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The End of the World As We Know It (and I'm rather annoyed)

Fast Company's Co.Exist just put up my latest piece for them: "The End Of The World Isn’t As Likely As Humans Fighting Back." It's the latest in my series of short essays under the working title "Stop Complaining About the End of the World and Do Something About It." Here's how it starts:

While it’s certainly true that one can tell a compelling dramatic story about the end of the world, as a mechanism of foresight, apocaphilia is trite at best, counter-productive at worst. Yet world-ending scenarios are easy to find, especially coming from advocates for various social-economic-global changes. As one of those advocates, I’m well aware of the need to avoid taking the easy route of wearing a figurative sign reading The End Is Nigh. We want people to take the risks we describe seriously, so there is an understandable temptation to stretch a challenging forecast to its horrific extremes--but ultimately, it’s a bad idea.

In all seriousness, dystopias are boring and, as a tool of foresight, counter-productive. Enough, already.


A better option: Describing some places doing better than others in the midst of chaos is a useful lead-in to discussions of political conflicts and ethical quandaries.

Because of this fact, if a plausible Bad Scenario(tm) becomes reality, one of the best courses of action is immigration. That's what my family did when I was a young child to get out of USSR (little did we know it would collapse a few years later).

Very good point, Andrei. Migration as an adaptive strategy has a long history.

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