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Tuesday, July 17, 2018

State of the World

For John, BLUFMore people are better off each year.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

Why assessing the state of the world is harder than it sounds.

From The New Yorker, by Mr Joshua Rothman, 3 July 2018.

Here is the lede plus five:

In Enlightenment Now:  The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress, the cognitive scientist Steven Pinker looks at recent studies and finds that majorities in fourteen countries—Australia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Norway, Singapore, Sweden, Thailand, the U.A.E., and the United States—believe that the world is getting worse rather than better.  (China is the only large country in which a majority expresses optimism.)  “This bleak assessment of the state of the world is wrong,” Pinker writes—and not just a little wrong but “wrong wrong, flat-earth wrong.”
A side note.  At $18.99, this book is a little pricey for a Kindle edition.  Are we being gouged by the publishing industry?

I found this extract from the book, mentioned in the article linked above, very interesting:

Citing the German economist Max Roser, Pinker argues that a truly evenhanded newspaper “could have run the headline number of people in extreme poverty fell by 137,000 since yesterday every day for the last twenty-five years.”
Things are getting better.

Regards  —  Cliff

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