The GOOD NEWSletter: Issue #1 — The Backstory

Optimism is a strategy for making a better future. Because unless you believe that the future can be better, you are unlikely to step up and take responsibility for making it so.~Noam Chomsky

Dear Friend,

Happy New Year! Let’s hope this is the start of a good if not a great year.

It seems that there is far too much bad news in the world today. As your Militant Optimist, I’m launching The GOOD NEWSletter to spread the good news, not news like “Kitten rescued in a tree” but news that makes you feel good because good people are doing good things to help society and the earth, not just one cat (sorry Kitty).

I scour the Internet for good news, so you don’t have to!

Often, the news here will be related to advances in technology that will make your life or the lives of folks you may not know better now or in the near future. I will not touch on politics for obvious reasons.

My Motivation

I’ve always been an early adopter of technology and am optimistic about the application of technology to improve our lives. I designed video technology to measure changes in pupil size for neuropharmacology research and sold it to the Canadian Department of Defense for research in early detection of nerve gas (constricted pupils). More recently I’ve dedicated myself to developing and promoting technologies to improve teaching and research, including pharmacologic calculation software.

Now that everyone seems to be getting their daily outrage, aka “news,” from social media, I decided to help select and spread some good news for a change. With this newsletter, I will share technological advances from the numerous publications, newsletters, and interesting people I follow.

It’s Time for Techies to Embrace Militant Optimism

One of my regular reads — the last print magazine I subscribe to — is Wired. My inspiration to be a Militant Optimist was the article entitled. It’s Time for Techies to Embrace Militant Optimism Again by Louis Rossetto (Wired 09.18.18). Louis reminds us that: Today individuals using new technologies are fomenting no fewer than five revolutions:

  • The neo-biological revolution is already curing, improving, and extending life.
  • The energy revolution — nuclear, fracking [questionable, I know], solar — is making the good life possible for more people around the planet.
  • The blockchain allows friction-free transactions between not just financial institutions but all people and devices needing to communicate with one another. Imagine capping the social media monopolies by reclaiming our data.
  • Space. The sci-fi future of working and living in space is happening with each SpaceX and Blue Origin launch.
READ MORE — Now you know where I got my inspiration for my avatar/logo!
  • Augmented intelligence. Not “artificial,” but how Doug Engelbart envisioned our relationship with computers: AI doesn’t replace humans. It offers idiot-­savant assistants that enable us to become the best humans we can be.

I hope to relay several stories in each newsletter about how new technology and human effort will help us save the planet, and live longer healthier lives. Let me know if you have read a good news story so that I can share it with my subscribers.

How often would you like to receive The GOOD NEWSletter? (Anonymous Poll)

Optimistically yours,
Rod Murray

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