Saturday, October 06, 2007

Gloom and Doom

Once, at an English conference, I saw a session devoted to favorite science fiction authors and themes and gladly joined it, thinking I might enjoy a session beyond the best way to teach writing. It was led by a college professor, who promptly began a discussion about how SF sounds the warning bells for what is wrong with society. Most of the participants seemed to be current or former students of this prof, and they all brought up books and stories with dystopia as the theme— such as Brave New World or 1984. I sat there, thinking that is not the only vision of the future. I brought up space operas such as Star Trek and Star Wars, which postulate that mankind will conquer space just as he has conquered other obstacles, and learn by so doing, and they scoffed. Oh, not out loud, but you could see it in their eyes. The only possible future postulated by serious minds is bleak indeed.

Yesterday, I read an article in the Wall Street Journal online which postulates that the world is becoming a better place. I tend to agree with that assertion. There will be problems, some serious, some not so serious, as long as humans exist. However, the world is still a beautiful gift, and people can help each other, and some will even profit by so doing.

My family would never call me an optimist, but as I grow older, I see many reasons to be optimistic about the future of humanity.

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