Future Crunch: An Antidote to Negative News
It is easier than at any time in history to wallow in the morass of negative news. New words have even been coined to describe the act of reading news you know will make you sad, anxious, or angry: doomsurfing and doomscrolling. I’m usually pretty good about ignoring the noxious media maelstrom—particularly the cesspool of social media—but in these uncertain days of pandemic, reading about what’s happening with the coronavirus feels essential for planning and evaluating everyday life.
However, I recently ran across Future Crunch, a refreshing 4-year-old email newsletter that disseminates positive news. You won’t find feel-good pieces about valiant citizens saving pets from burning buildings, but instead, evidence that humankind actually can improve the world in significant ways. Every issue contains numerous one- or two-sentence summaries of and links to original articles.
The content is much broader than what we cover in TidBITS—Future Crunch’s tagline is “Science, technology, intelligent optimism.” Nonetheless, some topics will sound familiar. Its most recent issue mentions Apple’s pledge to make its entire supply chain and product lifecycle carbon-neutral by 2030. Also in that issue is news that open-source host Github has just finished burying 21 TB of digital film containing all its active public repositories of code underneath a mountain in the Arctic. Fascinating stuff, and I look forward to receiving each issue and carving out the time to read the articles that interest me.
In the past, Future Crunch has been entirely free, with voluntary donations (of over $100,000) going to charity. The good news stories remain available to everyone on a weekly basis, but since the people behind Future Crunch have essentially lost their jobs presenting at large conferences, they’re adding premium content that will require a subscription after the next few months. I haven’t seen the premium content yet to make a recommendation either way, but I encourage you to subscribe to the free email newsletter for now. As someone who has been making a living in the online journalism space for decades, I wish the Future Crunch crew the best.
On a broader perspective but taking the same positive view of human beings and what they do is the book Humankind, which I recently read and found refreshingly inspiring. Well worth a read by one and all. It is available as an ebook.
I’ve actually sometimes been posting from a site called Beautiful News. I am indeed very tired of our relentless focus on the negative, when so many good things happen all the time.
By the way, I recommend the book The Better Angels Of Our Nature.
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