Climate change. Automation. Misinformation and political polarization. Antibiotic resistance. Pollution in the air and water. Water security. Food security. Insect populations dying out. Have we even touched on phytoplankton yet?
After Redditor TTToooooot asked the online community, "Currently what is the greatest threat to humanity?" many weighed in with their predictions. Tackling these issues requires a massive collective effort. But will we get to that point? Only time will tell.
"Once that ecosystem collapses..."
The ocean slowly dying. Once that ecosystem collapses we won't be able to feed ourselves. Governments will crumble pretty quickly.
"I think people underestimate..."
Biodiversity Loss. (Closely followed by nuclear weapons and global warming).
I think people underestimate the problem that biodiversity loss is. Climate change is a huge problem, but I think biodiversity loss is even more problematic.
There is a total collapse of insects populations, and we begin to see a huge decline in bird populations. Other species will 100% be impacted and I don't want to admit it but it'll sooner or later impact food production, and that's where people will realise that crap hit the fan.
Wilful ignorance. The demonisation of "experts" and academics to the extent that people are congratulating themselves for being uneducated.
Excess consumption of resources vs the planets ability to produce and recover. We consume more than we can produce. Which means any disaster could tip the scales into a deficiency. Too much and you would get a collapse, without compensation.
"The average person..."
Weaponising bipartisan issues in every country making everything a 'team sport' rather then a shade of grey. People would vote for the worst thing on earth just to be on the winning side.
The average person has no understanding that there are more bots on the internet than people. That every interaction serves only to make them more pliable to the will of whoever pulls the strings that day.
"I think a lot of our infrastructure..."
Coronal mass ejection striking the Earth. I think a lot of our infrastructure isn't designed to handle it and even just a few days of power and internet going out across the civilized world could wreck us as a society.
"A recent study found..."
Bees and other insects are dying off at faster than we've seen in decades and never at THIS rate.
A recent study found that we've had a 98% decline in ground insects over 35 years in the Puerto Rican Rain Forests
In the higher portions of tree canopies there has been an 80% lost in insects.
For reference if we lost 80% - 98% of humans in Puerto Rico, the population would fall from about 3,200,000 Million to between 64,000 and 640,000 people.
We've also lost 58% of Butterfly Species in English Farmlands. Same idea as above, imagine if we lost 58% of people in England. The population would plummet from about 56,000,000 people currently to about 23,520,000 people.
The drop in butterflies happened over a 9 year period. Imagine 32million people dying in England over a 9 year period.
"There's an increasing amount of people..."
Ourselves. There's an increasing amount of people who are actively denying science, people who deny climate change, and meanwhile our own governments are choosing profit over the safety of us.
There won't be some big disaster or meteor to kill us. We'll end up killing ourselves as a species.
Disinformation, us vs them mentality, anti-intellectualism, all the things which people point to as issues really come down to the rise of social media- or more generally, recommendation algorithms.
These are all problems that used to be issues and were dying back down with the introduction of the television and early internet, but now we have brought them right back. Recommending you things based on only those ideas which are either completely unobjectionable or what you already agree with is the single key to polarization, and when too many people are only seeing things and people who do that, societal progress on every possible issue will grind to a halt as everything stops being about improvement and starts being about rivalry.
Personally, I doubt many if any of the issues we face today will see meaningful progress until this is fixed, one way or another, and I fear we will become autocracies before we realize how to actually regulate these systems.
"The collapse of those systems..."
I agree that a post-antibiotic era, climate change, anti-intellectualism, and water scarcity are all huge but in terms of a threat we are facing right now, today, in this moment, I would argue it is the return of populist nationalism. The Long Peace that existed after World War II and the system of alliances, economics, and networks that supported it are are all directly imperiled by populist nationalism.
That isn't a threat that will take years to manifest it is one which is actively bringing us to the brink of a major regional or international war right now. If its proponents are successful we will likely see a return of a global political environment much more akin to 1920 or 1820 than anything we have seen in the past 80 years.
