One of Australia's most prominent pollsters just read (and really liked!) What We Owe The Future, and was inspired to ask a question about perceptions of the longterm future on their fortnightly opinion poll.

[Description of image: At each of 10, 100, 1000, 10000 years in the future, more Australians think life will be worse off for humanity than better off, with eg 35% worse, 45% unsure and 20% better at 10,000 years]

I was surprised by this!

Perhaps it shows that the Steven Pinker et al world-is-getting-better meme isn't that established outside of niche intellectual circles.

No actionable takeaways, just an interesting survey that I expect very few people here will come across elsewhere.




Sorted by Click to highlight new comments since: Today at 3:12 AM

Thanks for sharing this! What's the basis for believing this is inspired by WWOTF? I couldn't see anything about this after clicking the link. 

There's an accompanying column in The Guardian:

Running with MacAskill’s line of reasoning, we asked participants in this week’s Guardian Essential poll to think through whether future time horizons would be positive or negative for humanity (although we confined our frame to a relatively conservative ten millennia).

Thanks, yes I should have linked to this too.

 I found out about it from a webinar Peter Lewis was speaking on (17:01-21:50)