I was a public school teacher for 14 years, so I’m no stranger to the laws of science—especially as they relate to life here in the Frio Canyon. In fact, I don’t mind admitting that I’m working extensively on a precept that I hope to publish and eventually establish as scientific law. I call it “Kerr’s Theory of Reverse Prediction”
You may be familiar with other scientific laws such as Newton’s Law which states that for every action, there is an opposite reaction of equal force. Too complicated? Try something a little on the lighter side, like Murphy’s Law, which says that anything that can go wrong will go wrong.
Most scientific laws can be reduced to a mathematical statement. For example, Albert Einstein’s Theory of Relativity can be written as the well-known mathematical formula “E=MC2.” Therefore, to better explain my theory, I will offer the simple equation of J=-J, where ”J” represents “What John says will happen,” and “–J” represents “What actually happens.” To be more specific, Kerr’s Theory of Reverse Prediction means whatever I expect to happen will be the opposite of what actually happens.
Consider this theory as it applies to my ability to predict the weather here at camp. For example, the Senior Director for our youth camp, Chandler Pruitt, notices some ominous grey clouds forming over Singing Hills, and he calls me on the radio for a weather forecast. Naturally, wanting to give him some educated analysis, I go online and download the current radar loop which shows zero precipitation, and virtually no storm cells within a 100 mile radius. I then report to Chandler that the scope is clear and that he has nothing to worry about. Fifteen minutes later, rain begins to pound in torrents here on the headwaters, causing a flash flood warning for Real County, and a sheriff’s evacuation order of Garner State Park, and the city of Concan. Conversely, let’s say I opened the radar loop and see a storm cell headed straight for us on my computer screen that is the size and color of a strawberry! In this scenario, I would immediately get on the radio, and cause a county-wide panic only to have the rest of the day resemble the peace and tranquility of a Thomas Kinkade Painting.
Of course, this phenomenon of reverse prediction is not just correlated to the weather. Here are some other recent self-assured statements that didn’t pan out the way I expected.
“I know you’re tired of hiking kids, but our truck is just on top of that ridge.”
“Hey Coleman, duck down so I can cast over your head. Don’t worry, I won’t hook you.”
“Of course, I know where we are. We should be there in ten minutes.”
“You can jump across that ditch easy, honey. Anyway, that mud is only 2 inches deep.”
“Don’t worry, William, baby skunks can’t spray yet.”
It’s not just that I’m bad at predicting things, I’m consistently bad at predicting things. There’s a silver lining here. People around me have learned to act on that consistency. Follow me here. If I tell Chandler that we are about to get hit by a storm that would rival a cat-3 hurricane, Chandler knows with certainty that it’s time for Singing Hills to go swimming! If I tell our Director of HEBFF Outdoor, Erik Silvius, not to move because wild boars don’t generally charge humans, he knows that he’d better find a tall tree post-haste! It’s all about consistency.
I’ve even learned to use reverse predictions to my own advantage. Just last week, while fishing with my son, I tested my theory out with an experiment. Noticing that the fish bite was getting slow, I said out loud, “Hey Gideon, the fish aren’t biting anymore. Let’s grab our gear, and head for—” Bam! Even before I finished the sentence, a hard-hitting strike bent Gideon’s rod almost into the water, and a few moments later, he landed his personal best bass!
I need a little more evidence before I can finally publish my research, but soon I’ll at last be recognized in the world of Science. In the meantime, the weather is going to be beautiful out here in the Canyon this week, and I thought I’d go out for a nice long walk. Anybody want to come with?