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Hassan Syed

Founder & CEO, Bir Ventures, USA

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Do you believe that our future is bright, if yes, why and if not, why not?

While looking at the trends like human health, access to knowledge, access to technology, technology growth, etc., we start believing that our future is going to be very good. On the other hand, looking at the trends like destruction of nature, speed at with we are consuming natural and environmental resources, explosion of human population, carbon in the air and climate change, etc., we think that really difficult times are ahead of us.

I am interested in knowing the sources of optimism and causes of pessimism in us.

Just to be clear, "our" means humankind :-)

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    Sep 24 2012: We were burning wood to smelt metals. We were coming to the end of the supply. Coal was discovered.
    Europe was going through religious persecution. America was born.
    It seems that just as we are on a precipice of disaster, a new challenge was just around the corner.

    I read a book by Eric Learner called "The Big-Bang Never Happened". Although I don't agree with all his theories (sometimes it is not either/or, but both that turns out to be the answer). Regardless, he makes numerous claims about the cosmos that work the same as I have mentioned above. Just as the universe is coming to a halt, a new process suddenly presents itself. Before the new process begins, one could not have predicted that it would.
    A few examples; the big-bang (or whatever got this universe started) was cooling down. Just as it appears that the show is over, subatomic particles begin to form into atoms of hydrogen. The hydrogen begins to gather together into huge masses of gas into early stars. Just as this process begins to wind down, the stars ignite into nuclear fusion and new elements begin to form. Just as these stars begin to die, the star's interior reheats and red giants are born. Just as these stars start to die, supernovas explode, scattering the matter throughout the cosmos into a new cosmic soup. The process just keeps going on and on.
    We think that we are coming to the theory of everything. Now science is opening doors to worlds that we never knew existed with dark matter and dark energy. The bible says "former things will pass away, look for a new heaven and a new earth." This is just another way of saying the same thing. We don't know what will reveal itself in the next decade, but don't lose faith that something will.
    As for us, no matter what happens in the near future, we will see our own end regardless. Take faith in what you can do while life abides. Have faith that the cosmos will come up with something after you are gone. It hasn't failed yet.
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      Sep 24 2012: In the big scheme of things, yes, you are right Roy. However, our challenge is more imminent. What do you think of more short-term, like next 100 or 200 years?
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        Sep 24 2012: The first thing that I see is that the truth is being forced out on all fronts. People are learning to question everything and not taking simple or erroneous answers for granted. Our awareness is becoming more keen in the process.

        I believe that we will find more energy efficient ways of doing things. When energy was abundant, waste was not an issue. That mind set needs to change and I believe it will. We don't need more energy, we need to learn to do more with less.

        We need to become more eco-friendly. We are at odds with mother earth. We need to listen to what mother earth is telling us. I see more and more people doing that. They are learning to take responsibility for their actions in how we affect this planet. They realize that we have a symbiotic relationship that must be protected. Population growth is a major factor. Educated people are no longer breeding out of control.

        I believe that we will see more development into space exploration. The end of the Mayan calendar is not the end of the world, it is the end of our being glued to this planet. A major change is that life is no longer grounded. We came from the stars, and I believe that we are destined to return.

        I expect that religion will be going through some major changes. Many of the stories are metaphors and myths that teach great lessons to those who don't see them as literal, but understand what they are trying to tell us. The lessons deal with selfishness, lusts, and egos that set people at odds with one another. Because of the controversy between religion and science, these lessons are being ignored by those who see religion as erroneous. The result is the pessimism that so many feel today. They feel disconnected from the grand scheme of things and are promoting their own agendas, often to their own demise. We need to reconnect with the grand scheme of things. Religious fanaticism will need to be dealt with. We'll find a way.

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