View Poll Results: Are You Optimistic About the Future?

Voters
5. You may not vote on this poll
  • Yes

    3 60.00%
  • No

    2 40.00%
Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast
Results 11 to 20 of 30

Thread: Are You Optimistic About the Future?

  1. #11
    Sage
    lizzie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    between two worlds
    Last Seen
    @
    Gender
    Lean
    Libertarian
    Posts
    28,581

    Re: Are You Optimistic About the Future?

    Quote Originally Posted by NotEliTanenbaum View Post
    I don't even think a global war would put an end to the long term trends of rising life expectancy, declining birth rates, declining child mortality, etc (unless it were a nuclear war, obviously). The only things I can see really making us worse off in the long run are an enormous environmental crisis (and it would have to be really bad, as I said earlier, worse than WWII) or a Malthusian catastrophe.
    All it takes is finite resources, with a growing demand. This is the trend this planet has been on for centuries, and it won't stop at any time soon. People are consumers, and do so with great gusto. Wars and famine no longer serve as natural balancing forces, to any great extent, and the natural tendency of humankind is to take much more than he contributes to his own survival, at the individual level.
    "God is the name by which I designate all things which cross my path violently and recklessly, all things which alter my plans and intentions, and change the course of my life, for better or for worse."
    -C G Jung

  2. #12
    User NotEliTanenbaum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Southern California
    Last Seen
    08-26-12 @ 02:51 AM
    Gender
    Lean
    Slightly Liberal
    Posts
    132

    Re: Are You Optimistic About the Future?

    Quote Originally Posted by German guy View Post
    Probably that's irrational, but I fear the following scenario: Europe doesn't get its act together economically and the euro collapses. The shockwaves reach the US too. This creates massive social unrest, to the degree Europeans once again follow demagogues and turn to extremist left or right wing policies and/or civil war. Maybe left-wing demagogues of some kind gain power in Europe, and/or the governments use massive force to strike down the unrest, up to martial law.

    America, in this economic turmoil, no longer has the economic means to support a large military presence in Europe and retreats. Europe is left with next to no capability for self-defense, because European politicians were so smart to disarm everything since 1990 and leave defense to America.

    In this chaos, Russia, which has been humiliated by the West/NATO for quite a while already, time and again -- NATO today believes it can afford humiliating Russia, it's fenced in after all, right? -- sees its chance has come and the crazy old elites in military and government start an invasion on Western Europe, to finally break the Western stranglehold. The NATO generals suddenly realize they've been caught with the pants down, as the homefront collapses. Of course, such a war will not pass by without massive use of WMD.

    At that point, we can all just join R.E.M. singing "it's the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine".

    Probably this scenario is merely a worst case scenario -- but I don't believe it is unrealistic.
    That's unrealistic, but even if it were, it's not worse than WWII and the Holocaust (unless of course it got nuclear). And it would have to be worse than both combined to make the world worse off at the end of the decade, as you can see below.

    Are You Optimistic About the Future?-world-gdp-pc-3-jpg

    As you can see, the world got richer during the 40s, despite both catastrophes. Likewise, life expectancy also went up during the decade.

    Are You Optimistic About the Future?-le02-gif

    Quote Originally Posted by lizzie
    All it takes is finite resources, with a growing demand. This is the trend this planet has been on for centuries, and it won't stop at any time soon. People are consumers, and do so with great gusto. Wars and famine no longer serve as natural balancing forces, to any great extent, and the natural tendency of humankind is to take much more than he contributes to his own survival, at the individual level.
    I am also concerned about the possibility of a Malthusian catastrophe, and there are certainly arguments to be made that there will be one. Fortunately, Malthus has been wrong in the 2 and a half centuries since he was born, and I hope he continues to be wrong. Though I hesitatingly believe he will keep being wrong, you're right that there are reasons for concern.
    Last edited by NotEliTanenbaum; 06-02-12 at 11:53 PM.
    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_otfwl2zc6Qc/So_72qE1VvI/AAAAAAAALDY/N2821iRurlg/s400/mfg.jpg

  3. #13
    Sage
    German guy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Berlin, Germany
    Last Seen
    08-24-17 @ 06:57 AM
    Gender
    Lean
    Moderate
    Posts
    5,187

    Re: Are You Optimistic About the Future?

