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2014 was awesome

Posted on 23 December 2014

Look, a lot of bad stuff happened in 2014. We should never be complacent with the status quo or accept things that could be better. But it’s worth looking at the big picture from time to time and make an empirical assessment about how the human race is doing.

To that end, here’s Ramez Naam on growing acceptance for gay marriage, the rise of solar power, and the decline in child poverty, among other things.

And here’s Steven Pinker and Adam Mack on the decline of homicide rates, violence against women and children, mass killings, and war.

Pinker and Mack include plenty of commentary in their piece on how news reporting does not do a good job reflecting the world as it actually is.

“News is about things that happen, not things that don’t happen. We never see a reporter saying to the camera, “Here we are, live from a country where a war has not broken out”—or a city that has not been bombed, or a school that has not been shot up. As long as violence has not vanished from the world, there will always be enough incidents to fill the evening news.”

A point that’s been made before but worth making again and again and again.

So here’s to 2014 – one of the best years in human history, and the hope that 2015 will be even better.

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