My wish list for Utopia in the 20s

(Featured image: The Prologue and the Promise, Robert McCall)

The movie Back to the Future in the 1980s imagined a millennium with flying cars and hoverboards. My “Utopia” is more pragmatic and less fanciful. I don’t want flying cars. I just want some irritants to go away and some basic problems solved. I wants some checks that are sitting right in front of us, forgotten, to be cashed.

I want…

…Donald Trump to no longer be the President of the United States.

…Republicans to be voted out thoroughly in all sorts of elections, big and small, so they are forced to repudiate the authoritarian, racist, and…dare we say it…stupid element that has taken over the party.

…neither Mark Zuckerberg, Peter Theil, or Sheryl Sandburg to be anywhere close to the leadership of Facebook. While we’re at it, reform Facebook to prevent the spread of fake news.

…ex-KGB operative Vladimir Putin to be ousted, and a new leader for Russia who stops cheating in elections and sports tournaments.

…Hindu nationalism in India, Islamic radicalism in the middle east, and Christian Right in the US to all face a comeuppance.

…each house to have solar panels and a mini windmill on their rooftop so they generate electricity all day and all night that they feed into the grid if they’re not using it.

…each house to have a composting toilet and a compost chute for food waste.

…each city to be dense with transit underground.

I dream of cars that look like bubbles, that a single person fits into or maybe two, that drive along with other bubble cars on the road on their own. I want rows of them to be available at every transit station so you can get out and hop into a bubble car with your little briefcase or laptop case. It takes you to where you want to go and then you abandon it and it finds its way home on its own. Or perhaps it finds a new passenger on the way.

We seem to be in a twilight for nuclear energy, with countries such as Germany and Italy shutting down their plants. I dream of a new start, with safe, cheap, clean nuclear energy widely available.

I want coal, oil, and gas to stay in the ground. I want native forests and scrublands to grow over them, teeming with life.

Those cable stations where you pay a huge monthly charge for mostly channels you wouldn’t watch if someone paid you? Gone.

Please, scientists, just like you harvested the energy from brakes to invent hybrid cars, can you also harvest the energy from me walking, climbing stairs, or going to the gym (ha!), and store it in a battery, and use it to run my phone?

I want trusted Internet identities, so no one can spoof someone else on social media, or spread fake news or hate speech anonymously. Have your free speech, but it should be clear who is speaking.

I want more reporters, fewer cable news hosts. More reporting from on-the-ground across the globe, less reporting from small-town diners. More issue analysis, less poll analysis.

While we’re at it, no soundbite-based TV debates, which pervert the meaning of ‘debate’. I have nothing against debates, even debates on TV. But as far as I’m stating my desires, I require the following rules to be followed in debates, and sure, also use these rules for interviews:

  • Don’t let anyone filibuster by not answering a direct question
  • Never let lies go unchallenged
  • Don’t let anyone get away with misstatements of fact. Pause the debate as long as needed to dig up citations. Refuse to continue unless all parties agree on the basics.
  • No gish-galloping. Settle one point at a time.
  • No deflections
  • All interviewers and debaters to be on the lookout for common logical fallacies

I also want…

…much more sharing of food, music, dance, and art around the world.

…more film noir.

…no more Star Wars movies, please, I beg you; and stop arguing about their character arcs.

…no more junk nutrition science.

…more content moderation across social media.

…less deference from reporters for government spokespeople and silicon valley PR shops

…people relearning the importance of securalism and liberal democracy.

…young people to keep the dangers of fascism fresh in their minds. And to vote.

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