Here comes another new optimistic book packed with evidence for a positive view of our world and it’s future. But first some musical accompaniment, to help set the mood, with the help of The Beatles, at least 50 years ahead of their time 🙂
Getting Better – Beatles (1967)
I’ve got to admit it’s getting better
A little better all the time
I have to admit it’s getting better
It’s getting better since you’ve been mine
Economist Charles Kenny (joining a growing list of recent authors) lays out the persuasive case that the world is now much better than even 10 years ago and is on track for an even better future. A point of view that will surely not please the rich doom sayers.
“Getting Better, in sharp contrast, reports the good news about global progress. Economist Charles Kenny argues against development naysayers by pointing to the evidence of widespread improvements in health, education, peace, liberty and even happiness. Kenny shows how the spread of cheap technologies, such as vaccines and bed nets, and ideas, such as political rights, has transformed the world. He also shows that by understanding this transformation, we can make the world an even better place to live.That’s not to say that life is grand for everyone, or that we don’t have a long way to go. But improvements have spread far, and, according to Kenny, they can spread even further.” Read most sections of Getting Better here.
Even “the bottom billion” are getting better, which will surely not please the swelling ranks of the we-must-save-the-world-moralists. 😉 Yes there are problems, but to ignore or deny the enormous progress made is surely unscientific, at least. To then argue that “we” must (anyway) hide positive evidence so that “they” will be scared into doing good, is logically unsound, profoundly undemocratic and probably inhumane too. Getting these positive facts published in history, geography and social studies school books, as well as taught in Western classrooms, would also boost innovation and enthusiam, rather than despair, in solving remaining world problems.
“It’s easy to assume, faced with images of continuing destitution in rural Africa and South Asia, that things have just kept getting worse. But they haven’t. In fact, over the last two decades the pattern has reversed. The world has got a lot less poor — and the nature of the poverty that remains has changed in important ways.”
The world seems to need saving from people-who-want-to-save-the-world. More local, reasoned and evidence based argument would do wonders. The world can take care of itself, very nicely it seems, thank you. I’ll vote for that! 🙂
Beatled Better Brady