1. We’re Going To Figure Something Out For Climate Change.
Yes, climate change is a terrible, insane and deadly issue. But we have the tools to fix it.
It’s depressing and terrible that people aren’t willing to make changes to prevent it, at a societal or personal level, but just because something is unsympathetic doesn’t make it not true. It is. Humans are procrastinators. But we’re also amazingly resilient, adaptive, and smart.
We’re going to put a giant mirror in outer space, or create a gas compound, or develop electric self-driving cars to slow the process, or become mostly vegetarians, or team up with Russia and China to put a smog-proof layer to stop coal fumes or…something.
As weird as it sounds, asking people to be responsible is the science fiction answer. Science fiction, frankly, sounds eerily plausible.
And here, that’s a good thing.
2. The Internet Promotes Freedom And Future Society Will Be Fairer.
With fewer gatekeepers, it’s easier to make sure everyone is heard. Freedom can allow us to humanize each other, to learn and care for each other, and all sorts of amazing, wonderful things.
Yeah, the internet is a big time-suck, and yeah, some good old-fashioned things are being lost. Those are both real problems. But the internet isn’t just something to grumble about. It’s a tool for so much, including finding people, information help, and kindness in places and situations where it would otherwise be impossible.
3. Speaking Of Which: It’s Going To Be Harder To Be Awful.
The internet is preaching transparency, honesty, and accessibility.
That means it’s going to be harder to be awful.
We all know about the Koch brothers. We all know about campaign finance reform. We all know about the broad, terrible things that used to exist purely in the shadows. And, even if we have no power, we at least have awareness, which, in and of itself, brings about a sliver of power.
As transparency increases and knowledge spreads, it’s going to be harder and harder to deceive and manipulate.
4. Stupid Extremes Aren’t Sustainable.
We don’t exist in a Beanie Baby economy.
It might be hard to remember, but there was a time when people seriously and urgently placed value in Beanie Babies. Not everyone, not a lot, but enough that it was a cultural moment, and a mania.
And it passed.
Similarly, whatever trend you find too extreme, too stupid or potentially harmful has a decent chance of fizzling out completely. Don’t psyche yourself out by assuming something stupid will continue forever.
Sometimes things calibrate and fix themselves.
5. The Semi-Mainstream Is Very Good.
Do you know how good TV is these days? How good music is? How good the food is, the beer is?
Greatness is accessible and ubiquitous, and the latter part is the most exciting. Forget exclusionary elitism; it’s a wonderful and great thing that so much great stuff is considered mainstream.
Consider, for a moment, Family Guy, initially a weird, meta, envelop-pushing program is now considered a basic bro show. It’s still oddly innovative, meta, surreal, strange and occasionally very good. And that’s considered a bottom-of-the-barrel show!
Consider, for a moment that Kanye West and Drake are the biggest stars in rap right now. One a fashion-loving innovative musical genius and ego-experiment, the other an emotional Canadian crooner obsessed with expressive honesty.
Consider, for a moment, that you can get amazing craft beer at a corner store that would’ve needed a specialty store twelve years ago.
Consider, for a moment, that our culture is getting better, smarter, more interesting and open on a universal level.
Consider the optimism earned by that uptick.