The beautiful ones are dead. The brave ones are yet to be born, and the sullen ones are here.
I want to drop a conspiracy—a thought, really.
Is there truly a beautiful future to look to?
Or is our past the best years we would have?
Although you might want to assign these thoughts to either being pessimistic or optimistic, maybe you shouldn’t. Outlining the con and pros of our shared future is the best way to progress into it with our eyes open somewhat blindly. We can as well say all will be well and watch our world crumble to the dystopias we so dread from novels.
It must be so obvious which side I have taken acquaintance; I did not intend it to be so obvious. Well, apologies because this will be a very biased article, and for a good cause, of course.
Last week, I took up a book, and I do not recall the title. However, it was a sort of debate — an intellectual debate between four individuals about whether it gets better or, sadly, we have already seen the best. It was thought-provoking. Hence, this post.
There were mentions of the significant reduction in nuclear weapons, which means we may be close to denuclearization. I was awed at first.
“What progress we have made!”
“How insightful! Maybe in 2050, nukes would be the terrifying night stories we tell our children.”
Unfortunately, this hopeful glimpse was blurred by what was going on in Russia and Ukraine. The war was more eye-opening than anything in years of how powerful nuclear weapons are. More so, how dreadful the threat to use it can be.
Indeed, a nuclear weapon is that potent. And all it takes is an irrational man and a little button to start a full-blown nuclear war. And maybe there might be no 2050 storytelling because there might not be any 2050 altogether.
There were also several mentions of how posterity is on the rise. How countries’ GDP per Capital, especially in Africa, is rising, and poverty is slowly leaving. There were talks of where science can take us. A paradise indeed! The world we called a utopia while growing up. But is there not more to it? These innovations and inventions, must there be a cost? Our environment? Our happiness? Our health?
It is easy to look beyond the cons of a thing when we are so fixated on its pros. For example, take social media; was it a good invention? I am sure you muttered yes under your breath. At least you could send a Happy Mothering Sunday text to your mum without even having to stand up. The number of benefits might outweigh the setbacks. But does it mean it cancels them out?
Young adults get more and more depressed because of social media. Our dependence on the internet and phones have altered our brains’ activities. Deep face-to-face conversations are starting to fade and dilute. Empathy is slowly becoming numb since now we can easily describe our concern with emojis. Social interaction crumbles…
Although these problems are no one’s fault, they exemplify how good intentions can include adverse effects. Maybe gene therapy would make our children smart, more attractive, and physically adept, but do we know what we might be giving away? Oh, maybe we do. Imagine a world with perfect humans.
I am not pessimistic. I hope for a better world, but it is hard to say if that will happen. Suppose a digital revolution would not become the new problem. Although we no longer have world-scale famine or drought, we still have inequalities. Is there a better world for us? Can we conceive/make a world with no form of inequality and happiness? Moreover, is global warming genuinely going to end?
I did not want to saturate this article with facts. I could have done it. But what will they help if you would still disdain them? Yes, we have come a long way. Even the most pessimistic can’t entirely deny it without a glint in their eyes. The past is way worse than the present, but doesn’t that mean the future will be better?
Mark Manson says pain never truly goes away; it only changes form. Maybe the form it takes in coming years is bearable and less disgusting.
Let’s hope we are not turned to dust and ashes by two people trying to display the power of nukes. Let’s hope we don’t unleash an epidemic on our attempt to alter make-up. Let’s hope these digitals don’t do much more harm than good.
I don’t know what the future holds, but maybe looking for the worst in it will help us find suitable solutions. Or maybe, we keep hoping that the future is good for us.