Ay, Tigrita!

In 2010, the Year of the Tiger was ushered in on a day that was also celebrated as Mardi Gras and St. Valentine’s Day.   Quite a triple-threat, with lotsa multicultural implications and cross-connections.   This time around, the Year of the Rabbit slides into view immediately following Groundhog Day –quite a difference; it’s as if one rodent has merely borrowed the other’s burrow.

Out with the old and in with the new:  these artificial breaks in the endless(?) stream of time are occasions for a quick look back at what we hath wrought and a long gaze ahead at what the future may hold.   So, before embarking on his second annual Chinese New Year predictions, Lunghu would like to review the accuracy of the four predictions he made for the Year of the Tiger.   First, though, Lunghu will provide a quick evaluation of YoT predictions from the “competition” — those media-savvy Hong Kong feng-shui masters who are quoted every year with their advice and prognoses for the Chinese New Year.

Feng-shui Retrospective

Soothsayers will be evaluated according to their hits and misses, as well as for those that were only partially correct –or were too obvious to count as genuine predictive sooth.   A simple semantic legend will be employed:

[+] hits
[-] misses
[~] so-so (partly right)
[X] too obvious to count as a prediction

Here are the five Asian feng-shui specialists (mostly from Hong Kong) whose predictions were quoted in AP and AFP wire service reports just before the Tiger’s first roar:

Raymond Lo:

  • Fire element will stimulate economic activity [X], but will also increase efforts to help the weak by fighting the strong. [+ –> Wikileaks. Tunisia, Egypt, etc]
  • Because of the metal influence, international conflicts will increase in YoT: particularly with respect to Iran, North Korea and terrorism [X].
  • Lo told AFP that this would be “unlikely to result in violence,” but AP quoted him as saying that YoT would be more violent. [+ –> Lo’s ambivalence appears warranted by subsequent events:  ‘non-violent’ overt Iran/US conflict, but a violent North Korean attack on Yeonpyeong-do.]
  • YoT will be good for Obama. [~]
  • YoT will be bad for Ban Ki-moon [+] and Mahamoud Ahmadinejad [+].
  • Metal influence will be bad for Tiger Woods, who was born in a Rabbit year. [+]

Peter So:

  • Obama will not do well during YoT [~]
  • US-Sino relations will deteriorate further in the second half of YoT. [X] (or does this count as a [+] for specifying the time frame?)

Yap Boh Chu:

  • Fire element associated with the Tiger could mean increased earthquake and volcanic activity.  [X/~]
  • Metal influence could manifest as an increase in robberies, industrial accidents and car crashes. [X]
  • The Tiger/Fire combination will mean jittery markets and stock price volatility. [X –>  Lunghu was gonna give this a minus sign until he remembered May 6th.   Still, the vague language merits little more than a “meh!”]
  • Things will be difficult for Obama: a crucial turning point in his presidency.  [+/X  –> mid-term years frequently have been pivotal for a first-term President.  The basic odds recorded in U.S. history are in favor of this “prediction.”]

Chow Hon-ming:

  • The Metal element portends more terrorist attacks. [-/X]
  • Financial markets will oscillate wildly. [+ –> Lunghu was gonna give this a minus sign until he remembered May 6th.   The phrase “oscillate wildly” earns a plus sign.]

Alion Yeo:

  • Financial markets will fluctuate (particularly around August), but will trend upward. [X]
  • Industries connected to metal will benefit:  machinery, banking, mining, tech, and automotive sectors will improve.  [+ –>  Lunghu will admit that Caterpillar, Deere, mining stocks, Google, Facebook, VW and many similar companies did quite well in 2010.   However, this could easily have been a self-fulfilling prophecy if wealthy Chinese investors were the ones driving up stock prices.]

Lunghu’s Report Card

Now for a review of Lunghu’s own predictions.  Instead of simple pass/fail/incomplete evaluation, Lunghu is going to use a system of letter grades as a finer-grained metric of performance.  Since Lunghu actually knows what he intended to mean when he made his predictions, this seems a better, more rigorous approach.  There should be no need for [X] or [~] markings.

Here goes:

1]  Using vague oracular language borrowed from the likes of Nostradamus, Lunghu predicted that “the marionette will tire of being played, and will attempt to snap his puppetmasters’ strings.  Many will be pulled from their perches.”  Lunghu wrote this with Barack Obama in mind, and really would have been content with the departures of Dennis Blair, Stanley McChrystal, Larry Summers and Rahm Emmanuel.  Tony Hayward counts as a bonus.

