We’re Still Here

Predictions are Just Glorified Guesses

Larry Jewett - February 26, 2013 10:00 AM


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The “Mayan Madness” is over. The world did not end on December 21, 2012. It was all a big misunderstanding.

It was borderline comical to watch the world divide into the believers and non-believers with most of the believers not willing to out and out proclaim their beliefs until pressed. They didn’t want to take a chance of being wrong.

When it comes to predictions, the likelihood of being wrong is equal to, if not greater than, the likelihood of being right. Of course, each circumstance has its own variable in that some outcomes are more predictable than others. It falls into the categories of the laws of chance. You have a better chance of predicting what will be tomorrow’s breakfast than you do prognosticating worldwide tendencies.

Think about it. You only have a 50-50 chance of predicting the correct outcome of something as simple as a coin toss, so it would stand to reason that as it gets more difficult, so too is the chance of being wrong. For those who believe in it, luck has to enter into the decision as well. If you get it right, defying the statistical probabilities, you just got lucky.

The Mayans are far from lucky. They saw their civilization (the Maya civilization) diminish and fall from prominence. Oh, descendants of the Maya are still around, but like the believers in the end of the world malarkey, you probably won’t find many owning up to it.

Predictions can be bold and failures could be epic. We have seen it through the automotive history. Cars that projected to sell well became destined to fail, all because someone made some educated guesses. Some, like the Mustang, became more successful than anyone ever imagined. The Mustang is coming up on 50 years, a mark that has no one predicting its end (or the Corvette for that matter).

For the most part, cars come and cars go, no matter the accolades and expectations. Some hold a place in history for a short period of time while some make comebacks.

With 2012 and its projected doom behind us, we can freely wonder what is going to be in store for the automotive future. Based on trends, it’s logical to assume (predict) that the small cars are going to win out in the long run. Tech editor Andy Bolig and I had a recent discussion about the future (cars, not our own, thanks anyway). Neither one of us is a disciple of Nostradamus or pretend to have a crystal ball or time machine (though we are working on one in his garage and it is disguised as a Model T). For the heck of it, we put on our Mayan headgear and made a few projections about what we see the automotive world doing.


• Tomorrow’s collectible will be the four-cylinder cars of the past – the Vega, the Pinto, the Escort, the Colt/Champ, etc. They made hundreds of thousands of these. While many of them broke and found easy access to scrapyards, only to be wadded up, this only adds to the rarity factor. We see a Chevette tooling around town on occasion. They are gone, but not forgotten and there could be a resurrection in the future.

• Your daily driver will be required to get 75 miles per gallon by 2025.

• Collision avoidance systems will force major insurance companies out of business and eliminate the distracted driving problem. In fact, we won’t be driving at all since the cars will drive themselves. You enter a GPS coordinate and pick up your favorite car mag. (We’ll be glad to offer suggestions for reading material.)

• Government will find a way to end the factory muscle programs by 2020. It will be déjà vu all over again and the latest generation of Camaro, Challenger, Mustang et al will be the target.

• NASA will be re-directed to produce jet cars a laThe Jetsons

• Serious car collectors of vehicles built before 2000 will overtake a large island and create a Utopian community for car lovers only with European and Asian models not allowed. It’ll be like Survivor on wheels. An association, much like a homeowners’ association, will be formed to mandate climate controlled garages, a community oil dump station and countless car care product vending machines.


Now, we sit back and watch. As ludicrous as some of this may sound, there is no proof that it is either right or wrong (think courtroom scene of Miracle on 34th Street). Only time will tell. In the meantime, I have to finish shopping for my wife’s birthday in two days. I was thinking maybe I wouldn’t have to get her a present if this Mayan thing happened to be true.