The Force of Progress


In a David Brooks article today he started with this quote:

After you read this column, go to YouTube and search “Hans Rosling and 200 countries.” You’ll see a Swedish professor describe the growth of global wealth and well-being over the past 200 years.

Really, is there anyone that isn’t going to go do that.  I sure did.  And I’m glad for it.

What we find is this incredible video that shows the astonishing progress we humans have made over the past 2oo years. How we are both richer and healthier.  How we are all converging toward richer and healthier.

Now, I had seen a version of Rosling’s presentation before, on a TED talk.   But the timing was important for me as the culmination of my reading over the past three months (The Rational Optimist, The Progress Paradox and the Origins of Virtue). 

While I will post on these books, suffice to say that with them, and Rosling’s video, I am, despite the natural dispostion of we humans, bouyantly optimistic about the future.  And you should be too.

I viewed it at the breakfast table on my IPad (yet another testament to the unfathomable progress we have seen in the past 5 years alone) and called my 6 and 8 year-old over to watch it – as mandatory viewing and innoculation against the doom-and-gloomers that pervade.

Why haven’t I heard this before?  Where has all this good news been kept?  Hidden in plain site behind life saving drugs, jet airplanes, and globe spanning communications devices.

Have a good day.

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2 Responses to The Force of Progress

  1. Bhuvan Nijhawan says:

    makes me verryyyyyyyyyy optimistic

  2. Sean O'Brien says:

    Thanks for including us, your girls, in this post!!!!

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