The collapse of those systems will also vastly decrease our ability to address the challenges of water scarcity, climate change, and antibiotic-resistant illness. Not to mention the likely hood of increased military violence all over the globe.
Movies' strong focus on creating drama through conflict inevitably has lead to countless on screen deaths.
Some of those movie deaths occur to minor characters we don't care much about (enter Wilhelm Scream). Nonetheless, they can still pack a punch if the manner of the death was gruesome or sad enough.
On the other side of the coin, a death doesn't have to be spectacular to create drama if it happens to a character we've grown to love throughout the film.
And sometimes, a beloved character faces a gruesome end. That's the double whammy.
Redditor Boston_Strong_CQB241 asked:
"Out of all the deaths you seen in movies, which one really stands out to you as the worst?"
Many Redditors recalled the deaths that drew their intensity from the connection they'd felt with the character who did the dying.
And, yes, sometimes the manner of death only heaped on the drama.
"The soldier in Saving Private Ryan that had the knife slowly plunged into his chest after a hand to hand fight and he was begging the other soldier to stop. Intense."
That Etched Wooden Beam
"The old man (Brooks) who hangs himself from The Shawshank Redemption."
" 'Get busy living or get busy dyin.' "
A Very Different Boxing Film
"Hilary Swank in Million Dollar Baby. Almost becoming World Champion, then paralyzed, her family only caring about the money she won from boxing, then having her limbs chopped off because of bed sores that got infected."
"All this just to be put down as a act of kindness like the story she foretold of her dog she grew up with. I will never watch that movie again."
Stoic Until She Wasn't
"Vesper Lynd drowning in 'Casino Royale.' That moment when she goes serene and calm, to a panicky and frenzied last gasp for air.... that really bothered me."
Others were spooked by the pure violence of some onscreen deaths. They could barely watch the gruesome moments when they erupted.
But now they can't forget them.
Slam, Slam, Slam
"That f**king wine bottle scene in Pan's Labyrinth. The casual brutality is so horribly realistic." -- Darth_Mufasa
"My jaw dropped the first time I saw it and it still haunts me. In fact, that movie gave me nightmares for two weeks" -- TheSilverCrystal
"The curb stomp." -- AUTheatreNerd
"American History X. The curb stomp. It haunts me." -- DigitFisher
"Ryan Reynolds getting his insides eaten out by an Alien in the horror movie Life. It still traumatized me."
And some people recalled the deaths they witnessed as children movie-watchers. All grown up now, they still can't unsee those old images.
"That shoe from Who Framed Roger Rabbit, it was so happy and friendly and then it gets slowly dipped to death. The smoke and its cries of pain are burned into my mind 25+ years later."
"Artax in the swamp of sorrows. Made me cry so much as kid, Atreyo was so hopeless." -- kirby60
"Don't you dare do this to me right now" -- OmgOgan
Multiple Movies' Worth of Sadness
"Stoick from How to Train Your Dragon 2, I still cry every time I even think about it, and the flashbacks in the third movie just break me, great trilogy. Full of emotion and great everything, best Dreamworks movies, in my opinion"
The worst part is that this is only a small handful of the tragic movie moments that are out there. And we have so many unknown future deaths we'll see too.
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It might feel like a challenge to come back at someone who has just insulted you, but it's easier than you think.
What's the most memorable comeback you've heard in your life?
No one knows you like your family, hence why they're usually the one who know the best way to eviscerate you using only their words. Anyone with an older brother and/or sister knows what's going on with these comebacks.
She Can Stay
"My son and his newlywed wife were poor college students living out of state. When I went to visit them I took them to the grocery store and let them fill up a couple of grocery carts that I paid for. As we were leaving the store I said, "Now, when your kids are poor married college students trying to get by, don't forget this". My new daughter-in-law piped up and said, "Oh we won't forget. We're going to tell them to go get grandpa!" Haa haaa haaa...I love that gal."
Got That Sacred "Dad Laugh"
"I don't care if it's self-congratulatory, I'm proud of this one:
"Having dinner with my dad and older sister. I got straight As in school or something, and she's doing the older sibling thing."
