Look out the window and you'll see more than one possible future.
With many important instances, we don't know about probabilities, so we talk about scenarios, and we can even arrange those scenarios as a colourful fan, like the colours out of a prism, sorted from "best imaginable future" to "worst imaginable future".
Some of the "best imaginable" are barely imaginable and no, I don't think "our simultaneous falling off a horse with ecological enlightenment" is likely at all. It's a scenario to play around with, if we have time. And approaching 7,000,000,000 people, we do have some time between us, so go for it if you're so inclined.
Some of the "worst imaginable" are indeed hopeless, and if and when it's certain that an asteroid the size of the Earth is going for our center of gravity, then I'll join the tearful carnival. Or maybe:
- Denial will kick in and we'll keep planting seeds.
- Or we'll start throwing information into space, for someone else.
- Or we'll take care of each other to bring the grand total of momentary happiness to its max.
Thing is, we see no such asteroid, and we have no precedent of simultaneous enlightenment, but the fan is still there, and the colorful ribs still point to our here and now, so what do we do?
Experience suggests some present actions are cheap and just make sense. So we drop an umbrella in the car, just in case it rains.
But the best course of action is doing stuff that's good for several scenarios:
- Kids learn to swim to have fun, and they can also recover a lost ball.
- You buy a phone to stay in touch with friends, and it helps you call for help with a flat tyre.
- You use hexayurts for Burning Man and, voila, it can be used for disasters and poverty too.
Which brings us to seeds and documentation.
I feel one of the best actions today is the creation, preparation and disemination of good seeds that can stay in the shade until it rains, know-how that can explode in a rush, informational air-bags that can go viral.
Both a knot and a hexayurt can be made with available resources, but you need to know how to make them.
Which is why I think you should take a look at learning, making and documenting good stuff:
Personally, I helped with www.appropedia.org/Camp_Danger_Hexayurt_Hinge_Technique and I'm currently having a go at http://www.appropedia.org/Hexayurt_H13_Plywood.
So, as promised in the title, here's "Imagine the Canaries", iconised - feel free to improve, as it's public domain: