Sunday, March 11, 2012

Optimism Week

This week saw quite a few optimistic stories in the news and the blogosphere, so I thought I'd bring them together in one place here.

Over at The Economist, the Schumpeter blog highlights two new books, Abundance: The Future is Better Than You Think by Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler and The Creative Destruction of Medicine: How the Digital Revolution Will Create Better Health Care by Eric Topol. According to The Economist, "These books are a godsend for those who suffer from Armageddon fatigue."

For more on Peter Diamandis, see the one-minute video Evidence for Abundance embedded below. For even more, check out his 16-minute TED talk, where he points out the progress we've made over the last hundred years, and makes the case for future abundance in energy, water, communications, health and education.

The Economist (ht PostLibertarian) also ran a story this week with the tag-line "For the first time ever, the number of poor people is declining everywhere." That tag-line is a bit misleading-- it may be "the first time ever," but the global decline in poverty has been going on since 2005, a point I've raised before.

The optimism hasn't been limited to The Economist, however. New Scientist ran several features this week focusing on optimism in "the deep future." These range from the availability of natural resources to why we won't kill ourselves off. One of them even includes a tag-line guaranteed to tickle my mood affiliation: "The more optimistic we are about the future of our species, the better we can focus on today's challenges." Although some of those stories are slated to drop behind a paywall soon, NS's non-paywalled blogs were also optimistic this week.

It doesn't end there. Charles Kenny at Foreign Policy magazine (ht To Get Rich is Glorious) notes that pretty much all of us here in the West are in the top 1% globally. They say, "America's rich are really, really rich," but "by global standards, America's middle class is also really, really rich."

Finally, David Boaz at Cato@Liberty points to George Vanderbilt, one of the richest men of his time who despite a massive library and music collection, had less access to books and music than today's internet-connected poor. He also mentions JFK's son Patrick, who was born to the most powerful man on Earth yet died in infancy from a condition that would be "routine" to cure today.

If you've seen any optimistic news lately, please let me know about it in the comments!

1 comment:

  1. I thought of you when I tweeted that link :) Thanks for the reference.