• Existential Hope

  • Lurking existential risks are omnipresent in our future trajectory: Climate change, pandemics, nuclear war, risks of AI accident, misuse, or rogue AI are quite sobering and make one seriously doubt whether we’ll make it through the century. While risks are important, they put the cart before the horse: focusing solely on how catastrophic human extinction would be, misses the point that extinction is only so bad because the alternative is SO good: the futures that we can create if we don’t get wiped out. These are beautiful beyond imagination.

     

    Optimistic visions like these do something to us, they tickle a different part of our mind than neutral assessments of risks, or the currently all too seductive doomsday propagations we’re racing toward. So if we care about a long-term future for sentient beings, the best way to bring this about is not by just focusing on the risks preventing us from getting there but on the visions that remind us of why we absolutely have to get there.

     

    This is why I created this index of readings, podcasts, videos, projects, and organizations that inspire a positive long-term vision for humanity, one with existential hope. The list begins with items that lay out a vision of why we should care about the long-term future, and where we might be if we overcome the risks that we’re all so worried about. It continues with inspiring work that is being done in individual focus areas, like AI & Cyberspace, or Society & Economics and finishes with a toolkit that individuals can put to work to increase the likelihood of these envisioned futures becoming reality. It focuses on Utopia, and why it’s neither impossible nor boring.

     

    But the project is in its infancy, so please add your favorite readings, tools for world-improvement you’ve come across, podcasts that motivate you, organizations you’re a member of, websites you sift through, good people you follow, action-items and advice.

     

    Let's index our knowledge, share it, and act on it to create the futures we live for. Please reach out to me with questions and suggestions:

    Allison Duettmann - a.duettmann@foresight.org