We tend to be more benevolent when we judge the past. When analyzing the problems of our present, we almost always tend to the agore, tremendous analysis: there have never been events as profitable as the present ones. And when we look to the future, few people imagine colorful utopias, but rather dystopia to Blade Runner.
However, tremendous analyzes are constant in the history of mankind and have generally been exaggerated or directly false. It seems that all generations are on the edge of the Apocalypse. That the human being is getting worse. But almost all indicators point just the opposite. Given that we live surrounded by bad vibes, well, it is worth taking a look at the following six books that deal precisely with this: that we tend to be pessimistic, but that we have many reasons to be optimistic about the future, and also about the present.
Internet, 3D printers, synthetic biology, nanomaterials … technology is already changing the world for the better, much more than most of us know or imagine. The problem is that our brain is not prepared for abundance, an abundance of data, of people, of resources. Until a few days ago, we all lived with a minimum life expectancy. Now, all kinds of possibilities open before us. The main problem, however, is that we are unable to prophesy how new technologies change the world, change us, as we address in the Overexploitation Cycle: exaggerating the expectations of 2. Future perfect.
Future of Steven Johnson, has come to remind us with data, statistics and focused on how the Internet is turning individuals into a network or a more intelligent and harmonious superorganism that ultimately things will get better approach, and the future, although far from perfect, is at least approaching, step by step, towards perfection. In this book, you can also read a little more about what liquid democracy is, and how the Internet can elevate it to the new form of government. To open your mouth, I leave this article I wrote inspired by the book:
The angels we carry inside
Steven Pinker is one of the cognitive psychologists who sells the most books. How the mind works is the Bible to enter the verdicts of evolutionary psychology? The world of words and The instinct of language address issues such as universal grammar or the reason that our languages are so irregular. In Los Angeles that we have inside, Pinker tries to demonstrate with quintals of data that we are becoming less violent, less racist, more empathic, more civic. In general, the human being is going to get better. And that can go much better new technology.
I live in the future … and this is what I see
As Wired magazine defined it well, this book is “a lucid and privileged look at the near future in which people’s news, message, and identity will change radically.” Nick Bilton writes here, with close language and fun examples, how social networks and the Internet, in general, are changing the world. The world, as Belton conceives it, is experiencing the fears and fears of any society that faces the challenge of adopting new technologies. But in reality, the future offers us infinite possibilities.
The rational optimist
There are more values than ever (more cooperation and altruism, more philanthropic acts, greater social cohesion, less racism and xenophobia, greater ecological awareness, etc.). There is less violence than before (percent speaking, of course: the homicide rates in Europe of the last seven hundred years have not stopped falling at an increasingly rapid rate). We are no more materialistic and consumerist than our ancestors (percent speaking). But people always complain about the same things, regardless of the historical era: that young people ignore their elders, that we are getting worse, that values are lost, that authority is diluted, that there is more violence, etc.