Are any of you optimistic about the future?

Submitted by RedParrot in AskRaddle

Lots of things are looking really bad right now, climate change, a political shift to the right, capitalism continuing to make people's lives suck the world over, and it's really worrying to me, especially as an 18 year old. I keep returning mentally to the possibility that I could literally witness the end of humanity in my lifetime (climate change being probably the scariest thing), and it's kind of making me miserable. Memes and friends and tea are all great and I certainly have a fine life, all things considered, but I can't shake this niggling thought that we're all doomed.

Are any of you optimists about the future? Do you think the world could be okay someday? If so, why? I'm really wanting something to believe in.



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ziq wrote (edited )

My own future? Sure. We're fortunate to be the last generation that gets to live on a generally habitable Earth. At least for a few decades.

Humanity's future? Nah. It's over. The planet will hopefully recover in a few hundred thousand to million years, but the human species screwed the pooch big time and after we drove 80% of all species to extinction with our greed-fueled civilization (soon to be 99%), we can't really pretend we have any right to continue being here. We're an incredibly self-destructive species and whatever good things we accomplished with our culture don't mean much compared to the mass destruction we wrought on everything we touched.

We're an evolutionary deadend by necessity. Nature will correct the destructive path our absolute domination of the planet has gone on.


arduinna wrote

The worst part is I expect rich people to figure out some bullshit moon-bunker with SpaceX or some underground setup or something to continue their tradition of escaping the destruction after fucking everyone else up, leaving us to take it.


RedParrot OP wrote

I fear you might be right there. Being a part of humanity, I can't really get rid of my desire for us to do well (Up until just a few years ago I was huge on space and automation), but it feels like that may be a pipe dream at this point. I do still hope though, as futile as it might look right now.


ziq wrote

Yeah. Taking our brand of totalitarian destructionism to space would just end up destroying more ecosystems.

We had our time in the sun, it was fun while it lasted. Time for something better to evolve when we're gone.


RedParrot OP wrote

I guess I should have expected this thread to just depress me further. It's gonna suck real bad to see it all slowly end. It's hard sometimes to think about my own happiness: Good food, time with friends, fulfilling relationships when I'm essentially living on a ticking time bomb. I've been getting super down about it this last while.


ziq wrote (edited )

The whole manifest destiny in space thing is pretty farcical since it assumes humanity is this amazing special thing that needs to be preserved at all costs. We couldn't even keep our own habitat intact because we were so disgustingly gluttonous. We're really not that smart.

We slap words like 'green' and 'sustainable' on completely destructive things and pat ourselves on the back for it. We're just ridiculously unevolved.

Don't be depressed though, it's hilarious. It's a farce of epic proportions and you get to watch the final act. You had no control over the course of events that led us here so you may as well just kickback and enjoy the end.


Communism_not_Barbarism wrote

I made an account just to say you're clearly not a communist and this kind of doomsday talk only creates apathy in the working class and strengthens the bourgeoisie. There's no reason we can't build a more sustainable society after the proletarian revolution.


martasultan wrote

I made an account just to say you're clearly not a communist

literally how is that relevant though


Ant wrote

Are any of you optimists about the future?

The whole oppressive feeling of powerlessness that this social organization cultivates in everyone is only an immense pedagogy of waiting. It’s an avoidance of now. But there isn’t, there’s never been, and there never will be anything but now. The current disaster is like a monstrous accumulation of all the deferrals of the past, to which are added those of each day and each moment, in a continuous time slide. But life is always decided now, and now, and now.

Everyone can see that this civilization is like a train rolling toward the abyss, and picking up speed. The faster it goes, the more one hears the hysterical cheers of the boozers in the discotheque car. You have to listen carefully to make out the paralyzed silence of the rational minds that no longer understand anything, that of the worriers who bite their nails, and the accent of false calm in the exclamations of the card players who wait. Inwardly, many people have chosen to leap off the train, but they hesitate on the footboard. They’re still restrained by so many things. They feel held back because they’ve made the choice, but the decision is lacking. Decision is what traces in the present the manner and possibility of acting, of making a leap that is not into the void. We mean the decision to desert, to desert the ranks, to organize, to undertake a secession, be it imperceptibly, but in any case, now. The epoch belongs to the determined.

Do you think the world could be okay someday?

There is no global future.

If so, why? I'm really wanting something to believe in.

Find others who can't stand the same things you can't stand. Make the moves you need to towards liberating your bioregion. Take advantage of the anarchy to make anarchy. There's joy and kindness and solidarity to be found in the now.


selver wrote (edited )

Yes, I think it will interesting. Unique time to live if nothing else. We end up in the dirt either way.

I'm cautiously optimistic about my own path.


throwaway wrote

I've sort of learned how to direct the energy that would, in the past, have gone towards being fucking depressed, towards educating and liberating myself, and trying to do the same for others.

Realizing that a better alternative existed really helped me get my shit together and work with all i have towards that better alternative (while still putting food on the table of course).


nbdy wrote

Hell the fuck no. If I’ve learned anything in the last few months of my life it’s that the majority of people are shit and the world needs to burn.


