Human progress and flourishing proponent and communicator. Progress studies writer, researcher, and thinker. Energy Project Manager. Asia-Pacific Twitter: @tonymmorley 📈
Absolutely, so many people, so many stories. It's beyond challenging to fit a grand narrative into 1,500 words or less, and then pass it through professional editors. As I wrote I thought you myself, "this could be a feature length book in itself." Some of the story is clearly not the full story, but I stand behind the overarching narrative.
Hey Heike, welcome to the community. I've taken you up on the opportunity to reach out, and I've dashed you an email this afternoon, your time. You're embarking on an important and much-needed scope of work, helping shape the future zeitgeist of humanity. One of the existential risks that are little spoken of, is a global culture that's willing to throw in the towel on civilization, to turn its back on progress, and embrace a return to the dark ages of deglobalization, and anti-solutionism.
There are many roadblocks to solving the great challenges of civilization, and to continue to drive progress forward, however, none of these challenges can be addressed if we don't believe that they are surmountable in the first place. Today the average global citizen is living in an age with the highest average global living standards, and yet progress forward isn't progress completed. Building a better future requires, first believing it's possible, and then making it happen. The world can be a much better place, and it's our job to do something about it.
Welcome again, I look forward to following your work.
Preface: If we assume that a global zeitgeist of degrowth, anti-solutionism, pessimism, national tribalism, de-enlightenment, and de-globalization — creates a non-trivial risk to future human progress, then
Q: What might reasonably be done by the progress studies community to move the zeitgeist? Or is it too little, by too few, coming too late? It's sometimes difficult not to see the entirety of the progress movement as a drop in the ocean of doom-centric media.
Hey mate, thank you kindly for the comment. With a budget of $100k, you could certainly do a lot. The team at Gapminder put together a data collection package for their Dollar Street project, which is an excellent basic starting point. A few interesting developments from the last post, 1. I submitted an O’Shaughnessy Fellowship application to dedicate a year to progress studies, and 2. I was offered a possible opportunity by a friend and coworker to receive some ground support via himself and his family in Rwanda, possibly in June of 2023, opening a window to secure block 1/10 or run a pilot block 0/10 test.
Some of the data collection points I had in mind were,
In post-production, the census, drone, and satellite data could be used to calculate increases in structure density, etc. I already tested this for the Rwanda block and found that structure density doubled while the quality, particularly for roofing materials, increased dramatically.
Happy to keep bouncing ideas; it's a great project that's worth, if nothing else, continuing to talk about.
Well, I used the Progress Forum to open-source my O’Shaughnessy Fellowship Application. I don't know if that's allowed, but I thought it was a really interesting way of putting my application forward; here goes nothing. Could a progress gap year be in the works? Fingers crossed, I get an interview.
Thank you kindly for your warm response; most welcome indeed. I think one of the grand challenges for media is that we're physically and chemically wired with an innate negativity bias, part of the inescapable condition of being human. Thus anything that smacks of untempered optimism activates our biochemical red flag system.
The current media, however, has exploited this doom-bait hack to maximum effect, supersaturating content with the triggers that fire our negativity response and keep us wondering whether we have enough pasta to survive the first few weeks of a general nuclear exchange. It's addictive, and while it keeps us entertained, it doesn't help us make better choices about the future. On a slight side tangent, one quick way to estimate whether the content is education or entertainment is to ask whether it helps you make choices about the future.
Regards your comment,
"I'm not sure there's room for general purpose optimistic, progress-oriented media beyond the current players right now. But I could be wrong!"
I would say that I think there's still enormous room for improvement and innovation. As I've said many times, we're at the bottom of the s-curve for innovation in progress studies, not the top. What we think of as established progress media platforms are just in their infancy, and the best is yet to come. I think it would be incredible to build out a "Pivot" concept website that works off this theory, and I suspect it would do well, although I could always be wrong. It will be fascinating to see the progress studies movement climb the tech tree of content communications, and I'm really thankful I'm a tiny part of it.
Thanks again for your comment.
"A pound of orange conserve costs 3 shillings, as much as a skilled labourer earns in nine days. Can you imagine working for nine days for one pound of orange marmalade" "Small wonder that the poor skip breakfast." — Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England, Ian Mortimer Source: shorturl.at/iknX9
Currently, with the median 2022 Australian employee earnings of $1,250/week, you could buy 208kg, 458 pounds, of Cottee's Breakfast Marmalade from Amazon, with free shipping, for nine days equivalent pre-tax dollars; an increase of roughly 45,700%. 🍊
Agree, building a new platform from the ground up would be an expensive and difficult undertaking. But I'd argue that established operations, like Big Think, Free Think, Human Progress, Warp, Progress Network etc, already have established brands and modes of communication. I think in a perfect world, a Big Think, Free Think like website would be the perfect platform as a template for a stand alone site. It's even got a perfect name, "Pivot."
I'm not sure what the best answer is, but that's why I wanted to write about it, to continue the conversation.
Great to see you here, Marian; I enjoyed this op-ed from you and Gale Pooley; and shared it here and here. What's next for https://www.humanprogress.org/, or yourself, anything interesting on the horizon the progress studies community should be looking out for in 2023?
Note: Marian Tupy and Gale Pooley recently released "Superabundance: The Story of Population Growth, Innovation, and Human Flourishing on an Infinitely Bountiful Planet," website here, and shared, (takes a deep breath), on February 17th, June 4th, June 20th, September 1st, September 9th, September 16th, and November 2nd, of 2022 - and that was just on Twitter. Amazingly I pre-ordered them on Amazon before launch, and they still haven't arrived. I follow that up.
Hope you're well mate, we should talk again soon.
That's very kind; thank you very much. If you'd like to help, please consider copying that comment onto the original Twitter post application with a like or share. The VC fund head is tagged in the post, so it's always great for them to see the support. https://twitter.com/tonymmorley/status/1613513285881720839?s=20
I hope I'll hear back on my application soon. Thank you again.