This has been around for some time, but is worth having a look at to keep some things in perspective. Not that it helps much if you live in some hell-hole where order has broken down or your freedom is suppressed ... and not that Western countries are magically immune to turning into hell-holes. It takes work, and a commitment to the values of peace and tolerance.
For all that, some things have been improving over time.
Steven Pinker is one of my favourite writers, and he's also a very good speaker.
H/T Kenneth Lipp
This is one of my favourites, too. Very well argued--and something that really needs to be said. So many people take it as axiomatic that modern civilisation has spread pain, indifference and cruelty throughout the world.
Russell, I am just coming across this, and an appropriate time given your words.
Growing up in the American South, Martin Luther King, Jr is a large part of the the cultural ethos (and,in Birmingham, the pathos especially). Your post brings to mind:
"Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable... Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals."
~ Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (January 15, 1929-April 4, 1968)
You may be aware, today is a national holiday in the States (I suppose not today yet, but today here in England) in observance of his birthday, yesterday.
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