Just_An_Author wrote

Something I would like to point out: Global CO2 levels are around half that of what the dinosaurs had to deal with. The Earth has been through this sort of warm period before, and life has not only survived, but thrived. Further, other means of getting energy that do not release greenhouse gasses are becoming more prevalent at an exponential rate, meaning that the last big greenhouse gas spike will probably be from the methane clathrates in Siberia. It is therefore extremely unlikely that Earth will reach truly uninhabitable temperatures across most of its land area.

Yes, those other means of producing energy DO have byproducts, but those are byproducts that can be dealt with. For instance, the most problematic byproduct of solar panel manufacture (Silicon Tetrachloride) hydrolizes into Silicon Dioxide and Hydrochloric acid. The former can be readily used for glassmaking or other such tasks, while the Hydrochloric Acid is something that can be disposed of in other ways. Seriously, environmental regulation is something that can and has been done before, often getting awesome results in only a couple decades tops.

When this is combined with the fact that humans are really an extremely versatile species, not to mention one that can be quite effective at problem solving, I am quite confident that the majority of sapient beings on Earth will survive the coming century.

Laying all the cards on the table here, here are the biggest problems associated with climate change, along with a reasonably low-tech solution.

1: Equatorial regions getting so hot that the people there literally die

Assuming that this doesn't simply result in an evacuation from the affected regions, it should be pointed out that temperatures will be significantly lower during night time. In addition, shallow subterranean structures tend to stay cooler than structures on the surface, even without energy-hungry active cooling. It's not the greatest of arrangements, but a switch to a nocturnal lifestyle would at least resolve the worst of the heat issues.

2: Sea level rise

The absolute worst-case scenario for total sea level rise is around eighty meters, which still leaves 90% of land area above water. Further, the rate of sea level rise is extremely unlikely to exceed twenty centimeters per year, giving plenty of time for people to move gradually inland.

3: Disruption of agriculture

This is the big one; most drops really aren't built to handle sudden changes in temperature. Fortunately, the equator isn't the only place getting warmer. There's plenty of land area in places like Canada and Russia that is currently too cold for agriculture, but could be put to that purpose as the poles warm. Shipping this food to where it's needed could admittedly be a bit of an issue, but it's one that I'm quite sure is solvable.

On a somewhat more high-tech level, genetic engineering is a thing, and the equipment needed to do it is getting cheaper and easier to get every day. Just make some crops that handle the heat better.

...Sorry if that was somewhat ramble-y.


RedParrot OP wrote

I'm very happy to have heard some counter-arguments phrased so succintly. Thank you, I think I'll sleep better having read this. Have a wonderful evening.


Green_Mountain_Makhno wrote

I believe in my own future. I believe I can build something with my family and friends that can transcend the current state of things. I believe I will fight the system till I die, either way...


jadedctrl wrote

Everyone knows the beginning and end of The Titantic. Doesn't matter if you've seen it or not, just that you know the beginning and the end. If you've seen it, you've forgotten the middle. If you haven't seen it, you don't know the middle anyway. People only know the start and the finish. Everything in the middle is forgotten— literally anything could happen there, and no-one cares. It's all sandwiched between the things people care about: the beginning and the end.

I'm optimistic in that I think everything right now is “soon-to-be-sandwiched.” Either things will go alright, and the horrible bits will be covered up by improvements, or things will go to shit, and the horrible bits will be covered up by the End. I think that's very comforting. :)


Communism_not_Barbarism wrote

The revolution is closer than ever, mark my words, there will be a mass uprising in the near future as a response to the worsening conditions of capitalism.


videl wrote

what's there to be optimistic about


ziq wrote (edited )

I'm hoping someone leaks the locations of those underground bourgie bunkers so we can loot them.


MrPotatoeHead wrote

Compared to your outlook, I'm wonderfully optimistic, and I consider myself a pessimist.


RedA wrote

i don't think climate change has to be so scary. it's the continual wars and slavery that cause me misery. the shit is bad and i wouldn't dress it up in glitter but teh children's wants astory to believe. we can tell a living legacy, showing someway somehow .some pragmatic ambition, to choice. because soon it will be now again and Thefuture is next after that What will it be? i wouldn't pretend to know, but envisioning a coarse is important as infinite source; dreams desires intuition adventure,
conscious conception coalescing in critical yearning mass there is hope in a breath, in a day, in a dream merrily merrily merrily


RedA wrote

ourstory's meaning's between what we hold onto, the alpha omega of a sandwich


adblocker wrote

I don't think humanity is "doomed" in the sense we will go extinct. I think humanity as in the character trait of humanity is doomed. I think we're heading to a place where society is so incredibly stable and full of systems of control that acting out and changing the status quo as an individual is simply out of the question. Humanity in the sense of human-ness and alive-ness will be a thing of the past. Reconnecting with nature will only be something experienced in movies, as technology (VR, AR, tracking, etc.) will be literally omnipresent.