Wednesday, December 19, 2012

An optimistic view

One that, I imagine, Steven Pinker would approve of. Whilst civilization is not exactly crumbling, it does seem, sometimes, that things are at least a little bit grim. And if I'm talking specifically about what I want to be doing with my life in the next 5-10 years, then yeah, things aren't the best. Which tends to bring the mood down.

It's all relative though. I start off from a very lucky place. Very. Lucky. All the doom and gloom that I read about every day is only doom and gloom compared to the bright and shiny places that I want life to go. When you raise your eyes from your own life to the rest of the world though, things aren't necessarily so bad.   There's even a reasonable chance that things are pretty good. Which is not to say that things are perfect. The Spectator's editorial notes that world wide, poverty is decreasing, but it was at a fairly horrific starting point, so there's still a long way to go.

There's some pretty serious diseases that we're making inroads against, malaria for one. Death rates for some fairly serious cancers are down. The number of deaths attributed to war over the last decade has been the lowest for quite some time. The world is far from a perfect place and we have a lot of work to do. there's a case to made for saying we're making some progress though.

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