Daily Productive Sharing 1000 - Optimism and Future

Optimism makes us more resilient, helping us navigate through challenges.

Daily Productive Sharing 1000 - Optimism and Future
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What is the relationship between optimism and the future? Kevin Kelly believes that optimism is shaping the future:

  1. Civilization Requires Trust: Trust requires optimism. Only with optimism can we believe in others, hence civilization needs optimism.
  2. Long-term Sacrifices: Building civilization may require sacrificing short-term interests. Only optimism can support such sacrifices.
  3. Uncharted Knowledge: Compared to what we know, there is much more that can be understood but has yet to be discovered, and this requires optimism to pursue.
  4. Historical Progress: Looking back at history, the world has always progressed, despite setbacks along the way. Overcoming these setbacks requires optimism.
  5. Bad Things vs. Good Things: Bad things happen quickly, while good things take longer to materialize. This requires us to view the world optimistically.
  6. Resilience Through Optimism: Optimism makes us more resilient, helping us navigate through challenges.
  7. Learnable Skill: Optimism is a learnable, improvable skill.
  8. Capacity to Solve Problems: We should remain optimistic not because our problems are simpler than we think, but because our ability to solve them is greater than we realize.

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乐观主义和未来有什么关系?Kevin Kelly 认为乐观主义正在塑造未来:

  1. 文明需要信任,信任需要乐观主义。因为只有乐观,才能相信别人。所以文明需要乐观主义;
  2. 长期而言,文明的建立可能需要牺牲短期的利益,所以只有乐观主义才能支持这种牺牲;
  3. 类似的,相较于我们已知的,那些可以被弄明白而尚未弄明白的东西可能要多得多,而这也需要乐观主义才能坚持;
  4. 回看历史,世界总是在往前走的,尽管中间少不了磕磕绊绊,克服这些磕绊也需要乐观主义;
  5. 坏事总是发生得很开,而好事需要更长的时间才发生。这就更需要我们以乐观的眼光来看待;
  6. 乐观主义让我们变得更坚韧,可以帮助我们度过一道道难关;
  7. 乐观主义是一种可以学习的,可以学会的,可以提高的能力;
  8. 我们应该保持乐观,不是因为我们问题比我们想象得简单,而是因为我们解决问题的能力要比我们以为的要大得多。

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Kevin Kelly: The Case for Optimism


It is extremely difficult to create a desirable future without first envisioning it.
History is filled with accounts of people who held an optimistic belief others thought unlikely, or even impossible.
This optimistic previsualization is a necessary component of change.
In the long run, optimists shape the future.
Civilization amplifies and accumulates cooperation between strangers.
If you expect that you can trust a stranger, that is optimism.
The default stance in any thriving civilization is optimistic: it operates on the assumption that in general, most people, most of the time, will cooperate.
Civilization requires trust; trust requires optimism; civilization requires optimism.
The best civilizations create things that take generations to build and whose benefits reward not the builders but those who come after them.
Present benefits in fact may be sacrificed for greater benefits to future generations. That is called being a good ancestor.
Thus, in order to think long term, you can’t be pessimistic. In a real sense, you must trust the future -- and that is optimism.
An optimistic longview enables us to forgo cheap gains in the short run that can pay out greater over the long haul.
Optimism enables us to reach good and great things beyond the capability of a single generation.
Because behind this expansion there is a great asymmetry: what is knowable but still unknown will always be larger than what we already know, meaning there are more possibilities waiting to be discovered than have already been discovered.
This asymmetry in knowledge is reason to be optimistic, because it means there are no limits to our improvement.
Optimism recognizes that our potential for improvement is infinite in all directions.
A fair and rational evaluation of the scientific evidence demonstrates that progress is real over historical times.
Being optimistic puts you in alignment with the long arc of history, and a part of something much bigger than yourself.
Progress is mostly about what does not happen.
Bad things happen fast, while good things take longer.
The solutions to most problems will create new problems.
Optimism is therefore inherently hard to see in real life. It is a deeper current that requires counting things carefully, not just listening to tantalizing anecdotes.
Optimism looks past the superficial to reckon with the essence of deeper change.
Optimism equips people a greater ability to deal with hardship, and less stress in their lives.
Optimism can be learned, especially by children.
Rather, optimists believe that bad things are produced by temporary causes that can be overcomed, while pessimists believe bad things always happen, and if anything good happens it’s temporary.
Everyone is born with a different bias, but a child’s assumption can be shifted toward a more optimistic and resilient view by parenting, training, and education. In this regard optimism is a skill that anyone can get better at.
Optimism is a skill that bestows resilience and adaptability.
Optimism is not utopian. It’s protopian -- a slow march toward incremental betterment.
We should be optimistic not because our problems are smaller than we thought, but because our capacity to solve them is larger than we thought.
The first driver of optimism is therefore simply a continuation and completion of the on-going industrial revolution.
Urbanization provides the benefits of density, such as higher bandwidth, and more diverse jobs.
Total urbanization is more than just making life convenient; dense urbanization leads to more, faster innovation, and prosperity for all, including those outside the urban area.
The penetration of connected devices is likely to reach 100%. This vast connection creates a huge continuous audience, a planet-scale market, and potentially unified global movements.
When all adults on a planet connect, they can cooperate at a scale and speed never before possible.
The long-term driver of progress -- automating physical jobs -- will continue, and then begin to take over non-physical chores as well.
The three chief consequences of AI will be the liberation of humans from their unwanted jobs, the explosion of new services and formerly impossible products that are co-created with AIs, and new occupations and desirable tasks for humans.
Efficiency is for robots. Ubiquitous AI is the most optimistic force we can imagine.
In the coming decades, we will switch to unlimited energy from solar, wind, hydro and nuclear. We can double our energy efficiency simply by decarbonizing the economy.
In addition to helping with climate change, electrifying everything will yield countless opportunities for business and employment in redesigning transportation, shelter, and civic infrastructure.
Almost every scientific talk or industry presentation is recorded and shared widely, and oftentimes analyzed and explained by another YouTube video.
Innovation in any field is the new norm, at least the norm to aim for.
When learning accelerates everything else does as well.
Witness the speed at which we humans created Covid-19 vaccines, and the tremendous life-and-death difference they made. Our response to the pandemic should be a cause of optimism rather than despair.
The benefits of biotech are much slower to happen than other tech, but much greater in impact. The arrival of biotech may be the best reason to be optimistic.
In fact some of the healthiest people on the planet -- professional athletes -- have constant pains and injuries as a consequence of their extraordinary achievements. Local harms are the norm.
History suggests these bleak times are temporary, and that on average, better times will come. The case for optimism is a longer-term view, and a bigger-place view.
Civilization is a worthy goal to aim for. To build a better civilization, optimism is the most rational, realistic and helpful stance to take right now.