Enough with the dystopian futures

So say WorldChanging

Why is the dystopian future always literally dark? Why is it always raining or overcast? Why is the architecture always a mix of hyper-modernism, brutalism and squatter slum? Why is the politics always so transparently totalitarian, so fascist-plus-rebels? Why is it so retro and abstract?

Further, some of them, like James Kuntsler, positively revel in the dark, foreboding future they envision that awaits us. Perhaps this is a remnant from the philosophy of early industrial culture and music that posits that we are all so desensitized that only extreme shocks can awaken us from our slumber, something that has always been a shaky argument at best. Besides, if all you posit is gloom, then where’s the impetus for change?

Why doesn’t the dystopian vision ever include sunshine and children playing in its ruins? Why does it not include the constant, untiring efforts of most people to do what they can with what they have to improve their situations? Why are most people in the dystopian future always powerless to change anything? I could go on, but you get the point.

Well, it wouldn’t be dystopian if they were actively creating a better future, now would it? It’s too easy to slip into a miasma of gloom and blame human nature / capitalism / whatever for what ails us rather than, as WorldChanging says, invent a better future.

Look no further than the many Silicon Valley companies that are actively researching and implementing plans for renewable energy and cleantech. I guess they don’t have time to be gloomy.