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News about America - and the world Options
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Tuesday, June 5, 2018 9:11:39 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/12/2011
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Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
I wasn't sure whether to put this in "Politics" or "Knowledge".

If you don't want to listen to the whole talk - at least look at the "raw data" from about 4:30 to 8:00.
It's good news - don't knock it!

Steven Pinker - TED




Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
progpen
Posted: Tuesday, June 5, 2018 11:46:04 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/2/2015
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Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States
Excellent information. There is also this great book.

It's Better Than It Looks: Reasons for Optimism in an Age of Fear Hardcover – February 20, 2018
by Gregg Easterbrook

Most people who read the news would tell you that 2017 is one of the worst years in recent memory. We're facing a series of deeply troubling, even existential problems: fascism, terrorism, environmental collapse, racial and economic inequality, and more.

Yet this narrative misses something important: by almost every meaningful measure, the modern world is better than it ever has been. In the United States, disease, crime, discrimination, and most forms of pollution are in long-term decline, while longevity and education keep rising and economic indicators are better than in any past generation. Worldwide, malnutrition and extreme poverty are at historic lows, and the risk of dying by war or violence is the lowest in human history.

It's not a coincidence that we're confused--our perspectives on the world are blurred by the rise of social media, the machinations of politicians, and our own biases. Meanwhile, political reforms like the Clean Air Act and technological innovations like the hybridization of wheat have saved huge numbers of lives. In that optimistic spirit, Easterbrook offers specific policy reforms to address climate change, inequality, and other problems, and reminds us that there is real hope in conquering such challenges. In an age of discord and fear-mongering, It's Better Than It Looks will profoundly change your perspective on who we are, where we're headed, and what we're capable of.


Nolite te bastardes carborundorum
Hope123
Posted: Tuesday, June 5, 2018 6:25:02 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 3/23/2015
Posts: 7,805
Neurons: 45,056
Location: Burlington, Ontario, Canada
Two positive messages.

With all the fear mongering, negativity, dissatisfaction, nit picking, and ungratefulness for what we do have, it does seem as if the world is a mess some days. So these are two messages we are glad to share - especially about improvements for people all over the world. There are probably more positive statisitical reports out there as well. We can remember the overall picture when tempted to sweat the small stuff.

Thanks, Drago, and Proggy for drawing these to our attention.

Edited - I decided to read the comments below the video to see the points of view. Interesting!

Not far down was one from an American listing several things wrong with America and the world, saying about Pinker's talk - "The Hegemony has now started haranguing us with neo-liberal propagandists like this guy."

Most of his list is correct, but once again the bigger picture was missed in an effort to discredit someone who disagrees with his own political philosophy.

Another said, "Lying mainstream media".

As things get better we find "new reasons to be outraged". There is in "some groups in the US imagined persecution with intentional ignorance as a virtue" - this was part of another comment.

But of those I read, most were realistic or positive.

I liked the comment about the better things get the more we find new reasons to be outraged. I think that is exactly how progress is made.

The greatest pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do. Anon
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