💡 2022: Optimist's Edge year in review
A hack to solve all of humanity's major problems. Connect your brain to the computer. Climate optimism. Milk without cows. And much more in this review of our year with 50 new Optimistic Edges.
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During 2022 we posted 50 Optimist's Edge articles. Here is a look back and comments on some of them.
Democracy is the edge to rule them all
Nothing is more important for human progress than democracy. That is why we often write on this topic.
Actually, if all humans were free and lived in democracy, all of humanity's major problems would be gone. No more wars. No more famines.
It is the ultimate hack.
You can't stay in the cradle forever
"Earth is the cradle of humanity, but one cannot remain in the cradle forever."
- Konstantin E. Tsiolkovsky
Humans are curious, and courageous. That is how we've explored Earth and constantly improved society. We think we will, and should, continue doing that. That means establishing several homes for humanity, out in the solar system and eventually beyond.
Over the next two decades, or so, the cost to launch something into space will drop 99.9 percent. One-thousandth of what it cost just five years ago.
This will make the space economy astronomically bigger. We can live on Mars, but also build huge space stations near Earth.
But what about Earth? We should take very good care of it, of course. And for that, we need space. Like satellites that track global emissions. Or why not something really 'out there'? A space parasol to cool us down.
Climate change is a big problem for humanity. But so is the constant climate doomsday bombardment in news media. We are confident this is a problem we will solve.
Climate change is no good, but the change is. We will end up in a better society, with a better environment. Not that this will be easy or without hardship, but this change is full of opportunities.
If you want to find the opportunities, just look at the emissions. The larger the emissions, the larger the opportunities.
One larger emitter is cement, and plenty is going on there.
There are also other things you can do, like help in the effort to plant trees and use new technology to lower your climate footprint.
The agricultural sector is responsible for a lot of CO2 emissions, which is a driver of change. But we also get healthier and cheaper food. This is called food tech, of which we've written several pieces.
Milk without cows, gene-edited fruit, food from air, healthy sugar, new packing for fruit and vegetables. And also new ways to farm, like vertical farms.
The pessimism was strong around AI in 2021 and early 2022. "Tech Giants Pour Billions Into AI, but Hype Doesn’t Always Match Reality" wrote Wall Street Journal in July 2022.
After the breakthroughs with AIs that create images and not least OpenAI's ChatGPT they now instead write how Microsoft is considering investing $10 in OpenAI...
That is why it is so important to be fact-based and optimistic.
During the year we wrote about AI and art, about Tesla's new humanoid robot, how AI can help you find talents, and a world without language barriers.
Superabundant, super cheap energy
This year our parent, the Warp Institute, created Project Energy Society. The goal is a world where energy is superabundant, fossil-free and extremely cheap.
An important part of that is wind power, solar power and batteries. Batteries are an area where we've received a lot of pushback. But more and more signs point to that we are right. In 2022 we saw investments in battery tech of up to $30 billion, and many factories are being built.
Renewable energy and batteries don't mean we aren't also excited about new nuclear power.
Traveling faster, cleaner and cheaper
It looks like all transportation is eventually going electric. Cars are well on the way. That was our first Optimist's Edge article. But what about airplanes? That will take longer, but it is possible.
Flying cars? We call them drones now, and yes, they are on the cusp of a breakthrough.
Flying cars will change where we live. Fast, cheap and straight A to B travel will make it more possible to live outside of cities. We think many will.
The no category category
There are a bunch of other Optimist's Edge that doesn't fit into the above categories. Like how Africa is on a fast track to prosperity. And why not connect your brain directly to the computer? I like this one, on how to combine trees and agriculture. Many articles are quite theoretical, but this one is very practical:
Last but not least. Screen time is maybe the thing that annoys me the most. I'm certain we will look back and laugh at the worry that looking at a screen will hurt us and especially our children. The opposite might be true.
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