Our Pronoiac Heroes, Part 1

Colin Wilson, philosopher of optimism

Whereas in the past optimism had been regarded as rather shallow — because “oh well, it’s just your temperament, you happen to be just a cheerful sort of person” — what I wanted to do was to establish that in fact it is the pessimists who are allowing all kinds of errors to creep into their work.

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Radical Optimism Is the Most Rebellious Stance You Can Take

“We are becoming healthier, cleaner, smarter, kinder, happier, and more peaceful.”

Matt Ridley gave a talk at the Long Now Foundation’s Seminar of Long Term Thinking called “Deep Optimism”. Ridley is the author of a recent book, The Rational Optimist, where he makes the case that human culture was created not by language (conventional wisdom) but by the exchange of ideas. That’s a useful theory, but not upsetting. Much more provocative and powerful is Ridley’s larger thesis that progress is real, enduring, widely spread, and for the near future, unlimited. In other words, civilization as a whole is (and has been) experiencing real progress, in most dimensions, and for most people, not just the privileged. And further, this goodness shows no signs of stopping.

Justice Is Spreading

Bolivia passes laws granting the natural world basic rights

Bolivia is set to pass the world’s first laws granting all nature equal rights to humans. The Law of Mother Earth, now agreed by politicians and grassroots social groups, redefines the country’s rich mineral deposits as “blessings” and is expected to lead to radical new conservation and social measures to reduce pollution and control industry.