A Bright Future For Humanity? Plus Sacred Economics And Oblivion

The current issue of New Scientist is all about the future and the place of humans in it.

It’s a rather rosy picture where the depletion of fossil fuels will not be such a big deal and various other potential threats will not have overcome the human drive to survive.

The issue (which I picked up over the weekend) has an editorial called “The Future Is Bright For Humanity.” Here is an excerpt:

Now utopia has grown unfashionable, as we have gained a deeper appreciation of the range of threats facing us, from asteroid strike to pandemic flu to climate change. You might even be tempted to assume that humanity has little future to look forward to.

But such gloominess is misplaced. The fossil record shows that many species have endured for millions of years – so why shouldn’t we? Take a broader look at our species’ place in the universe, and it becomes clear that we have an excellent chance of surviving for tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of years (see “100,000 AD: Living in the deep future“). Look up Homo sapiens in the IUCN’s “Red List” of threatened species, and you will read: “Listed as Least Concern as the species is very widely distributed, adaptable, currently increasing, and there are no major threats resulting in an overall population decline.”

It almost makes me feel cheery.

But they are taking the long, big-picture view. Even the editors of New Scientist admit there could be a lot of misery that accompanies our future.

As  humans, we must live in the here and now. Our little slice of life is all we get, so it’s up to us to do the things that we think will make it better. And we should probably do that today, rather than hoping someone else will solve our problems tomorrow.

One thing that’s given me some sense of well-being in the last week is the ideas of Charles Eisenstein about a so-called “sacred economics.” The fact that there is someone talking about the things he is gives me hope for our immediate future.

What do you think?

And if you want some instant gratification, check out this music video from Grimes for her song “Oblivion.” So good. I love how this video messes with perception. Almost everyone in the stadium is watching the football field or race track, but the camera makes the singer the center of attention. Some people think it’s funny. Some people aren’t impressed.

My favorite part of the song is the synth line that sounds like it could just collapse in on itself at any moment.

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