Is civilization teetering on the edge of a cliff? Or are we just climbing higher than ever?Most people who read the news would tell you that 2017 is one of the worst years in recent memory. We're facing a series of deeply troubling, even existential problems: fascism, terrorism, environmental collapse, racial and economic inequality, and more.Yet this narrative misses something important: by almost every meaningful measure, the modern world is better than it ever has been. In the United States, disease, crime, discrimination, and most forms of pollution are in long-term decline, while longevity and education keep rising and economic indicators are better than in any past generation. Worldwide, malnutrition and extreme poverty are at historic lows, and the risk of dying by war or violence is the lowest in human history.It's not a coincidence that we're confused--our perspectives on the world are blurred by the rise of social media, the machinations of politicians, and our own biases. Meanwhile, political reforms like the Clean Air Act and technological innovations like the hybridization of wheat have saved huge numbers of lives. In that optimistic spirit, Easterbrook offers specific policy reforms to address climate change, inequality, and other problems, and reminds us that there is real hope in conquering such challenges. In an age of discord and fear-mongering, It's Better Than It Looks will profoundly change your perspective on who we are, where we're headed, and what we're capable of....
|Title||:||It’s Better Than It Looks: Reasons for Optimism in an Age of Fear|
|Number of Pages||:||352 pages|
|Url Type||:||Home » Download » It’s Better Than It Looks: Reasons for Optimism in an Age of Fear|
It’s Better Than It Looks: Reasons for Optimism in an Age of Fear Reviews
This is a Goodreads win review. This book is very relevant to the times we are living in. Every I see the news on any channel it is full of American politics, and what bad shape our country is in. We also see almost daily acts of terrorism, rascism, wage inequality, sexual harrassement, climate change, natural disasters from weather. So the state of things looks pretty bad. But despite these problems democracy is still the best form of government for the better world we want to live in. He state ...more
I loved the statistics aspect of this books and it is heartening for the most part. I love to think about how things really are better than media and even entertainment would have you believe. His conveyance of his political belief as fact is expected, as he’s the author, but he also attempts to convey the conservative viewpoint and argues it without understanding the conservative mind at all. I was appreciative that he did not withhold criticism for any political person or side completely thoug ...more
I have many policy disagreements with the author, for example, his take on entitlements but I agree with most of the spirit of the book. Things are not as bad as they look and holding on to an overly pessimistic view of current events can lead to problems of our own making. Remember kiddies right-wing authoritarian ideologies thrive on fear. Things are not as bad as they seem and will get better more from an outlook that looks more for the positive than dwell on the negative.
From the title, I expected this book to be much like those by Steven Pinker, showing how human life has steadily improved from generation to generation, about how we've reduced things like hunger, disease, poverty, crime, and war by implementing the ideas of the Enlightenment. There is some of that in these pages, but Easterbrook isn't really looking at the broad scope of history here. He is more focused on today, or at least on the last century. His main point is that things today (in general) ...more
Really fascinating read, and helpful if you get caught up in thinking - as I often do - that "The whole world's going to hell!" these days. It's a dispassionate look at the problems we face and their potential solutions. Occasionally the author injects to much "editorial opinion" for me, but he's generally an equal opportunity BS-caller on leaders from "both sides of the aisle." Hope to do a longer review via a blog post at Bibliophilopolis soon.
I wish every person would read this book, now.
I work as a research scientist. Every day, I see misinterpretation and abuse of research findings for gain in political battle. Published studies are too often judged not on content or quality, but whether or not they can be weaponized to align with a belief system. A paper that says what you want to hear is labelled as fact; a paper that challenges your belief is junk propaganda. Both right and left are guilty, for any of you smugly reading this and ...more