💡 2022: Optimist's Edge year in review

💡 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.

Mathias Sundin
Mathias Sundin

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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.

💡 Optimist’s Edge: The hack to solve all of humanity’s major problems
If all countries and all people lived in democracies the major problems of humanity would be solved or be dramatically smaller.

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.

💡 Optimist’s Edge: Launching into space will be 99.9% cheaper
💡 In just a few years, launching rockets into space will become 99.9 percent cheaper than today, opening up space like never before.

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 optimism

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.

💡 Optimist’s Edge: Larger emissions mean greater opportunities
Investing in oil and gas will not pay off as much in the future. Still, people, in general, believe so. As the world shifts to more non-fossil energy sources, it is important to know which companies and areas are best to invest in.

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.

Food tech

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.

💡 Optimist’s Edge: Milk without cows
A factory in Denmark can replace nine percent of Danish cows. Milk and other dairy products can be produced in bioreactors by precision in the fermentation process. Foodtech companies all over the world are now working hard to create a future where cows become redundant.

Artificial Intelligence

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.

💡 Optimist’s Edge: AI is unleashing a massive wave of creativity
💡 AI will unleash massive untapped creativity by us tools to create things that before only were available to professionals. This unleashed creativity will create millions of jobs and tons of human progress.

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.

💡 Optimist’s Edge: Electricity too cheap to meter
💡 With storage and the ability to share energy you can get all the electricity you need for a low flat fee, creating a new society.

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.

💡 Optimist’s Edge: Can Elon Musk’s electric airplane beat regular jets?
Could Elon Musk’s proposed electric jet fly longer than fossil-fueled jets? Yes, with higher battery density and a completely new design of the aircraft, electric airplanes with a range greater than fossil-fueled airplanes are possible.

Flying cars? We call them drones now, and yes, they are on the cusp of a breakthrough.

💡 Optimist’s Edge: Flying cars from science fiction to science fact
Science fiction is becoming science fact as flying cars will soon be providing straight A to B, zero emissions, transportation.

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:

💡 Optimist’s Edge: Let your stuff make money for you
Contrary to many people’s beliefs, it is possible to make good money by renting out your belongings. Here we give examples of what is popular on the sharing sites, how much you can earn - and our best tips for how to get started.

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.

💡 Optimist’s Edge: Dangerous with less screen time?
Computer games for children increase their IQ.

Mathias Sundin