Longtermism Is a Coping Strategy

When things seem dire one way to cope is to focus on a longer time scale.

Had a rough day? Look at how much you’ve accomplished this week, and the weekend is only a few days away.

Had a rough week? Take comfort in that things are looking to pick up next month.

Had a rough year? If you just keep at it better years will surely come and eventually, you can retire.

Had a rough life? Found out that you and your rich friends are destroying the planet for profit? Longtermism has got your back! You are a good person because in just a few thousand years the cars you commissioned to build will be the reason for 10⁴⁵ digital people.

Taking a step back to look at the bigger picture can bring comfort, but it can also make terrible ethical problems seem too small to matter.