The “rational optimists” say we’re moving in the right direction, and how can you argue against Hans Rosling’s bubble charts or Bill Gates’ multibillion dollar positivism/activism?
This morning the optimism was in high gear. Within about 10 minutes on Twitter we had
The BBC announced the Micro Bit, a potentially worthy successor to the BBC Micro, in getting kids to code. One of the lovely organisations behind it is called Technology Will Save Us.
Today we announced the launch of the BBC micro:bit. We've already begun creating hacks and… http://t.co/No3Gxx48wO pic.twitter.com/re4cPN2zzt
— TechnologyWillSaveUs (@techwillsaveus) July 7, 2015
And even better
Autonomous Cars With Artificial Intelligence Could Help Save Planet Earth – Times Gazette http://t.co/Kah4F87YAl #ai
— Theo Priestley (@ITredux) July 7, 2015
Well thats good news. But there is more.
"The internet of things could save the honeybee from extinction" http://t.co/bJ83HVeniE
— Martin Vittinghoff (@mdm_mav) July 6, 2015
Or how about reforestation?
“We are going to counter industrial scale deforestation using industrial scale reforestation” http://t.co/oZoPU618O4 amazing cc @timoreilly
— Blames Governor (@monkchips) June 19, 2015
Or perhaps we don’t need tech per se, just the power of our imaginations
Could human imagination save us from extinction? | Andrew Simms http://t.co/GuFyidTDOW Including the invitation to respond
— Richard Murphy (@RichardJMurphy) July 7, 2015
An argument based on empathy doesn’t seem so dumb when we have stuff like this
Today is a big step in our march toward equality. Gay and lesbian couples now have the right to marry, just like anyone else. #LoveWins
— President Obama (@POTUS) June 26, 2015
But then we live in a society that reveres banks over countries and communities. Optimism or not we’re clearly facing real and substantive challenges and dangers – mass extinction is pretty compelling evidence. Science is not a Cargo Cult, whatever the deniers might claim, though it increasingly looks like a religion in terms of the the faith we put in it. I am in the lucky position of being half-American so I am naturally pretty optimistic, but I am also a European so I believe in resource constraints. We all have a lot of work to do. Technology can’t save us. Only we can do that, by choosing how to use it.