Letters from the Lunar Outpost

When you’re talking about the world as a whole, it’s not often you find people who actually think the future will be getting better for the world, which stands to follow as most people would also tell you that things today just aren’t what they used to be.

Perhaps we have an inclination to view things this way. From a psychological standpoint, it would be understandable, it’s easy to have a nostalgic fondness for the days of our own youth and as far as the youth of today, well don’t even get me started on the youth of today!

I think that’s a pretty common reflex, to imagine that the values of our generation, our culture, our music and the trends of our times far out shine those of the current generation. I think about this and I have a hard time being sure if rap music really sucks, or if it only sucks because of some reflexive disdain I might have for today’s pop culture. You know what though? Let’s be honest, rap music sucks regardless of any generational bias.

But for most, there really is a widespread persistence of pessimism towards what the future holds for this world. Even for most of those who have prospered to where they’re better off than where they came from, if you ask them about the big scheme of things, most would still tell you the world is not as grand as it used to be. It’s such a common sentiment in fact, that I imagine it’s probably hard-wired into us, this nostalgia for the bygone time, the belief that things aren’t as good now as they were back then and if they aren’t as good now as they were then, well, it only stands to reason that humanity’s lot in life is only going to get worse in the future.

So with all this inclination towards viewing today as not as good as yesteryear, and the future as being bleaker still, we might be well-served to balance that with the actual data presented in this wonderfully produced video, data that suggests that mankind’s lot in life is only getting better:

How do you envision the future of humanity?

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Doris Kearns Goodwin