James Bridle writes:
Optimism and pessimism, in particular, are conditions of foresight, they are predictions about the future, not guides to living in the present moment. I don’t care about the future, as I don’t care about predictions. Means not ends, as Huxley endlessly reminds us. We make the future, moment by moment, by our actions in the present, which is the place in which we have agency.
It seems to me that he’s playing the present against the future here. And I’ve heard that argument before. Screw the future! What matters is only the present. That’s where we can act. That’s where we have agency.
When he’s talking about the future, I think he’s referring to future presents – future points in time. From my perspective, it gets interesting when changing the perspective to present futures when referring to the future. In this context, it means that there is only the present. It’s where we imagine the future and act to make it more likely or avoid it.
Hope needs a place to perch. To have any meaning, any validity, any use or power, it must be founded upon agency, upon the deep-seated capacity to change.
Change towards what? Maybe if we take Polak’s pull of the future—our image of the future pulling us towards itself—and combine it with agency as in our ability to act towards that image of a specific future – is that producing hope in us?
Just capturing my thoughts here while reading James’.