16 Jan '19
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Why 2018 was the best year in human history.

Nicholas Kristof provides an antidote to the doom and gloom surrounding national and international politics in his Op-Ed piece, which is essentially an update of Pinker’s recent book “Enlightenment Now,” which I made the subject of several MindBlog posts starting last March 1st.  News media thrive on reporting wars, massacres and famines but are less focused on progress. Meanwhile, in the background, a lot of boring good stuff is happening which is ignored by the press. Clips on what happened in 2018:

 – Each day on average, about another 295,000 people around the world gained access to electricity for the first time…another 305,000 were able to access clean drinking water for the first time…an additional 620,000 people were able to get online for the first time…86 percent of all 1-year-olds have been vaccinated against diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis

-about 4 percent of children worldwide now die by the age of 5. That’s still horrifying, but it’s down from 19 percent in 1960 and 7 percent in 2003.

 -nine out of 10 Americans say in polls that global poverty is worsening or staying the same, when in fact the most important trend in the world is arguably a huge reduction in poverty… in the early 1980s, 44 percent of the world’s population lived in extreme poverty (defined as less than about $2 a person per day). Now, fewer than 10 percent of the world’s population lives in extreme poverty, as adjusted for inflation.

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