Tuesday 5 July 2022

Why we cannot, anymore, imagine a future

 I find it striking how utopian "spiritual people" were, right into the 1990s, and with a much diminished group struggling on until 2012... After which I judge that nobody Really believes in a better future.

My understanding is that this is because a (more or less) good future was possible up to the Millennium - but not beyond. 

After 2000, the triumph of global evil, collapse and apocalypse was baked in... 


Ron Tomlinson said...

I'm nostalgic for times when we did imagine exciting futures, however unrealistic those futures may have been.

Gary Bleasdale said...

If you're looking for a highly active, thoughtful group of people who do believe in a better future (without thinking it's guaranteed), then look into the Bitcoin community. Particularly, the hardcore, so-called "maximalist" faction.

Bruce Charlton said...

@GB - Not sure if you are serious or joking!

Anonymous said...

I'm serious, although I understand why it may seem like I'm joking if you're unfamiliar.

I presume we are talking about a 'better world'/utopia in a fairly worldly sense in this post, yes? A world with more 'justice', 'liberty', 'order', 'abundance', etc.

At any rate, you may disagree with the bitcoin maximalists (I presume you would, but who knows), but it's hard to argue that they cannot envisage a much better world than what we have now!

Bruce Charlton said...

Ah, ok. To me, bitcoin is such a micro issue, at most a tweak to a subsystem; that it would not even register on the scale as a better-world view. If that is indeed the greatest positive modern motivator, then it confirms my point that we cannot any more imagine a better world.

No Longer Reading said...

I think cryptocurrency really did at one time have the potential to be a strong force for good.

Since financial and economic strongarming is one of the most powerful tools of the System (applied to individuals, businesses, and even entire countries), if there was some way to circumvent this, then that would be greatly beneficial.

But the masters of the System know this very well. And so, if crytpocurrency ever started to really become part of a parallel economy, the System would use every trick in the book and out of it to attack both the currency itself and its inventors.

And no government would want their financial power weakened, so no powerful government in the West or out of it would directly support or shelter someone in such a situation.

So, anyone who wanted to develop such a technology would have to be willing to sacrifice money, status, security, and possibly even their life. And I can't really blame people for
not wanting to be a martyr for crypto. The only sort of person who could do it would be someone with a religious motivation for developing it.

Bruce Charlton said...

@NLR. The deep problem is that crypto currency is another attempt to make a system so perfect that nobody needs to be good (TS Eliot). That is impossible and the attempt is corrupting. Good (good motivated) Men must come first.