How Do I Stop Being a Doomer?

What's the point when everything I love or work towards will likely collapse in the face of rising fascist movements and climate change?

How Do I Stop Being a Doomer?
Hiroshima mushroom cloud

There’s no point.

I’ve read and commented on some of the other answers to this question, and they show a profound lack of numeracy, misunderstanding of probability, a failure to recognize that civilizations and empires inevitably fail, and most disturbingly, a belief in magical thinking, or an optimism built on the fallacy that because we’ve escaped or overcome problems before, we will again.

They don’t recognize just how close we’ve already come, on numerous occasions, to obliterating ourselves, and just how hard people had to work, unite, and get lucky to make it this far.

This is a recurring theme throughout history. There’s an enormous problem, a few people take it seriously and fight like hell, and once they succeed by the skin of their teeth, everyone else who did nothing blows it off, or says “See, it wasn’t that big of a deal after all.”

Every time the few people who deal with reality and data miraculously manage to prevent a catastrophic failure, these optimists become more complacent and self-assured.

We barely avoided global nuclear war at least twice, once because Kennedy stood up to Khrushchev and Vasili Alexandrovich Arkhipov, a Russian submarine officer, refused to fire a nuclear torpedo against a US aircraft carrier, and again when Stanislav Petrov refrained from retaliating against what turned out to be a false alarm in 1983.

They also don’t understand that we’ve never faced a problem like climate change before, which spawns pandemics, plagues, and wars, and we’ve never been as divided in the way we are today. The internet is increasingly unreliable and designed to feed people what they want to hear, and they don’t want reality because reality is horrifying. They want to be misled and feel justified in their insane beliefs, and do not understand that when a weatherman says there’s a 70% chance of rain and it doesn’t rain, it doesn’t mean the weatherman was wrong. All it means is that we beat the odds, and in most cases, we don’t.

At the time, people said Hitler was just a loudmouth who would never gain power. Once he did, they said he’d never actually do anything he said he would do. Once he started to, they believed he would stop. When Germany invaded Poland, the optimists said he’d definitely stop there.

Hitler convinced Neville Chamberlain that he was appeased, and he hated Chamberlain for believing him. He said he wanted to knock his stupid top hat off his head and kick him down a staircase for being so stupid.

Napoleon said something similar regarding women. He said women weren’t people, they were machines for making soldiers.

These optimists who dismiss the math and data we rely on to live won’t take this seriously until it tangibly affects them, even as I can predict their socioeconomic status, race, and educational background and performance based on their idiotic positions that are an insult to all of the people who died and labored to the point of insanity to somehow beat the odds.

If you have a 1 in 100 chance of winning a lottery and play 100 times, your chances of winning approach 63%.

The same goes for disaster, and as the data currently stands, disaster has not only begun, but has already reached a tipping point.

There’s an increasing consensus that wind and solar are a net loss. Nuclear power is our best option by far (this is a scientific consensus), and it is gaining traction among younger people, but there are still people who can afford to prefer options they feel more comfortable with, or people who claim to follow science but deny it at their whimsy.

This optimism does no good. It’s a delusional privilege that exposes a lack of empathy and willful ignorance towards the tens of millions who are already starving, war torn, climate refugees.

A few people, who are eminently unqualified, said people are pessimistic, or “Doomers,” because we haven’t thought it through, but the reality is that they don’t have the capacity, fortitude, or energy to see what’s happening in real time and acknowledge it.

The irony is that if they did, we would have a much better chance.

As far as their personal opinions, positive thinking, or meditation, they can go fuck themselves.

One very intelligent person understood what a computer needs to work, 1) a Central Processing Unit (CPU), 2) Memory, 3) Input devices, 4) Output devices, and 5) and a Control Unit.

No one really understands how a computer works, or even math, just that it does, and it stuns me that people who implicitly take this for granted when using computers built on math and probability use this tool to dismiss real world math and data, which is not perfect, but works.

You do not get to choose math and science when it suits you and dismiss it when it doesn’t. You can and should argue it and be skeptical, as that’s how we learn and advance, but your optimism is not an argument.

It’s fine to hope or believe that we can fix our problems, but it’s foolish and irresponsible to just shrug them off because other people have saved our asses in the past.

This is a flawed analogy, but it’s like arguing that because you’ve lived so far, you’ll live forever.

If you’re optimistic that we’ll survive despite the evidence and odds and are actively working on fixing the world and understand what that entails, more power to you.

If you’re optimistic because you deflect and diminish the existential threats that are becoming impossible to ignore for anyone with a sense of responsibility, you should just shut the hell up and get out of the way.

Or again, go screw yourselves.

Great! You’ve successfully signed up.

Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.

You've successfully subscribed to OK Doomer.

Success! Check your email for magic link to sign-in.

Success! Your billing info has been updated.

Your billing was not updated.