Time Horizons in Terrible Times

Updated 14-Sep-2023

For various reasons, now is a terrible time (in the world). (Note: this is 2018, and we thought that was terrible. 2020 laughs hysterically at you.) At the same time, my own time horizons have shifted due to having young children. My eldest may graduate from high school in 15 years, give or take a year or two. Fifteen years from now is 2033, which is a bit mind boggling. Though to be honest, 2018 is a bit crazy as well, having snuck up on us, in some respects.

How can our actions remain relevant in the face of the likely dramatic and mostly unknown changes we will face by 2033? This is an actual question that deserves at least a method, an approach. To begin, it seems that we need an understanding the kind of world we hope it might be and the skills and abilities needed to get it there.

  • Human and humane
  • The robots have not taken over (everything, yet)
  • Resiliant, and moreso, able to rebound from severe shock (antifragility)

What is most plausible as important and relevant to that time in the future includes:

  • War for talent and winner-take-all trends continue
  • Population demographics will shift, but current living populations and at least some continuation of demographic trends will have important effects
    • China and Thailand will be in population decline; India will have likely added 200m to its population and surpased China as most populous; USA will have increased by 10% to 360m. Indonesia will have increased by nearly 15% with likely 300m.

Regarding some of the bad actors, I sure hope that by 2033 we see a vast diminishment of Facebook, at the very least. We need to see it as a very bad actor (profiting from and thereby enabling bad actors), and as something to shun. Gamification in general seems to be a bad idea, since it develops short-term reward-seeking behavior and has implications for personality development and psychological health.

The ability to think deeply and reason effectively, and to fundamentally love truth and love wisdom. And with this kind of impetus to also include a strong safety net and services dealing with public health both physical and mental.

A bias towards action and foremost action that is directed to realizing a better outcome in the world. Mere consumerism and mere activism are neither not enough. Embodying the mustering of forced directed toward the long term in a bohemian lifestyle rather than a political movement. That is a better lived reality, and one that is harder to attack and overturn. Yet it is fundamentally committed and progressive.