How to spot the worst predictions ever

Of course, that war never happened.

Today almost nobody remembers the book. For the handful of people who do remember it, it’s a laughingstock. I bought a used copy from Amazon for 25 cents after a library discarded it from their collection.

Inside the cover of “The Coming War With Japan”

People are afraid of folks they don’t have much contact with

A busy New York City street full of immigrants in 1900 (colorized)

In other words, the Americans who have the least contact with immigrants are the most afraid of them.

Public interest research group PRRI did a fascinating study asking Americans in all 50 states this same question:

Do immigrants threaten American values? (Darker green means yes.)

What can we learn about predictions from this?


How to avoid the worst predictions, step by step

Once you learn these rules, spotting heinous predictions becomes a lot easier. Ask yourself the following questions when evaluating a prediction:

  1. Is this a prediction about a group of people that I haven’t had much contact with?
  2. Is this prediction being made by someone who has not had much contact with the people or thing they are making a prediction about?

Whatever happened to those Japan-fearing authors?

From “The Coming War With Japan.” She’s still rocking that haircut to this day. Seriously.




I’m a documentary filmmaker and all around troublemaker. More at

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Arlen Parsa

Arlen Parsa

I’m a documentary filmmaker and all around troublemaker. More at

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