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2 years ago  ::  Feb 22, 2012 - 2:05PM #1
Erey
Posts: 18,441
The world is better than you think, perhaps much, much better than you think.  It appears to be getting better all the time.

www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/02/2...

This new book outlines how global poverty has been reduced more in the past 50 years than it did in the prior 500 combined. 
How people around the globe who had no voice before are now able to be heard. 
We are on target over the next 20 years to blast ahead even further.

Alot of it has to do with the innovations in technology and the ease and cheapness at which we communicate.  Today a Masai warrior who has never owned a pair of shoes but has a cell phone has more telecommunications capacity than the president of the US had 25 years ago.  If that cell phone has google he has access to more information than the US president had 15 years ago.  So Bill Clinton from the begining years of his presidency  might have been jealous of the Masai warrior of today. 
Globaly poverty is reducing and/or being redefined to include the better quaility of life.  They typical person has much more power to affect change than they ever had before. 

The book describes how we don't realize this because as humans we are hard wired to pay close attention to bad news and almost ignore good news since bad news has a potential threat we might need to pay much closer attention to it.  Which is why if it bleeds it leads.
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2 years ago  ::  Feb 22, 2012 - 2:19PM #2
mytmouse57
Posts: 9,782

Of course it's getting better. I'm ultimately a humanist -- insofar as I think human beings are God's most amazing creatures and I trust in our ability to ultimately solve problems -- and an optimist.


But still, as I get older, it's still sometimes fun to play the crotchety old fart and mumble things like, "Dang gummed kids these days! Dang gummed worlds going to Hell in a hand cart! Damnit, where did I leave my glass of cranberry juice?"

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2 years ago  ::  Feb 22, 2012 - 3:47PM #3
TemplarS
Posts: 6,600

Some things get better. Some things get worse.


Everything Erey cited is true; plus less people have died in wars in the past several decades, more people are living in free societies, educational levels are improving, women's rights are improving in spite of a few areas of intransigence.


On the downside: we have created the potential,  unique in the history of civilization, to eliminate ourselves.  The planet is still filled with nukes.  Vastly increased intercontinental mobility has increased the danger of a fast-spreading pandemic. We do not understand the implications of climate change and are playing with fire.  We are depleting and killing the oceans which form the basis for much of the food chain.  Messrs. Diamandis and Kotler speak of things like exponential technolgies, but the track record is that in small things like cell phones and computers, technology triumphs; but in larger things such as alternate fuels or transportation systems, it is usually significantly hampered by the bean-counters.

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2 years ago  ::  Feb 22, 2012 - 4:11PM #4
solfeggio
Posts: 8,942

Our planet getting 'better'?  That is to laugh.  Templar is right: No way are things getting better in our world.  Or, to put it another way, we're all being taken to the cleaners and we don't even know our pants are off.


Certainly one of the major problems facing our world is that humans have always been so impressed with themselves whilst at the same time so ignorant and stupid.


Let's see now:


We are using up the planet's resources much faster than the planet can replenish them.  We're destroying the earth's biosphere, ocean ecosystems, forests, and even croplands at an ever accelerating pace.


Then, there's global warming, which is at least partly man made, and which, as an empirical fact, is causing the temperature of our planet to rise.


There are problems in the current global economy, as we've seen in the economic crises in Europe and other countries, including the U.S. and Russia. 


The overall water supply of the world has been decreasing over the years, to the point where there is now a global water crisis.


Because humans have always felt that they can kill any living creatures they please, whenever they please, for whatever reasons they please, we are seeing extinctions of various species, which could impact upon our own foolish species as well.


And that brings us to the fact that there are just too many people on this planet.  All things considered, unless or until we come to grips with the population explosion, anything else we might do is pointless.


 


 

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2 years ago  ::  Feb 22, 2012 - 4:23PM #5
costrel
Posts: 6,226

Feb 22, 2012 -- 4:11PM, solfeggio wrote:

Our planet getting 'better'?  That is to laugh.  Templar is right: No way are things getting better in our world.  


That is not what Templar said. He said, "Some things get better. Some things get worse." It's fine if you want to view the world and our future from a tragical perspective, but don't try to reinterpret the views of others to conform to your nihilistic sense of tragedy. 

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2 years ago  ::  Feb 22, 2012 - 4:35PM #6
TemplarS
Posts: 6,600

My views are neither tragic nor optimistic but realistic.


I would like to be optimistic. We as a species have the smarts and ingenuity to solve these problems. If truth be told, we have today the technology to solve many of them.  But we are told we cannot afford to do so. Usually by people with ties to those with a financial stake in the old technologies which by all rights ought to be sent to the dustbin.


So we muddle on.


 

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2 years ago  ::  Feb 22, 2012 - 5:00PM #7
solfeggio
Posts: 8,942

Fooling ourselves into thinking that everything is fine, and that soft-pedaling world problems or deliberately trying to ignore the more unpleasant aspects of our human experience, is simply to live in denial.


Refusing to admit the truth of a bad situation doesn't help to resolve that situation.  And it is true of most people that, when issues become more complicated, they tend to avoid becoming more informed about them.  And as a result, those problematic issue are never solved.


People tend to take the 'ignorance is bliss' approach.  Think of Al Gore's film about climate change, which was so badly-received by the public and for which he was mocked.

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2 years ago  ::  Feb 22, 2012 - 5:14PM #8
Girlchristian
Posts: 11,043

Feb 22, 2012 -- 5:00PM, solfeggio wrote:


Fooling ourselves into thinking that everything is fine, and that soft-pedaling world problems or deliberately trying to ignore the more unpleasant aspects of our human experience, is simply to live in denial.


Refusing to admit the truth of a bad situation doesn't help to resolve that situation.  And it is true of most people that, when issues become more complicated, they tend to avoid becoming more informed about them.  And as a result, those problematic issue are never solved.


People tend to take the 'ignorance is bliss' approach.  Think of Al Gore's film about climate change, which was so badly-received by the public and for which he was mocked.




Solf, your post sounds like this part of the article: The negativity bias is a tendency to give more weight to negative information and experiences than positive ones. Confirmation bias is our tendency to search for or interpret information in ways that confirms our preconceptions—which might not be so bad on its own, but when you add the media’s focus on negative news, you have a recipe for psychological disaster. This list goes on. The result is a brain that believes the end is near and there’s not a damn thing we can do about it.


You call out others for choosing to be ignorant and believe everything is fine while ignoring the bad, but then you choose to ignore the things that are good, that are better, and choose to only focus on the bad. No one here so far has said "everything is fine," but they have said that things are better and that's fact. Does that mean that they're ignoring the bad that still needs work? No, it simply means they're able to see both....

"No matter how dark the moment, love and hope are always possible." George Chakiris

“For those who believe, no proof is necessary. For those who don't believe, no proof is possible.” Stuart Chase
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2 years ago  ::  Feb 22, 2012 - 5:26PM #9
solfeggio
Posts: 8,942

I understand where you're coming from, Girlchristian, but my general opinion is that, because we humans have for so long chosen to ignore the very real problems around us, we have placed ourselves in the position of having to make enormous - even overwhelming - changes in our living experiences, and that we are - understandably - very reluctant to do this.


As a result, it is easier to just emphasise the good and try to down play the bad.


Although I tend to be a pessimist by nature, I do see the good in others around me, and I know there are many, many people who are really trying to make this a better world.


My problem is that I just don't think there are enough of them around to make a difference.

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2 years ago  ::  Feb 22, 2012 - 6:02PM #10
mytmouse57
Posts: 9,782

You guys are party poopers. Tongue Out

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