"Sister: You may have gotten the book smarts in this family, but *I* got the street smarts."
"Me: The corner doesn't count."
"Dad: *chokes whiles laughing*"
Oh, Good Lord...
"My uncle to my husband. "When are you guys having a kid?"
"My husband. "Please don't ask me about my sex life with your niece"
Like, in public. Where people are. Other people. People you don't know, who might just be going about their day-to-day business, and they just so happen to hear someone being roasted alive?
What's Keeping You Alive, Grandpa?
"Was standing behind these two older adults and this teen girl at the gas station last year. She was on her phone and the guy snapped at her for "not knowing how to live without technology" and without looking up she went "don't you have a pacemaker?".
When The Store Hates You...
"Someone yelled out in a Walmart , "I'm not ashamed of who I am".
"Another voice echoed back, "that's your parents job"
You Would Really Walk Up To Someone You Don't Know And Say This?
"Young pregnant co-worker had a stranger stare disapproving at her in a restaurant, then walk up and say "pregnancy isn't very becoming on you." She replied, "well, being a nosey rude bi*ch isn't becoming on you, but here we are."
And then there's these clapbacks. Unplanned, zero preparation, and with little prior knowledge, there needs to be a call placed to some local medical center with how much damage was done with these comebacks.
If You Pantsed It, Fix It
"My friend got pantsed, underwear and all at a party. Instead of pulling his underwear and pants up, immediately, he just kept going about his business, while hanging dong. Those of us that knew him already thought it was hilarious. The people at the party that didn't know him, looked really uncomfortable due to this dude having his pants and underwear around his ankles, with his wiener hanging freely. Our friend/the host said "dude, why don't you pull your pants up?" Pantsed guy said "I didn't pull them down." Then took his turn in beer pong. The host then found the guy that did pull them down and made him pull our friend's pants back up."
Definitely Seems Like You Got Tricked Here
"When I was working as a bartender one Halloween, I came dressed as an old Western style bartender (complete with mustache and accent). We had the evening split up into a little costume party for kids and families in the earlier hours, and then an adults only costume piss up later on."
"One of the regulars laughed at my costume and said I looked stupid, so I told him"
"You should probably come back after the kids have gone because you've come dressed as a c-nt".
"He didn't talk to me for weeks after that. It was blissful."
That's A Mom Burn! Those Don't Heal!
"I asked my mum out of curiosity what she would do if she found a used condom in my brother's room."
"Her response: "I would remind him that you can't get HIV from your own hand"
"For context, I live in South Africa where HIV is very common"
If you have some ice nearby it might be a good idea to go and grab some.
These burns spread.
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Ghost, zombies, vampires, and other beings of the supernatural are terrifying, and we hope to never encounter them under any circumstances.
But some of the terrors rooted in reality are scarier.
Whether it's a brush with death after hydroplaning on black ice while driving or being held at gunpoint, they are the stuff of true nightmares.
However, the jury remains out about the reality of ghosts.
"What's the scariest thing that's ever happened to you?"
One of the worst things must be to look down the barrel of a gun as these Redditors did.
"A guy stopped traffic and walked up to the window of the taxi I was in and pointed a gun at my head through the window. Then said 'wrong taxi', and casually walked away."
"I hope he never found the right taxi."
Cashier At Gunpoint
"I got robbed at gunpoint when I was working alone one night at Subway when I was 16."
Getting Authentic Tacos
"I got stopped by the Cartel in Mexico. I live on the border and we decided to go eat some authentic tacos. My dad, my brother and his blonde girlfriend and I (12) were driving to our favorite taco place when this truck behind us started honking at us. Unfortunately there were 3 speed bumps in a row right in front of us. So the truck got impatient and pulled up in front of us. Then they stopped at the intersection which was right in front of us. Along with another truck that was behind them. And a van. Then, like insects, they all swarmed out of their vehicles with AK's and body armor. They lined up pointing to both out car, and then down the street in the direction our car was facing. 2 guys started smacking the car with the butt of their guns and yelling at us to leave. Then they shot some warning shots at the ground in front of the car. My dad floored it backwards while my brother shoved his white girlfriend into the floor and I tried to become one with the seat. Almost died that day. At least thats what it felt like."
