The Washington Post

New’s Year’s Resolution

I still have a day to change my mind. When people ask me for advice, I actually have a little formula, which maybe I’ll share with you here someday and maybe I won’t. It’s a pretty good formula for decision-making, about as good as they get, just to leave you wondering. But I’ll give away, as a free introductory sample, a bit of it today. Make the decision before your deadline and tell a few people. Seeing it out there in the world will tell you something valuable about it and the looks of horror or relief on your friends’ faces may enlighten or reassure you. Remember, you still have time to say “just kidding,” and choose differently.

So out with my New Year’s resolution a day early: “This year I plan to change the world.” They say don’t over-promise on your ability to achieve your goal, so I decided not to say “visible universe.”

So this year I will usher in The New Arcadia. The New Arcadia is my name for a different way of looking at the world, which I mentioned a couple times in 2013 and I notice that it hasn’t arrived yet. So I guess I’ll just have to do it myself. We are clearly in need of a new optimistic conceptual framework to think about the world. Mine’s as good as any, better actually, especially since there are so few competing ideass on offer. It is a vision of creating the classic ideal of the beautiful world and the beautiful life, for everybody this time, with limited but meaningful work, lots of art and study and conversation, and of course, togas. Let us not forget games and wine and lots and lots of music, and dancing in there somewhere too. It will be achievable for the first time ever because of the impending tipping point of computers and robots. Our new servants, if we don’t somehow botch that They will do more of the work, but LESS of the entertaining. Less screen time, more entertaining each other, in person. It will, ahem, take a rather massive re-conceptualizing of the global economy, just for starters, and everything else too. But what the heck, isn’t everybody more or less sick to death of what we’ve been doing lately?

Offer subject to change without warning.

Tom Toles is the editorial cartoonist for The Post and writes the Tom Toles blog. See all of his cartoons here.


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