Everything is awful. Terror is on the rise, the oceans are threatening our shores, humans are heartless, pitiless, and endlessly greedy. If we keep going the way we’re going we will be hollow ghosts haunting a corn husk moon, our civilization returned to dust.
Time’s running out. We fear. We long for escape. We all succumb to fire, disease, and sloth. There’s not a lot to be thankful for.
But it’s getting better.
We have mastered many infectious diseases and we can manage life expectancy and infant mortality with some degree of success. Most of us survive past the first few hours of life these days. We can be thankful for that.
We control the skies. We can move humans from one place to the next in a few hours and we reap the benefits of a globalized economy. We are hard at work at lower-polluting cars and other vehicles. We are hard at work pulling our homes and cities off of the antiquated grid. Soon cities will glisten with photovoltaic cells and bristle will connectivity devices. If we are fair and kind we will share this technology with the world and pull millions out of poverty.
We have machines that can build other machines. We have robots that help the elderly live full lives. We have systems that can spot strange attractors and cancers with equal precision. We have landed a little robot on Mars and then sent another on a comet rocketing through time and space. We are beyond our ken yet still yearn to venture further.
We have created engines of change and commerce around the world. Spots that were once considered backwaters now have thriving entrepreneurial scenes. Men and women around the world have quit their jobs and taken their lives in their own hands. The corporations that strangled our creativity are now longing for our ideas. We are entering a strange new era of self-sufficiency and, thanks to nearly universal health care, we can escape the treadmill of a career and build something.
Violence is hidden to most of us, most of us never know its victims. Many of us can eat. The enemies of rational thought are fading. We are entering an era that will bring us beyond superstition. We are growing and the outliers, the paroxysms of violence we see are few and far between – but no less jarring or tragic.
Again, this is not to say that everything is perfect. If you’re reading this then you probably have the benefit of clean water, shelter, and technology. If you’re reading this you owe great thinkers for your success and your survival. Your goal is to be the next great thinker. Help others with your creativity and your skill. Help others as much as you can.
Everything is awful. As I sit here on Thanksgiving Day I’m trying to not to feel afraid even though I fear for my children’s future. I’m trying not to feel angry although some media tells me to be furious. I’m trying not to feel despair although I know that despair is our lot.
I’m trying to accept all of this work with you to solve it. I’m trying to appreciate what we all have. I want to relax. I also want to say that we here at TC love you all, all of you who work and strive and create to build a better world. You guys are amazing. Happy Thanksgiving. Things are awful but it’s getting better.