These Redditors recount the times they were asked to be taken to the ATM. And not in a very polite way.
"I stopped at a light in a questionable part of town and a strange lady hopped into the passenger seat of my car. She told me to drive her to the ATM and get her some money...I told her that I had forgotten my purse and could not do so (my purse was behind my seat and I was really hoping she wouldn't look around and catch my lie). She kept insisting that I give her money and I kept driving and telling her I couldn't... I'm pretty sure the $20 or so dollars I had in the bank would not have been enough anyway."
"Finally I saw a cop car stopped on the side of the road. I pulled up behind it and told her she could either get out then, or I'd start honking my horn to get the cops attention. She decided to leave."
"I was pretty shaken by that... I'm not sure what I would have done if I hadn't seen the cop and she was getting increasingly insistent and I know I would not have won a fight with her."
"Also... She took my bag of gummy worms."
Drive To A Construction Site
"Something similar happened to my friend's dad. Guy got into his car, pointed a gun at him, told him to drive to an ATM, and pull out money. The dad was scared shi*less, but seemingly, calmly agreed. He drove the car to a construction site nearby, hoping that the workers would be on duty that day. Fortunately, they were and the dad, driving a luxury car, looked so out of place that a bunch of the workers started watching him. The dad then told the guy, 'You can either get out of my car or you can shoot me and have a dozen witnesses. Your choice, but you're not getting money from me.'"
"Guy with the gun got out of the car and ran off. The dad called off work that day and went home to spend time with his wife and kids. My friend said she had never seen him so freaked out before in her life and he made sure to tell them all that story so they would be able to do the same in that sort of situation."
Sometimes, a brush with death is caused by fate and not by gun-toting lunatics.
Out In The Elements
"I was driving on the northern part of the ring road in Iceland. Buddies and I were seeing the whole country and it was bad weather in the middle of winter. Roads were closing behind us so we couldn't turn back. We finally had a clear day ahead of us where we should have been able to drive and prevent being snowed in for a few days. We hit a stretch of road with no gas stations for many miles and we fill up on gas and go. Along the way the weather starts declining and eventually it gets to white out conditions. We couldn't stop for fear of being snowed in. so we crawled along at 10 miles and hour. Closest I felt I ever came to dying on a road in the middle of nowhere in Iceland in a blizzard. great trip though 10/10 would go back"
The Treacherous Slope
"nearly fell off a cliff when skiing (but got rescued)."
Swerving Towards Death
"Me 17, on a rainy day with slippery tyres went through a corner too fast. Two friends in the car with me. Lost control, car swerved, we missed on-coming traffic by probably an inch. It happened in an instant."
"I regained control when the car was pointing in the driving direction again, by lifting from the brakes so we moved forward as if nothing happened."
"A week later going around the same corner an accident happend, head to head. I was second on the scene, and held a strangers hand as they are trapped under the steering wheel. Slipping in and out of consciousness, in total pain, while waiting for emergency services. I was asked to leave by the police when they learned I was not an eye witness to the actual accident. But I knew what happened, because I escape a crash like this just a week before. I never asked people what happened to the people in the other car and I do not know if the person I assisted made it."
"All I do remember is the total chaos in my memory of arriving at the scene, linked to my irresponsible behavior behind the wheel a week before."
Carnival of Fear
"I was 14 I think. Went on a swinging boat ride at the fair, the kind that pause upside down. The auto locking seatbelt bar didn't lock all the way down against me, so when it stopped upside down I started to slip out of my seat. It probably only lasted 10-15 seconds until we went down again but I was holding myself into that car for dear life. Pretty scary, but it didn't kill my love of roller coasters!"
