Worry Lines

“Automation is likely to upend wages, jobs, and entire industries on an unprecedented scale, but lawmakers seem unwilling to acknowledge the problem the way wizards were afraid to say Voldemort.” That’s Emily Crose, cybersecurity expert and former NSA analyst, who was one of more than a hundred experts asked by Motherboard: What worries you most about the future?

+ As you might imagine, several of the answers included concerns about climate change. And the latest numbers suggest humanity isn’t gonna pivot. “Between 2014 and 2016, emissions remained largely flat, leading to hopes that the world was beginning to turn a corner. Those hopes have been dashed. In 2017, global emissions grew 1.6 percent. The rise in 2018 is projected to be 2.7 percent.” WaPo: We are in trouble.

+ But wait, before you get too bummed, Motherboard also asked the question: What gives you hope about the future? Most of the answers focused on kids. (Sadly, they grow up.)

+ OK, I’ll play. As managing editor of the internet, I’m constantly worried about what the next five minutes of the news cycle will bring. But what worries me the most? Three things that are closely related: The widening economic divide, the growing contempt between people with different political views, and the increasingly obvious signs that fascism in on the rise in many parts of the world. I’m also quite worried about how today’s political climate will impact my kids. Those of us who have been around for a while like to preach the refrain: This isn’t normal. But my kids are ten and twelve. This is the only political environment they’ve ever known. To them, it’s normal. What gives me hope? That topic is not really in my wheelhouse, but I’ll give it a shot: First, I think lot of people in my generation thought that the trajectory towards progress on issues like racial and gender equality was a given. The last few years have been a reminder that nothing is a given. Everything is political. Everything takes work. It feels like people have been awakened to that reality and are re-engaging in the fight. And second, these seem like crazy times. But we’ve faced worse. A lot worse. We got this.

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