphrasing was necessary.
- •53% chance of pathogen research being rejected for publication as an information hazard by 2018.This is the "Anarchist's Cookbook dilema". Is knowledge and education worth the danger of someone using that knowledge and education for evil means?
- •46% chance that a terrorist group will reportedly obtain a viable bio-weapon sample by 2019.Note that it says "reportedly". There's always a chance it could happen and no one could say anything.
- •35% chance of a reported theft of a potential bioterror agent in the US by 2020.Again, "reported".
- •35% chance of a bioterror attack against crops or livestock by 2020.It may not be very effective, but there's at least a slight chance it will happen.
- •64% chance of a significant bioterror attack by 2025.By significant, they mean 1000 total worldwide cases or 100 worldwide fatalities.
- •25% chance of a devastating bioterror attack by 2025.Big difference between "significant" and "devastating". "Devastating" means 500,000 total worldwide cases or 100,000 worldwide fatalities.
- •35% chance of a significant flu pandemic by 2025.This one could be purely organic or man-made.
- •50% chance of a major naturally originated pandemic by 2026.This one would be purely organic.
- •22% chance of a "new Spanish Flu" by 2035.One-in-five chance of a flu that kills 50 million people worldwide in a single year. Tell me that's not scary.