Tag Archives: optimism

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Why suicide is falling around the world, and how to bring it down more

This fact is promising and the article in the Economist is worth reading (you don’t need a subscription to read it.)

Key quote for me:

Nonetheless, beyond America’s gloomy trend is a more optimistic story: that at a global level, suicide is down by 29% since 2000 (see article). As a result, 2.8m lives have been saved in that time—three times as many as have been killed in battle. There is no one reason. It is happening at different rates among different groups in different places. But the decline is particularly notable among three sets of people.

via Why suicide is falling around the world, and how to bring it down more – Staying alive.

 

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Should you read Steven Pinker’s Enlightment Now?

I have my doubts after reading this: Steven Pinker’s book Enlightenment Now is a huge hit. Too bad it gets the Enlightenment wrong. – Vox. 

I am a fan of the new wave of optimism being swept in by writers like Pinker. But misrepresenting the Enlightenment is a bad idea, and I am not sure why he did it. If you want to read it in the spirit of what out age needs now, then it is likely you should read it. If you want to learn about the Enlightenment, read the Vox piece and then go somewhere other than Enlightenment Now.

Reasons to be optimistic in 26 charts

The folks at Vox have put together this: 26 charts and maps that show the world is getting much, much better.

One of my favourite statistics/charts is this one:

Even hardcore pessimists have a difficult time with that one. 🙂

The other 25 charts are worth checking out. They highlight significant areas where life is getting better. If you need a reason to be optimistic or to be more optimistic (or to be less pessimistic), you owe it to yourself to see the Vox post and then think about it.