12 days to 2020

I was born in the late 70s, and throughout my life the year 2020 has been used in stories and conversation as when we will have arrived in "the future." The repeating numbers even sounded futuristic ("twenty twenty"), and the elegant symmetry of the repeating 2's and 0's looked futuristic as well.

2020 was a year seemingly so far away that through these stories, it was believable that science fiction would begin merging with reality. Like Blade Runner or dozens of other movies, books or predictions, the future was often dark and gritty, even dystopian.

As we stand 12 days out from the dawn of this new decade, in many ways this dark vision can appear not far off. The spread of nationalism is the opposite direction we desperately need to be heading to address the global realities of climate change, mass extinctions or the threats posed by the unethical use of immensely powerful technology. The Age of Surveillance Capitalism and 21 Lessons for the 21st Century were two of my favorite books this year, and lay a few of the technological threats out clearly. These challenges need our energy and attention. But there's also been unbelievable positive progress, as was painstakingly researched and documented in another one of my favorite books of the year: Enlightenment Now by Steven Pinker.

As the future transitions into today, I sit with sincere gratitude to my family, partner, friends, collaborators, colleagues, band mates and all those who came before us to make the positive possibilities before us even an option. May you be well.