Saturday, November 19, 2022

On optimism.....................

     Optimism is not utopian. It’s protopian -- a slow march toward incremental betterment. Over time we continue to get better not only in living standards, but in being able to solve problems. Each year we know a little more, including how to fix things. But the cost of that overall betterment is a barrage of bewildering new problems brought on by progress. We can easily imagine some of the horrific downsides in future scenarios, but the biggest and most difficult problems in the future are actually beyond our capacity to predict. We can’t even imagine the worst. But as bad as the world’s future problems will be, the reason we can and should be optimistic is that our estimates of future woes don’t take into account our ability to solve them. The ultimate reason we should (and can) be optimistic is not because we must ignore the reality of huge, planetary-scale illnesses and deep systemic problems. We should be optimistic not because our problems are smaller than we thought, but because our capacity to solve them is larger than we thought.

-Kevin Kelly, as culled from this essay

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