Existentialhope.com is a project launched a few years ago by Allison Duettmann (president of Foresight Institute). It was launched as a website created to collect resources that inspire hope, and to imagine what could be done if humanity acted from a space of existential hope rather than existential angst.
Now we are in the middle of re-building the website, to turn it into a living onboarding hub for coordinating people, organizations and projects working toward flourishing long-term futures.
In this newsletter we feature the first of our “Monthly Hope Drops”. A drop that includes a new podcast episode on existential hope, NFT artworks and X-Hope bounties and this newsletter with a digest of what is currently happening the X-hope space.
Visit the existentialhope.com website NOW for a sneak peek of the beautiful futures to come.
“In a 100 years from now, where are we going to be with human health? The science is looking super encouraging. I would be surprised if we can’t make substantial, major improvements on human health and longevity significantly within a 100 years from now.”
In the first episode of the Existential Hope Podcast we interviewed Christine Peterson, co-founder and former President of Foresight Institute. We talked about everything from cryopreserved pets, sci-fi reading recommendations and the future of longevity.
More about Christine: She lectures and writes about nanotechnology, AI, and longevity. Christine leads Foresight’s technical workshops and Feynman Prizes in Nanotechnology. She is co-author of Unbounding the Future: the Nanotechnology Revolution (Morrow, also free online) and Leaping the Abyss: Putting Group Genius to Work (knOwhere Press, also free online).
In the first episode of the Existential Hope-podcast, Christine Peterson suggests that one event that would inspire existential hope for humanity would be if a dog is returned to active life after cryopreservation. So we asked the visual artist TTY to imagine such an event and create an artwork based on this vision, and now you can buy the artwork as an NFT here.
About the artist: TTY develops two thematics jointly: one of them is about the evolution of the human species and the other one touches upon the nature of artistic act and its future by the integration of virtual creation tools. His main objective is to enquire about the physical dematerialization as a major trend in the contemporary world.
“A dog that has died and later becomes revived. How likely is this? I don’t think it’s as unlikely as many may think. I think this could happen, I just don’t know exactly when.”
– Christine Peterson
In the first episode of the Existential Hope-podcast, Christine Peterson (Co-founder of Foresight Institute), suggests that one event that might be considered a positive turning point for humanity in terms of longevity would be if a dog is returned to active life after cryopreservation.
Telling stories can make what seems abstract become much more real and clear in our minds. Therefore we have now created a bounty based on this prompt. Use this event as a story-device to show us the picture of a day in a life where a dog has been brought back to life. How would this make us feel? How would we react? What hope can people get from this?
Describe a day in the life when a dog has been brought back to life after cryopreservation.
“I coined the word ’eucatastrophe’: the sudden happy turn in a story which pierces you with a joy that brings tears…this is indeed how things really do work in the Great World for which our nature is made.”—JRR Tolkien
Within the Existential Hope community a word that is commonly used is “eucatastrophe”. It is derived from Greek and basically means “good surprise”. Originally coined by J.R.R Tolkien, and later described by Oxford-researchers Owen Cotton-Barratt and Toby Ord to suggest that ”an existential eucatastrophe is an event which causes there to be much more expected value after the event than before.”
However, when many people hear the word, it just sounds like someone pronouncing the word “catastrophe” in an odd way, so that’s where our minds tend to go.
Because of the unfortunate connotations of the word as it is currently, we want to collect a better term for “eucatastrophe”. Be it derived from greek, latin or any other language, that doesn’t matter. What matters is that when people hear the word, they think of a big positive surprise and get excited about the future!
What is a better term for “eucatastrophe”?
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If you’d like to support this effort, we gratefully receive donations dedicated to “Existential Hope” at our parent non-profit Foresight Institute here.