Contrary to popular opinion, industry rarely thinks beyond next quarter, because it is concerned with maximizing shareholder value. Shareholders can't think past next week, let alone next year or the next decade. Politicians have the same problem: any concern extending beyond the next election cycle is counterproductive, as important things are often unpopular. These are the people who can't look far enough into the future to solve the problem of global warming when that's a problem right now, not even tomorrow.

Of course, the real long-term isn't on the same scale as these: we are talking decades or centuries for the human long-term. But even that is just the blink of an eye compared to the age of the universe, that of the solar system, multicellular life, or even mammals.

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