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My thoughts, tips, and other tidbits that I believe are suited for a fact-based optimist.
🔀 Is humanity at a crossroads?
I've recently watched two videos. The first is by futurist Gerd Leonhard (who is also a Warp Premium Supporter) together with the Emmy-winning filmmaker Chris Nolan (who for Warp News wrote: How storytelling can change the future.)
The film is called Look Up Now and is about a positive future where we took control of AI with a global regulatory authority. The message is that we are at a crossroads, and if we choose the right path, the future will be good.
The second film is made by Melodysheep, or John D. Boswell as his real name is. It's titled THE HUMAN FUTURE: A Case for Optimism, and it is just that.
Here too, humanity is said to be at a crossroads. It could lead to disaster, misery, and extinction, but it could also lead to a fantastic future (which Boswell believes).
Both are good and worth watching (though I don't at all agree with Gerd that we should destroy AI development with a global brake… sorry, regulatory authority). But I resist the narrative that we're at a crossroads. If we choose A, things turn bad; if we choose B, things go right.
This narrative is based on the premise of pessimism, that things might suddenly turn downwards. That thousands of years of positive progress could suddenly be replaced by long-term decline.
Look at this graph of the last two thousand years of economic growth.
Or this one of the world's different regions' economic development over the last two hundred years.
If there was a crossroads, it was two or three hundred years ago. A powerful acceleration of the progress that had been ongoing for about a hundred thousand years began. What happened then was that we chose democracy and freedom. First and foremost in Great Britain, which became the center of both the industrial and scientific revolutions.
I elaborate on this line of thought in my TEDx talk.
Can't it change?
Of course, development can reverse. A continuously improving future isn't automatic, and we must actively create it. Gerd and John are entirely right about that. But there's no evidence to suggest it will turn. On the contrary, the prerequisites for a better future increase all the time.
More and more people around the world work for a better future, and they have ever-improving technology to assist them.
That's why we can be confident that the most likely scenario is that the future continues to improve. It inspires me to be involved in building this positive future. The possibility of a bright future energizes me because I know my chance to have a positive impact grows. Yours does, too.
The Angry Optimist
☀️ Peter Diamandis on pessimism
How to combat pessimism with abundance and optimism.
🇪🇺 Finally? The EU changes its stance on GMOs
Perhaps a change is underway in the EU's very harmful regulation of GMOs (a regulation of AI could be even more damaging).
🤖 AI voices are getting really good
Check out this video. (When you click play, you'll be taken to the web version of the email and have to scroll down again to the video.) You can also watch it on X here.
The Angry Optimist