However, when Lunghu made this prediction he just wasn’t thinking big enough:  he was thinking locally, not globally.  2010 brought us the U.S. mid-term congressional elections; Belgie; Cote d’Ivoire; Tunisie; Egypte; Sudan … and more?  The spotlight of change appears to have begun shining on widely separated sections of the puppet stage, guided and focused by public anger at those thieves who claim to speak in the people’s name.  That’s an entire new category of marionette, and a vastly enlarged set of newly-unemployed puppeteers.
Overall grade:  B

2]  Lunghu predicted an “unusually” hot & dry YoT summer for the Mid-Atlantic region of the Eastern United States, specifying the June thru August period.  His prediction was entirely on the mark:  not only was 2010 the warmest year on record, but drought warnings were declared in some portions of the region.  The higher-than-normal temperatures lasted through the entire month of September, into the first weeks of autumn.   Lunghu was incorrect, however, in blithely predicting that more-frequent electric power outages would result from the higher summer temperatures.   Overall grade:  A-

3]  On February 14, 2010 Lunghu warned that “a devastating earthquake is looming in the Andean Region, possibly in Central Chile.”   Two weeks later, this prediction was proven not a mis-Concepcion.
Overall grade: A

4]  Lunghu claimed that YoT would provide Comrade Bear with the opportunity to reclaim wayward portions of the former Soviet Empire.   Lunghu opined that the Baltic states were Putin’s likely targets, and rashly offered Estonia as an example of a possible victim fated to replicate the Ukraine experience.  Instead, Kyrgyzstan received the benefit of Russian guidance in 2010, while Lithuania, Latvia and  Estonia staggered through the year more-or-less intact.  However, Lunghu still has his doubts about the meaning of Smolensk:  first, Comrade Bear praises the bravery of the Polish military, then (just a few months later) most of Poland’s general staff dies in a foggy plane crash on Russian soil.   When one looks back to July 2009, it’s a little too neat.
Overall grade: C-

Next time:  Hong Kong feng-shui masters’ predictions for the Year of the Rabbit, and some of Lunghu’s own.

In 2010, the Year of the Tiger was ushered in on a day that was also celebrated as Mardi Gras and St.Valentine’s Day.  Quite a triple-threat, with lotsa multicultural implications and cross-connections.

This time around, the Year of the Rabbit slides into view immediately following Groundhog Day –quite a

difference; it’s as if one rodent has merely borrowed the other’s burrow.

Out with the old and in with the new:  these artificial breaks in the endless(?) stream of time are

occasions for a quick look back at what we hath wrought and a long gaze ahead at what the future may hold.

So, before embarking on his second annual Chinese New Year predictions, Lunghu would like to review the

accuracy of the four predictions he made for the Year of the Tiger.

First, though, Lunghu will provide a quick evaluation of YoT predictions from the “competition” — those

media-savvy Hong Kong feng-shui masters who are quoted every year with their advice and prognoses for the

Chinese New Year.  Soothsayers will be evaluated according to their hits and misses, as well as for those

that were only partially correct or were too obvious to count as genuine predictive sooth.  A simple

semantic legend will be employed:

[+] hits
[-] misses
[~] so-so (partly right)
[X] too obvious to count as a prediction

Here are the five Asian feng-shui specialists (mostly from Hong Kong) whose predictions were quoted in AP

and AFP wire service reports just before the Tiger’s first roar:

Raymond Lo:

Fire element will stimulate economic activity [X], but will also increase efforts to help the weak by

fighting the strong. [+ –> Wikileaks. Tunisia, Egypt, etc]

Because of the metal influence, international conflicts will increase in YoT: particularly with respect to

Iran, North Korea and terrorism [X].

Lo told AFP that this would be “unlikely to result in violence,” but AP quoted him as saying that YoT

would be more violent. [+ –> Lo’s ambivalence appears warranted by subsequent events: ‘non-violent’

Iran/US conflict for violent North Korean attack on Yeoyeong-do]

YoT will be good for Obama. [~]

YoT will be bad for Ban Ki-moon [+] and Mahamoud Ahmadinejad [+].

