In this first article, I will talk about my view of a bright future, and why I think it is something worth fighting for.
I have a dream, a dream of a bright future
During the journey from my childhood into adulthood, I got more and more disillusioned by seeing the horrible things humans can do.
The daily bombardment with bad news makes life seem inherently fragile—even meaningless—when trying to look at it reasonably.
Still, I am hopeful about our future.
I'm optimistic because I have seen what humans are capable of.
And no, I'm not talking about the feats of technology and innovation we humans show, which in and of itself are truly remarkable.
I'm speaking about our non-technological gifts, i.e., our humanity.
This humanity is what I see in an individual that shows the willingness to suffer for what is right.
I've seen it in how people give meaning to their lives, by suffering now, to be greater later.
I am seeing the humanity in individuals willing to sacrifice an immense amount of their own time, energy, and resources for another, even entirely unknown, person.
I've experienced the humanity of parents generating an infinite amount of willpower when fighting for their children's wellbeing.
I observe humanity in how groups of people band and bond together when life gets unlivable.
I recognize how much creativity there is in every individual, creativity that many gladly and unselfishly share with their peers.
I see how people give purpose to the lives of others.
People are awesome.
Mainly, I feel we have only just seen a glimpse, throughout history, of what beautiful and great things we humans can be.
Hedge the Future
So, to say again, I'm inherently optimistic and hopeful of what humanity can accomplish. Life, as we know it, is still a positive-sum game. And if we'd put all happiness and suffering on a scale, we are still in the black.
But this is not a guarantee for our future. It's not that we can sit back and hope that the future will be similar or better.
This uncertainty is what drives me to strive for a bright future that is not based on a coin toss. Or worse, inevitably a bad future when we don't do anything.
In essence, I'm trying to do my part in 'hedging' for a future world that my children (and their children, and their grandchildren's children, etc.) still want to live.
What can a Bright Future look like?
Let us be realistic; my definition of a bright future will not overlap entirely with that of most others, let alone everyone on earth. That's good, by the way, this difference between individuals is what makes life interesting.
But I think a lot of the differences are in the details; this means that the most important things do have an overlap, and that's what I'd like to describe here.
I think a bright future is one where people*:
- Don't suffer needlessly.
- Have the time, energy, and vitality to achieve what they set out to do, i.e., have agency.
- Lead (mentally) stressless, satisfied lives.
*I would consider any significantly conscious beings as 'people' here btw.
- I will be laying down the equation that I think we need to solve.
- Talk about how the equation relates to what "Technology promised us" (in bringing us a brighter future).