Nella nostra società esse [le istituzioni totali] sono luoghi in cui si forzano alcune persone a diventare diverse: si tratta di un esperimento naturale su ciò che può essere fatto del sé.
— Erving Goffman, Asylums
I am more optimistic than most about our future for five fundamental reasons: 1) Negative feedback is at least as common as positive feedback, and it tends to regulate many processes. 2) Most nonlinearities are beneficial, putting inherent limits on the growth of deleterious effects. 3) Complex dynamical systems self-organize to optimize their fitness. 4) Chaotic systems are sensitive to small changes, making prediction difficult, but facilitating control. 5) Our knowledge and technology will continue to advance, meaning that new solutions to problems will be developed as they are needed or, more likely, soon thereafter in response to the need.