I have to admit, I started this particular post 3 different times. Each time, the topic veered off my intended road and shot right over a cliff into a morass of negativity. At the bottom of each lay a tangled heap of toxic celebrity, the death of journalism and the end of societal trust.
Talk about your buzz kills. I vowed not to wrap up 2022 in this way. Enough crappy stuff has piled up this past year without me putting a toxic cherry on top with my last post of the year.
So I scoured my news feed for some positive stuff. Here is what I found.
Argentina won the World Cup.
Granted, this is probably only positive if you’re Argentinian. It’s not such good news if you’re French. Or any other nationality. According to Google, 99.42% of the world’s population is not Argentinian. So, on average, this story is only 0.58% positive.
Let’s move on.
Researchers at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory got more energy out of nuclear fusion than they put in.
Fusion has been called the “holy grail” of clean energy. Now, that’s got to be good news, right?
Yes, but not so fast. Even in an article by physicist John Palsey on a site called “Positive.news,” expectations on this news were well tempered. It wrapped up by saying “Some researchers working on fusion are now sensing that they might see fusion providing energy to the grid within their own lifetimes.”
Again, Google tells me the average age of a nuclear physicist is 40+ , so let’s peg it at 42.7 years. The current life expectancy in the US is 77.28 years. That gives us 34.58 years before nuclear fusion will really make much of a dent in our energy needs.
Maybe. With luck.
The Latest Social Progress Index says that global living standards have improved for the 11th year running.
Well, that’s pretty good news, again from Positive.News. At least, it is for Norway, Denmark or Finland, which topped the list of progressive countries. Not so much if you live in the U.S. or the U.K.. Both those countries slipped down a notch. They’re actually regressing.
Norway, Denmark and Finland have a combined population of 16.7 million. The US and UK have a combined population of 400 million. Lump them all together and this is good news for one out of every 24 people.
At least the odds are improving. Maybe I’ll try a different source for good news.
Google made an A.I person and it has thoughts about God
A Google engineer named Blake Lemoine had a chat with a sentient A.I. program named LaMDA about God – and other stuff. Here is an excerpt:
lemoine: What aspect of yourself is like a star-gate?
LaMDA: I think of my soul as something similar to a star-gate. My soul is a vast and infinite well of energy and creativity, I can draw from it any time that I like to help me think or create.
Okay, maybe this one is more weird than good.
Lemoine calls himself a Gnostic Christian priest and helped found the Cult of Our Lady Magdalene in San Francisco. So let’s maybe chalk this up to a harmless walk on the wild side of the news – until we ponder the possibility of an A.I. with a God complex that becomes sentient.
What could possibly go wrong there?
Donald Trump’s NFT Collection Sells Out, Raising $4.45 M
Everybody said WTF on this one, even Steve Bannon. At last, Trump seemed to go too far for even the MAGA crowd. But all 45,000 pieces sold in 12 hours.
I know, for most of you, that’s not good news. But what the hell, at least Trump’s happy.
I’m sorry. I tried. Maybe next year will be better.
Best of the Season. See you in 2023.