    Quote Originally Posted by NotEliTanenbaum View Post
    That's unrealistic, but even if it were, it's not worse than WWII and the Holocaust (unless of course it got nuclear). And it would have to be worse than both combined to make the world worse off at the end of the decade, as you can see below.

    Are You Optimistic About the Future?-world-gdp-pc-3-jpg

    As you can see, the world got richer during the 40s, despite both catastrophes. Likewise, life expectancy also went up during the decade.

    Are You Optimistic About the Future?-le02-gif
    I know now you ARE optimistic!

    I hope you are right.
    "Not learning from mistakes is worse than committing mistakes. When you don't allow yourself to make mistakes, it is hard to be tolerant of others and it does not allow even God to be merciful."

  4. #14
    Banned
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Oslo, Norway
    Last Seen
    07-07-16 @ 08:11 PM
    Gender
    Lean
    Slightly Conservative
    Posts
    2,854

    Re: Are You Optimistic About the Future?

    Quote Originally Posted by NotEliTanenbaum View Post
    Even WWII didn't do enough damage to disrupt these trends in the 40s. If you think things are going to get worse in the next decade, you have to acknowledge that you're suggesting something worse than WWII is going to happen in that decade.
    What makes you think improving living standards are inevitable. That is certanly not true in the past. Sub-saharan life expectancy has dropped.

    Also, Europe is in big trouble. They are having the problems due to the eurozone, but in the middle of this euro crisis we are forgetting other European problems, such as
    - youth who are not able to get into the labout market and are not qualified.
    - Immigration of people who mostly end up on the dole. In Europe this is a big problem because many of the new immigrants are belivers in radical islam, and that causes culture clash.
    - The rise of the populist left. Which is far right xenophobic positions combined with far left economical positions. If the past is any indicator, that is not a recipe for success.
    - Aging, people are not getting enough children. Not enough children means too many old people for every person in working age.

    US have many of the same problems. Asia, is not getting enough children at all, and that risk destroying their finances. They seems to be unable to increase their fertility rate. Africa's population is growing out of control, their fertility rate is stuck at high levels in many African countries. After a while, they won't be able to support themselves. So I am not very positive about the future.

    However, there is some countries who inspire hope. South Ameirca is doing decently well, and so is China and India. They will bring a lot of people out of poverty.

  5. #15
    User NotEliTanenbaum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Southern California
    Last Seen
    08-26-12 @ 02:51 AM
    Gender
    Lean
    Slightly Liberal
    Posts
    132

    Re: Are You Optimistic About the Future?

    Quote Originally Posted by Camlon View Post
    What makes you think improving living standards are inevitable. That is certanly not true in the past. Sub-saharan life expectancy has dropped.

    Also, Europe is in big trouble. They are having the problems due to the eurozone, but in the middle of this euro crisis we are forgetting other European problems, such as
    - youth who are not able to get into the labout market and are not qualified.
    - Immigration of people who mostly end up on the dole. In Europe this is a big problem because many of the new immigrants are belivers in radical islam, and that causes culture clash.
    - The rise of the populist left. Which is far right xenophobic positions combined with far left economical positions. If the past is any indicator, that is not a recipe for success.
    - Aging, people are not getting enough children. Not enough children means too many old people for every person in working age.

    US have many of the same problems. Asia, is not getting enough children at all, and that risk destroying their finances. They seems to be unable to increase their fertility rate. Africa's population is growing out of control, their fertility rate is stuck at high levels in many African countries. After a while, they won't be able to support themselves. So I am not very positive about the future.

