View Poll Results: Are You Optimistic About the Future?

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Thread: Are You Optimistic About the Future?

  1. #1
    User NotEliTanenbaum's Avatar
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    Are You Optimistic About the Future?

    I see a number of factors steadily improving. All around the world, life expectancy is going up, the number of children each woman has is decreasing, and people are becoming wealthier. Even Africa grew at a rate faster than that of the West in the last decade. Do you think things will continue to improve?

    Also, I'm not sure I understand how to post a poll. If someone could help me with that it'd be wonderful.
    Last edited by NotEliTanenbaum; 06-02-12 at 10:12 PM.
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  2. #2
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    Re: Are You Optimistic About the Future?

    Quote Originally Posted by NotEliTanenbaum View Post
    I see a number of factors steadily improving. All around the world, life expectancy is going up, the number of children each woman has is decreasing, and people are becoming wealthier. Even Africa grew at a rate faster than that of the West in the last decade. Do you think things will continue to improve?

    Also, I'm not sure I understand how to post a poll. If someone could help me with that it'd be wonderful.
    Yes and no.
    It some parts of the world life, health, standard of living, peace, etc will get better. In other parts of the world. No... It wont. It will either stay the same or get worse.


  3. #3
    Skeptical Optimist
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    Re: Are You Optimistic About the Future?

    Over the next decade? No, definitely not.

    Over the next century? Yes, absolutely.
    "There is an excellent correlation between giving society what it wants and making money, and almost no correlation between the desire to make money and how much money one makes." ~Dalio

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    Re: Are You Optimistic About the Future?

    Quote Originally Posted by NotEliTanenbaum View Post
    I see a number of factors steadily improving. All around the world, life expectancy is going up, the number of children each woman has is decreasing, and people are becoming wealthier. Even Africa grew at a rate faster than that of the West in the last decade. Do you think things will continue to improve?

    Also, I'm not sure I understand how to post a poll. If someone could help me with that it'd be wonderful.

    If there is one absolutely reliable existential constant in life on this planet it is the endless stream of conflicts experienced by its inhabitants.
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  5. #5
    User NotEliTanenbaum's Avatar
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    Re: Are You Optimistic About the Future?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheDemSocialist View Post
    Yes and no.
    It some parts of the world life, health, standard of living, peace, etc will get better. In other parts of the world. No... It wont. It will either stay the same or get worse.
    That's pretty much what I think too, though I think the long-term trend for the world as a whole is positive.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rhapsody1447
    Over the next decade? No, definitely not.
    Really? I beg to differ. 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.
    Last edited by NotEliTanenbaum; 06-02-12 at 10:56 PM.
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    Re: Are You Optimistic About the Future?

    It would be terrific it things continued to get better economically. As Rhapsody said, in the next decade I don't see how it is possible. Change will come and many things will change IMHO but it's not going to be a cakewalk for a while.










    "When Faith preaches Hate, Blessed are the Doubters." - Amin Maalouf

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    Re: Are You Optimistic About the Future?

    Cautiously, yes. We live at a crossroads. I hope we choose the path towards global civilizational advancement. The other choice leads nowhere good fast.

  8. #8
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    Re: Are You Optimistic About the Future?

    I'm undecided. Either we will see total disaster within the next 20 years or so -- economic crash, maybe even a global war, near-apocalyptic conditions. But if that does not happen, yes, I am very optimistic.

    And even if it happens, hey, it can certainly only get better when you've hit the bottom, 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."

  9. #9
    User NotEliTanenbaum's Avatar
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    Re: Are You Optimistic About the Future?

    Quote Originally Posted by German guy View Post
    I'm undecided. Either we will see total disaster within the next 20 years or so -- economic crash, maybe even a global war, near-apocalyptic conditions. But if that does not happen, yes, I am very optimistic.

    And even if it happens, hey, it can certainly only get better when you've hit the bottom, right?
    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.
    Last edited by NotEliTanenbaum; 06-02-12 at 11:11 PM.
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  10. #10
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    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.
    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.
    Last edited by German guy; 06-02-12 at 11:23 PM.
    "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."

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