Shortness Of Breath
"About two years ago, I had severe bronchitis. Severe coughing and shortness of breath were the main symptoms. I couldn't talk without coughing. I couldn't lay down to sleep without coughing. It got so bad one night I was home alone and I couldnt breathe deeply anymore. I could only take a shallow breath. My roommate was out of town and I had no one to reach out to. I started getting panicky because I was afraid I wouldn't ever be able to breathe normally again and that I would die because I couldn't breathe or catch my breath."
My brush with death continues to haunt me and I still count my blessings.
Years ago when I still lived in Los Angeles, I barely avoided a head-on collision with an eighteen-wheeler – presumably driven by a drunk driver – who was swerving in and out of their side of the road at around 10:30 p.m.
I was blinded by the headlights, and as the truck came careening towards me, I steered the wheel at the last second and my vehicle's rear was clipped by the truck.
I spun out of control and luckily managed to not collide with the parked cars on the street.
My car was not drivable after that hit-and-run incident.
But I sure was glad my life was spared that night. I have never been so scared in life until that moment.
For the record, I'll take being haunted by ghosts over these brushes with death anyday.
A lot of times when the topic of regret comes around, we focus on what we regret not doing in life. This time, the question is flipped.
Redditor Appleseedbloom asked:
"What is something you have always regretted doing?"
Some people had regrets about not taking better care of themselves, some had regrets about important relationships in their lives. Sharing these moments with others on Reddit seemed to really bring the community together.
Thought the regret was there, sharing it on the internet seemed to make so many people feel better that they weren't alone in that struggle. And it was nice to get it off of their chest.
Here are some of those regrets that are not such bad advice to follow.
"Getting into debt. I can't see a way out."
"I just got back into debt. I expect home ownership to be worth it, though."
This person was kind enough to share how they are getting through their debt.
"This was a life saver. Now instead of like five payments a month, I was able to get a loan that consolidated everything into one payment."
"I went through my bank of 20 years. I had never missed a payment with them and was a loyal customer. I applied for a loan online through the website and was denied. The following week, I called in and was approved within 1-2 business day. I didn't get the amount I asked for - but I got enough to pay of all my debt at the time which was only two credit cards. And I needed some dental work."
"Don't get a Capital One credit card. They will f*ck you over with a few things. Really high membership fees which you can't opt out of. And insurance which was $89 a month! I tried canceling this and was told no. So, when I got the loan, I said fuck you C1, and stayed with my bank. Cancelled and paid off the C1 card."
"The terms of the agreement was a 7 year loan. It's been 3 years of making payments. I've already paid off $8,000 because about once or twice a year, I'll throw in a "lump" sum payment. This shaved off 2 years - and 2 years of interest."
"I'm not saying this solution is for everyone. But it definitely worked wonders for me. It was a life changer."
Protect those ears, kids.
"Not protecting my hearing."
"I'm 52 and have had tinnitus for 20 years now. I should've worn earplugs when mowing the grass, going to concerts or loud movies. I shouldn't have turn my Walkman up to 11."
"Wow. Thank you for your story. I'm 54. Just started getting some ringing. It should be a lot worse. Concerts especially and very loud bars. The one thing that saved me was turning down my headphones. I got my first walkman in 1981."
"Don't turn your headphones too loud, kids. Also, once your ears adjust, turn it down even more. It will sound the same. If you don't, It will fuck you up."
"Also…get some good headphones…preferably noise cancelling if you frequent loud places….like Sony xm4, Bose quiet comforts, etc."
"Good headphones should allow you to hear details even at low volumes. If you like bass get a set tuned for bass or use an equalizer to enhance, but definitely don't crank all the volume just to get a little more bass."
"Active noise canceling might be bad for long term use so buyer beware. (You can also just turn it off most of the time…those cans I listed still sounded great without it.)"
Standing by mom.
"When my parents split up my mom had to raise us by herself and we were really poor."
"Eventually we had to get on food stamps to survive. My mom was devestated. She was a very proud woman and was working two jobs but it wasn't enough and it absolutely crushed her to have to get assistance, it made her feel like a failure who couldn't take care of her own kids."
