Pessimists and naysayers are “usually correct”… However, being “usually correct” also means you’re probably boring and will be wrong about the most impactful things.
Optimists are not those with rose colored glasses. They are those willing to endure the inconveniences of failure, often repeated failure, in pursuit of new and better states of being and knowledge. Optimists are the scientists, explorers, entrepreneurs, innovators, authors, and others who are willing to try and fail, try and fail, try, try, and try again.
Here are a few places where I am may be wrong but I CHOOSE to be an optimist:
1. I think Americans are soon (next 10 years) going to break with the current 2-party paradigm. I think the next substantive party will be one which eschews nationalism and populism, reasserting America’s classical liberal roots.
2. I think we will learn to trust private healthcare again. To let the vast majority of health decisions be made and paid for directly between patients and providers, while developing a system of third party funding focused on the care of marginal need-based cases.
3. I think we are going to continue to break away from schooling by zip code to great benefit. I think there is demand and innovative vigor in the educational space that has been pent up by our focus on primary government provision. I think the future of education will be modular and customizable, combining in-person and virtual learning spaces, based on student interests and family needs.
4. I think automation will lead to net job gains in the future. As software and hardware capital become better capable of taking over execution-based jobs, I think it will lead to the continued flowering of new creation-based work.
5. I think cryptocurrencies and other blockchain applications are going to gain broad acceptance. This will allow radically reduced transaction costs enabling currently impossible products and services. It will decentralize power structures (monetary and political) to the benefit of individuals and minority groups.
6. I think my local community in Tucson is going to experience an economic and cultural renaissance over the next 20 years as we reinvigorate our entrepreneurial spirit and develop closer ties with our Mexican neighbors.
7. I think the spread of capitalism will continue to make the world healthier, wealthier, cleaner, and greener. I believe innovation driven by technologists and entrepreneurs will produce ever improving options for better living all around the world. In particular, I think the next 20 years will finally see Africa begin to experience the same economic transformation that we saw first in Western countries and we see now in Asia.
8. I think the decline of the studio development model is one of the greatest innovations in the history of media production. It has opened the doors of film, television, and video to innumerable new creative voices and an amazing geyser of entertaining, beautiful and important work has emerged. I think this trend will strengthen and expand over the next couple of decades as new business models continue to develop and new people get involved in financing projects.
Where are you willing to stick your neck out and possibly be wrong, but in pursuit of something better? Where are you an optimist?