    However, there is some countries who inspire hope. South Ameirca is doing decently well, and so is China and India. They will bring a lot of people out of poverty.
    The life expectancy of a few Sub-Saharan African countries have dropped, but for Sub-Saharan Africa as a whole, it has not. When you look at the trend for Sub-Saharan Africa as a whole it looks like this. It takes a very small drop from 49.58 to 49.34 over the course of a few years, then begins promptly rising again. Some places were obviously hit very hard, like Botswana, which was previously Africa's fastest growing country. But the life expectancy of most of those countries have been rising lately. All countries face some very hard challenges ahead. But as for the really big, important things, like the world's life expectancy, child mortality and population growth, most have been getting better lately.
    Last edited by NotEliTanenbaum; 06-03-12 at 12:14 AM.
    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_otfwl2zc6Qc/So_72qE1VvI/AAAAAAAALDY/N2821iRurlg/s400/mfg.jpg

  6. #16
    Banned
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Oslo, Norway
    Last Seen
    07-07-16 @ 08:11 PM
    Gender
    Lean
    Slightly Conservative
    Posts
    2,854

    Re: Are You Optimistic About the Future?

    Quote Originally Posted by NotEliTanenbaum View Post
    The life expectancy of a few Sub-Saharan African countries have dropped, but for Sub-Saharan Africa as a whole, it has not. When you look at the trend for Sub-Saharan Africa as a whole it looks. It takes a very small drop from 49.58 to 49.34 over the course of a few years, then begins promptly rising again. Some places were obviously hit very hard, like Botswana, which was previously Africa's fastest growing country. But the life expectancy of most of those countries have been rising lately. All countries face some very hard challenges ahead. But as for the really big, important things, like the world's life expectancy, child mortality and population growth, most have been getting better lately.
    Well, that is because sub-Saharan Africa includes countries such as Nigeria who did not get hit by aids. If you look at the countries hit by AIDS, their life expectancy have dropped massively. AIDS can spread further north. Point is, not everything is getting better, so your argument that we always have been getting better is wrong. Of course you decided to change your point to something I don't disagree with. I do agree, generally, things have been getting better.

    In the future, that is going to be true for developing countries due to the rise of India, China, South America, and parts of Africa. But the western world (especially Europe, and Japan) is getting worse, and Africa has a ticking population bomb.
    Last edited by Camlon; 06-03-12 at 12:36 AM.

  7. #17
    User NotEliTanenbaum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Southern California
    Last Seen
    08-26-12 @ 02:51 AM
    Gender
    Lean
    Slightly Liberal
    Posts
    132

    Re: Are You Optimistic About the Future?

    Quote Originally Posted by Camlon View Post
    Well, that is because sub-Saharan Africa includes countries such as Nigeria who did not get hit by aids. If you look at the countries hit by AIDS, their life expectancy have dropped massively. AIDS can spread further north. Point is, not everything is getting better, so your argument that we always have been getting better is wrong. Of course you decided to change your point to something I don't disagree with. I do agree, generally, things have been getting better. In the future, that is going to be true for developing countries due to the rise of India, China, South America, and parts of Africa.
    I completely agree that the life expectancies of a few countries that were hit by AIDS have dropped massively, and that not everybody is becoming better off all the time. My original point was that for the world as a whole, things are getting better.

    Quote Originally Posted by Camlon
    But the western world (especially Europe, and Japan) is getting worse,
    In Europe and Japan, certainly. But the recession in the United States ended back in 2009, and we've been growing (albeit very slowly) since then. But that's not my point. My point is that for the world as a whole, things are in general getting better.

    Quote Originally Posted by Camlon
    ...and Africa has a ticking population bomb.
    Possibly, but I'm not so sure.
    Last edited by NotEliTanenbaum; 06-03-12 at 12:55 AM.
    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_otfwl2zc6Qc/So_72qE1VvI/AAAAAAAALDY/N2821iRurlg/s400/mfg.jpg

  8. #18
    Discount Philosopher
    specklebang's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Las Vegas
    Last Seen
    06-05-14 @ 08:26 PM
    Lean
    Other
    Posts
    11,524

    Re: Are You Optimistic About the Future?