"I remember we were in the grocery store and getting ready to pay. She was going to use food stamps to pay and she was so ashamed that she turned to me and said "If you don't want to stand in line with me you don't have to". She was trying to spare me the embarrassment."
"So I didn't stand with her, I went off and looked at a toy or something. I remember looking back at her, she was sheepishly fixing her hair and trying not to look "poor" as she worked up the courage to face the cashier."
"I have regretted walking away so many times over the years. I was just a kid, but I wish I could go back in time to go stand next to her and tell her how proud I am to be her son and how thankful I was for the sacrifices she made just to keep food on the table for us."
"It honestly breaks my heart every time I think about it."
"Can I tell you something, as a mother that was once in that same situation? Whenever it came time to pay, I would always tell my daughter to go look at something for me. I was so embarrassed to have to use them (and this was a long time ago, so it was the actual Monopoly money looking food stamps that you had to count out and tear out of the booklets), I never ever wanted her to see it. Your mom is glad you walked away. I know it hurts you, and that says so much about you, but in that moment, it took a tiny bit of the pressure off of your mom not to have to be ashamed in front of you. You sound like a great person who has an amazing mama."
"I'd like to clarify, the shame wasn't necessarily about using public assistance. It was about knowing I had brought a child into a life that was bereft of all but the barest necessities and by the very action of paying with food stamps, people could look at me and decide that I was failing as a mother. Even that would have been bearable if I didn't agree with them. Their faces were just mirrors of my feelings about myself."
"For what it's worth, she turned out great. She graduated high school and college, the first person in our family to do either. She's a successful engineer, wife and mother. She has a comfortable life, and she loves me and we talk every day and see each other once a week for an overnight. To the person below who asked me why I would ever have a kid, it's a fair question. I was 16. I had a traumatic home life and statistically was pretty likely to end up right where I did. I waited too long to face it to be able to have an abortion, and I didn't put her up for adoption because the idea of giving her away and someone hurting her was more terrifying than keeping her. It's not an answer that paints me in a good light, but there you go."
"Becoming a nicotine addict. Cigarettes almost killed me twice in one year, when I was 34."
"I always thought I'd be one of those old af people still smoking. Reality had a different idea."
"When I was in undergrad I would be hanging out with friends and everyone would go outside and smoke. It was just me and this one other guy who didn't smoke and we would be left alone inside. He liked me and made me increasingly uncomfortable every time we were alone together. Eventually I started following people outside and they would always ask me if I wanted to bum one. They seemed weirded out when I said no and I didn't want to explain that our mutual friend was making me hella uncomfortable so I started to smoke as well. I really really regret it."
Drinking and Drugs.
"Drugs and drinking all day."
"Me too. Clean and sober now, but the damage is done and the consequences are for life."
Regretting it, but it lead to a realization.
"I regret and don't regret this one."
"I was 13 at a theme park with my class. It was our last day of school so we went to a big park to ride some rides."
"For no particular reason (other than thinking I was funny) I kept telling kids in my class 'Don't die' as they would climb onto a roller coaster. Some kids looked scared, some laughed."
"Finally a 20 something guy with his girlfriend also in line turned to me and shouted, 'Kid, shut the f*ck up,' his girlfriend quickly tried to calm him down and said, 'He's just a kid.' Boy did he look pissed."
"For me, it was like I had been slapped out of a trance. I thought 'Holy sh*t... I'm annoying?!' best thing to ever happen to me I think. But damn do I cringe when I think about it."
"[I did] similar sh*t when I was 9 to 11 and trying to be edgy. Every time I'd hear my parents finish talking to someone on the phone, I'd ask, 'So, who died?' At first they'd grit and say nobody, but after a while they got pissed and said along the lines of, 'You need to stop asking that. Don't ever ask stuff like that when I'm on the phone. It's disrespectful. You don't know if someone you know will die.'"
"I think they were much harsher words than that though. It hit me like a rock and I never did it again."
Some of these stories are heart breaking, but hopefully we can take a page from their book and bring it with us in life.
Though, it's hard to know what's worse: the regret of not doing something or the regret of doing something we shouldn't have.
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