Futurism is nothing without the present (and the past)
There is a thing called fake futurism, in which people believe the future is all about embracing the new and the hi-tech, without any concerns about their long-term practicality and sustainability.
And those people tend to be fans of Elon Musk and the likes.
Here’s my take: if we want to a strong and bright future, we must build a well-founded present and learn from the past. Radical, right?
If you ask people what aspects of our lives we must focus on, you would have different answers. Mine would be education, health, physical environment, culture and historical literacy.
High-quality and well-balanced education gives us not only practical skills, but also the wisdom to utilise them tactfully, making sure they actually benefit us in the long run.
High-quality and affordable healthcare makes sure we are not burdened only by health conditions which modern medicine can easily overcome, but also the medical bills.
Well-cared natural environments ensure not only we do not worsen existing natural disasters and disease outbreaks, but also the longevity of our clean water, food and fresh air supply and other natural resources which — believe it or not — many businesses are dependent on.
Good urban planning — which is human-centric instead of car-centric — ensures cities are not only environmentally and financially sustainable in the long run, but also maintaining social connectivity between the residents, which can foster the uniquely local cultures and prevent isolation between individuals and groups.
Attention of cultures ensures our respective countries and even our hometowns can culturally stand out instead of seen as mere carbon copies of other places; you would not leave a deep impression if you are indistinguishable from the rest.
Learning history, including the many grave sins of our ancestors, prevents us from not only repeating their mistakes, but also romanticising the past, which can dangerously inflate our collective sense of pride, which can derail our inability to acknowledge our own collective reality.
What I say above are practically basic common sense: if we want a bright future, what we do in the present must have long-term benefits.
And obsession with the latest hi-tech is not always beneficial.
It is beneficial when the tech makes our lives more practical and efficient in the long run. But, we know damn well some of you don’t care about that.
You love electric cars and any of those “green” techs because you want to maintain your wasteful lifestyles — which are antithetical to being green — and keep filling the infinitely empty space that is your life.
You love space explorations and robots simply because pop culture makes them look cool, not realising “cool” is not the same as “useful”, not realising you want the real world to emulate fiction.
You love IT not because you want better connectivity to the rest of the world, but because you want the ability to violate privacies.
You love nuclear energy not because you want more electricity for the masses, but because you want your country to have nukes, which you can use to bomb anyone who dare to offend your fragile nationalistic ego.
You love anything new because, for some goddamn reasons, you want to entirely cut ties with the past, as if there was nothing good to preserve and learn from it.
If you have so many “duh!” moments while reading this, then this blogpost is obviously not for you and you have wasted your time.
If this blogpost blows your mind or puts you on the defensive, then it is meant for the likes of you.
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