Metal influence will be bad for Tiger Woods, who was born in a Rabbit year. [+]
– – – – – – –
Peter So:

Obama will not do well during YoT [~]

US-Sino relations will deteriorate further in the second half of YoT [X] (or does this count as a [+] for

specifying the time frame?)
– – – – – – –
Yap Boh Chu:

Fire element associated with the Tiger could mean increased earthquake and volcanic activity.  [X/~]

Metal influence could manifest as an increase in robberies, industrial accidents and car crashes. [X]

The Tiger/Fire combination will mean jittery markets and stock price volatility. [X] Lunghu was gonna give

this a minus sign until he remembered May 6th.  Still, the vague language merits little more than a “meh!”

Things will be difficult for Obama: a crucial turning point in his presidency. [+/X  –> mid-term years

frequently have been pivotal for a first-term President.  The basic odds recorded in U.S. history are in

favor of this “prediction.”]
– – – – – – –
Chow Hon-ming:

The Metal element portends more terrorist attacks. [-]

Financial markets will oscillate wildly. [+ –> Lunghu was gonna give this a minus sign until he

remembered May 6th.  The phrase “oscillate wildly” earns a plus sign.]
– – – – – – –
Alion Yeo:

Financial markets will fluctuate (particularly around August), but will trend upward. [X]

Industries connected to metal will benefit:  machinery, banking, mining, tech, and automotive sectors will

improve. [+ –>  Lunghu will admit that Caterpillar, Deere, mining stocks, Google, Facebook, VW and many

similar companies did quite well in 2010.  However, this could have been a self-fulfilling prophecy if

wealthy Chinese investors were the ones driving up stock prices.]

Now for a review of Lunghu’s own predictions.  Instead of simple pass/fail/incomplete evaluation, Lunghu

is going to use a system of letter grades as a finer-grained metric of performance.  Since Lunghu actually

knows what he intended to mean when he made his predictions, this seems a better, more rigorous approach.

There should be no need for [X] or [~] markings.

Here goes:

1]  Using vague oracular language borrowed from the likes of Nostradamus, Lunghu predicted that “the

marionette will tire of being played, and will attempt to snap his puppetmasters’ strings.  Many will be

pulled from their perches.”  Lunghu wrote this with Barack Obama in mind, and really would have been

content with the departures of Dennis Blair, Stanley McChrystal, Larry Summers and Rahm Emmanuel.  Tony

Hayward counts as a bonus.

However, when Lunghu made this prediction he just wasn’t thinking big enough:  he was thinking locally,

not globally.  2010 brought us the U.S. mid-term congressional elections; Belgie; Cote d’Ivoire; Tunisie;

Egypte; Sudan … and more?  The spotlight of change appears to have begun shining on widely separated

sections of the puppet stage, guided and focused by public anger at the thieves who claim to speak in the

people’s name.  That’s an entire new category of marionette, and a vastly enlarged set of newly-unemployed

puppeteers.
Overall grade:  B

2]  Lunghu predicted an “unusually” hot & dry YoT summer for the Mid-Atlantic region of the Eastern United

States, specifying the June thru August period.  His prediction was entirely on the mark:  not only was

2010 the warmest year on record, but drought warnings were declared in some portions of the region.  The

higher-than-normal temperatures lasted through the entire month of September, into the first weeks of

autumn.  Lunghu was incorrect, however, in blithely predicting that more-frequent electric power outages

would result from the higher summer temperatures.  Overall grade:  A-

3]  On February 14, 2010 Lunghu warned that “a devastating earthquake is looming in the Andean Region,

possibly in Central Chile.”  Two weeks later, this prediction was proven not a mis-Concepcion.
Overall grade: A

4]  Lunghu claimed that YoT would provide Comrade Bear with the opportunity to reclaim wayward portions of

the former Soviet Empire.  Lunghu opined that the Baltic states were Putin’s likely targets, and rashly

offered Estonia as an example of a possible victim fated to replicate the Ukraine experience.  Instead,

Kyrgyzstan received the benefit of Russian guidance in 2010, while Lithuania, Latvia and  Estonia

staggered through the year more-or-less intact.  However, Lunghu still has his doubts about the meaning of

Smolensk: first, Comrade Bear praises the bravery of the Polish military, then (just a few months later)

most of Poland’s general staff dies in a foggy plane crash on Russian soil.  When one looks back to July

2009, it’s a little too neat.
Overall grade: C-

Next time:  Hong Kong feng-shui masters’ predictions for the Year of the Rabbit, and some of Lunghu’s own.

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