Nov
24
2010

I’d tell you about the future, but I hear you already know.

Gaze into the crystal ball to see what your future holds...: That's right, it holds a whole bunch of JGordon. Deal with it.
Gaze into the crystal ball to see what your future holds...: That's right, it holds a whole bunch of JGordon. Deal with it.Courtesy mararie
So…

So, Buzzketeers, you’ve been keeping something from me.

I thought we had something. I thought that we had a solid relationship built on trust, like… like a really nice but not fancy bungalow built on bedrock that doesn’t lie to you, or withhold information. Yeah, sure, I sometimes mislead you, or pass on scientifically suspect material, but that’s different. That’s for my own entertainment.

And don’t act like you don’t know what I’m going to say. That’s the whole thing, isn’t it?

Yeah, I heard. I heard that y’all can predict the future. And you didn’t tell me. Me, JGordon.

When were you going to mention that the secret’s out, and that a Cornell University scientist had demonstrated a small but statistically significant propensity for people (you) to predict the future? Were you going to wait until after the holidays, so as not to spoil the “surprise” of my gifts to you? Whatever. I got you all cashmere scarves. I thought you’d really like them. Surprise.

I hear that you were shown a list of words, and were able to recall mostly words from the list that would later be randomly selected by a computer. That’s super neat. Thanks for telling me about it.

I hear, too, that you were able to correctly able to predict 53 percent of the time when a curtained computer screen would have a sexy image on it. Cool. Maybe if you spent less time looking at sexy pictures, our relationship wouldn’t be going the way it clearly is.

3% above a 50-50 chance may not seem like much, but we both know it’s significant. Nearly as significant as the fact that you never mentioned it to me.

Do you know how that feels? I’ll show you how it feels:

1: Tomorrow, most of you American Buzzketeers will eat turkey.

2: Tomorrow, one of you will be eaten by a turkey, or turkeys.

3: Prince Philip will say something of questionable taste at his grandson’s wedding, probably to a woman or a foreign dignitary.

4. Your dad has a secret family in another state.

How do you like them apples? It’s not very fun, is it?

In any case, while the study stood up to the careful peer review of The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, it’s probably all statistical wheeling and dealing, and I’d like to think that we can get over this.

I trust you’d tell me if you knew we wouldn’t.

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