Author Topic: Optimism Thread  (Read 91 times)

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Offline MH

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Optimism Thread
« on: January 13, 2021, 09:15:48 am »
I will curate this heavily for positivity and will cage and tag negativity as time permits !   ;D

Now - what has improved over the last 20-30-40-50 years ?

I can think of a few things:

1. Choices - in terms of lifestyle, of consumer and entertainment choices ... there are a lot more ways to explore and to express yourself. 

2. Quality of culture.  There's more but that means there's more better.  I imagine there's more worse too, but I don't follow that.  And remember when the big concern was violence in the movies and on TV ?  I think that that just... changed.  They put warnings on things - which the artists railed against somewhat - but it also made it easier to separate out what you were looking for.  And maybe there's less violence in mainstream because... well who wants it ?

I'm particularly interested in #2.  What d'ya think ?

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Offline the_squid

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Re: Optimism Thread
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2021, 11:20:16 am »
The world has never known as peaceful a time as now.

Quote
The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined is a 2011 book by Steven Pinker, in which the author argues that violence in the world has declined both in the long run and in the short run and suggests explanations as to why this has occurred.[1] The book uses data simply documenting declining violence across time and geography. This paints a picture of massive declines in violence of all forms, from war, to improved treatment of children. He highlights the role of nation-state monopolies on force, of commerce (making "other people become more valuable alive than dead"), of increased literacy and communication (promoting empathy), as well as a rise in a rational problem-solving orientation as possible causes of this decline in violence. He notes that, paradoxically, our impression of violence has not tracked this decline, perhaps because of increased communication,[2] and that further decline is not inevitable, but is contingent on forces harnessing our better motivations such as empathy and increases in reason.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Better_Angels_of_Our_Nature

Great book.
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Offline eyeball

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Re: Optimism Thread
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2021, 11:41:26 am »
I will curate this heavily for positivity and will cage and tag negativity as time permits !   ;D

Now - what has improved over the last 20-30-40-50 years ?

I can think of a few things:

1. Choices - in terms of lifestyle, of consumer and entertainment choices ... there are a lot more ways to explore and to express yourself.

2. Quality of culture.  There's more but that means there's more better.  I imagine there's more worse too, but I don't follow that.  And remember when the big concern was violence in the movies and on TV ?  I think that that just... changed.  They put warnings on things - which the artists railed against somewhat - but it also made it easier to separate out what you were looking for.  And maybe there's less violence in mainstream because... well who wants it ?

I'm particularly interested in #2.  What d'ya think ?
I think # 1 could use a little more thought.  People seem to have a lot fewer choices these days living in their hunkered down state at home and have less opportunity for expression outside their bubbles due to that as well. For some OTOH there has been a greater opportunity for self-reflection and improving the quality of one's self-exploration. There's been a lot of discussion and concern about mental health but there's also reports that suicide rates are down which suggests people are finding the means to be comfortable in their situation and skins.  People have invested in doing things to make their homes more livable. I was kind of embarking on a purge of clearing out all the crap I've gathered in 40 years of living on the same land when the need to stay home and finding comfort in a more minimalist existence.

I suppose there will be an explosion of pent up desire to consume and especially travel when things settle down but I wonder how much that will be tempered by a been-there-done-that attitude and as an appreciation for a more relaxed laid-back less consumptive lifestyle that's focused on yourself your home and family has had a chance to seep into our culture.  The planet could sure benefit from less consumption too.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2021, 11:43:22 am by eyeball »

Offline MH

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Re: Optimism Thread
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2021, 12:07:03 pm »
1. I think # 1 could use a little more thought.  People seem to have a lot fewer choices these days living in their hunkered down state at home and have less opportunity for expression outside their bubbles due to that as well. 
2.I wonder how much that will be tempered by a been-there-done-that attitude and as an appreciation for a more relaxed laid-back less consumptive lifestyle that's focused on yourself your home and family has had a chance to seep into our culture. 
3.The planet could sure benefit from less consumption too.

1. An optimistic take is Covid is a blip.  A big blip.  A blip.
2. I dunno.  I am thinking big street parties.
3. Yes.  Less consumption, fewer transactions, more time and more security.

The 'choices' I talked about were basic consumable choices.
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Offline Gorgeous Graham

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Re: Optimism Thread
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2021, 03:01:48 pm »
1.  I agree with choices.

2. Quantity of culture has increased, this brings positives and negatives.  Quality of culture has also changed i agree, again in some ways this has been a good improvement and some ways it's been bad.

3.  Technology.  Easier and cheaper to travel than ever, so much to do in the world, more than ever.  Technology brings more kinds of communication, the internet, smartphones.  Obviously there's social and psychological and environment downsides to technology too.

Most everything has good and bad qualities to them.  Change means adding means good and bad things to society that wasn't there before, while removing good and bad things that used to be there in favour of the new thing added.

Ie: Better food technology has meant positives like bigger crop yields, cheaper & more varied food, less hunger/famine in the world and less malnutrition.  These new tech have also introduced negatives like destruction of natural grassland habitats, polluting waterways & air, cancer/disease from pesticides, unhealthy additives in food, alarming increases in obesity/heart disease/diabetes etc.

When there are changes the trick is to add the positives of the new thing while mitigating the negative effects, and when removing something old trying to keep some of the positives in the older ways while removing the negatives.  I think we've embraced a lot of the positives of new additions to our society, but have largely ignored and thus failed in mitigating the negatives, while also erasing some of the positives society had in the "older ways".
I can tell how good of a person you are by how you treat the people you disagree with.
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Offline MH

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Re: Optimism Thread
« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2021, 09:09:11 am »
Obviously there's social and psychological and environment downsides to technology too.
 

Mentally, we are all scrunched into an elevator.  Clay Shirky is a tech futurist who wrote "Here comes everybody"

But the closer you are, the more connected you are: in the long term it aligns our goals more closely.