John taught me this fabulous term. Claim chowder is what happens when you make a prediction about the future and you end up being totally and tragically wrong. Like Steve Ballmer on the iPhone, "There’s no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance."
While I wouldn't encourage anyone to go as far as Ballmer in this endeavor, it turns out that no one ever got a terminal illness from claim chowder. While it might be frightening to imagine, it's not so bad in practice. Try it.
Have an opinion. Defend it. It will make you smarter.