    This is what I think the world will be like, sort of. I also think that governments will become more powerful, more complex and more intrusive to maintain order with billions of richer, longer lived, wasteful consumers.

    Its not for me to judge this to be good or bad. Just different.


    The Marching Morons Full text of the story at this link

    [QUOTE]FROM WIKIPEDIA
    "The Marching Morons" is a science fiction story written by Cyril M. Kornbluth, originally published in Galaxy in April 1951. It was included in The Science Fiction Hall of Fame, Volume Two after being voted one of the best novellas up to 1965.
    The story is set hundreds of years in the future: the date is 7-B-936. John Barlow, a man from the past put into suspended animation by a freak accident involving a dental drill and anesthesia, is revived in this future. The world seems mad to Barlow until Tinny-Peete explains the Problem of Population: Due to a combination of intelligent people not having children and excessive breeding by less intelligent people, the world is full of morons, with the exception of an elite few who work slavishly to keep order. Barlow, who was a shrewd real estate con man in his day, has a solution to sell to the elite, in exchange for being made World Dictator.[/QUOTE]

  9. #19
    User NotEliTanenbaum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Southern California
    Last Seen
    08-26-12 @ 02:51 AM
    Gender
    Lean
    Slightly Liberal
    Posts
    132

    Re: Are You Optimistic About the Future?

    Quote Originally Posted by specklebang View Post
    This is what I think the world will be like, sort of. I also think that governments will become more powerful, more complex and more intrusive to maintain order with billions of richer, longer lived, wasteful consumers.

    Its not for me to judge this to be good or bad. Just different.


    The Marching Morons Full text of the story at this link

    [QUOTE]FROM WIKIPEDIA
    "The Marching Morons" is a science fiction story written by Cyril M. Kornbluth, originally published in Galaxy in April 1951. It was included in The Science Fiction Hall of Fame, Volume Two after being voted one of the best novellas up to 1965.
    The story is set hundreds of years in the future: the date is 7-B-936. John Barlow, a man from the past put into suspended animation by a freak accident involving a dental drill and anesthesia, is revived in this future. The world seems mad to Barlow until Tinny-Peete explains the Problem of Population: Due to a combination of intelligent people not having children and excessive breeding by less intelligent people, the world is full of morons, with the exception of an elite few who work slavishly to keep order. Barlow, who was a shrewd real estate con man in his day, has a solution to sell to the elite, in exchange for being made World Dictator.


    The idea behind "The Marching Morons," is interesting, but I think a lot of geneticists would not agree that the idea presented in the story is likely to become of problem.
    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_otfwl2zc6Qc/So_72qE1VvI/AAAAAAAALDY/N2821iRurlg/s400/mfg.jpg

  10. #20
    Guru
    JohnWOlin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Kentucky
    Last Seen
    01-17-17 @ 08:15 PM
    Gender
    Lean
    Moderate
    Posts
    3,594

    Re: Are You Optimistic About the Future?

    I am indifferent on the future. My future is solely focused on my daughter, my wife, and being better than as many people as possible. Making sure I prepare my daughter to lead a life far better than my own. Everything else is just a bonus to me. As for the rest of the world's problems I am mostly what you would call a jingoist and nationalist I guess, I care more about what happens to my country and it's people than others. If those other countries are directly linked to my countries well being of course I will care for what happens to them, but if it does not directly effect my country, I could really care less. I have to many things to worry about already.
    "We’re going to close the unproductive tax loopholes that allow some of the truly wealthy to avoid paying their fair share. In theory, some of those loopholes were understandable, but in practice they sometimes made it possible for millionaires to pay nothing, while a bus driver was paying ten percent of his salary, and that’s crazy." -Reagan

Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •