A Glimmer of Pronoia for the Poor and Sick

For impoverished women with cancer, there’s a special clinic that provides alternative medicine for free.

To a poverty-stricken woman living with cancer, the thought of a free massage or acupuncture treatment to soothe her chronic pain and emotional fatigue may seem like a far-flung pipe dream.

Yet even in these hard times, angels live among us.

Zoom and Bloom, Not Doom and Gloom

7 Best-Case Scenarios for the Future of Humanity

Most science fictional and futurist visions of the future tend towards the negative — and for good reason. Our environment is a mess, we have a nasty tendency to misuse technologies, and we’re becoming increasingly capable of destroying ourselves. But civilizational demise is by no means guaranteed. Should we find a way to manage the risks and avoid dystopic outcomes, our far future looks astonishingly bright. Here are seven best-case scenarios for the future of humanity.

Pronoia from the Future

Germany exports more energy than ever. The surplus is due to the massive development of renewable energies.

Germany exported the equivalent of the output of two large power stations – 12.3 terawatt hours – during the first three quarters of the year, according to a preliminary report from the German Association of Energy and Water Industries (BDEW), seen by the business weekly Manager Magazin.

By comparison, Germany had to import more than it exported over the first three quarters of last year, when the balance was -0.2 terawatt hours. But that was the exception during recent years – since 2006, Germany has consistently exported well over five terawatt hours more than it has imported.

Pronoia from Below

The Occupy movement evolves, showing all of us rabble-rousing progressives how to build a mass movement and transform the way the political process works: Start at the grassroots by helping people in need.

There is a sense of camaraderie reminiscent of Zuccotti, as young people plan the day’s activities. Donations come in by the truckload and are sorted in the basement, which looks like a clearinghouse for every household product imaginable, from canned soup and dog food to duvet covers.

“This is young people making history,” said Mark Naison, a professor at Fordham University who has been studying Occupy Wall Street. “Young people who are refusing to let people suffer without putting themselves on the line to do something about it.”

Another Outbreak of Human Ingenuity and Inventiveness

Teenage girls from Africa invented a new kind of generator.

How’s this for an innovative startup: four African girls — the eldest of which is just fifteen years old — have worked together to invent a generator that’s powered by urine. The group presented their creation at this year’s Maker Faire Africa, and it’s so freaking brilliant it makes me want travel back in time and punch 15-year-old me right in the solar plexus.