The world is only getting better, not worse.

I think the common belief that it is going bad with the world is wrong.

Anything that doesn't fit anywhere else below.

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Re: The world is only getting better, not worse.

#41  Postby tuco » Feb 25, 2014 11:11 am

I was not debating world's great problems. I am debating whether and how the world is getting better, and my premise was that to get better also means to be happier.
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Re: The world is only getting better, not worse.

#42  Postby hyena » Feb 25, 2014 4:06 pm

tuco wrote:
1. Whats better is subjective and since reasons of the people mentioned in OP: A lot of people think it's getting worse and worse in this world are not stated nor obvious, I fail to see what the statistical evidence is to support. Oh yeah, that the world is getting better ..


Ahh, I see, now I understand what you were trying to say. The point I was trying to prove had nothing to do with the happiness, more of the things of horror happening. With bad I mean dead, with good I mean life. These statistics do not show the increasing happiness of the species, only their circumstances getting ' better' .

tuco wrote:
2. Statistical evidence presented has limited value as it covers fraction of what the world consists of. It does not cover butterflies for example. While humans are .. the most important things in this world, they do not live in vacuum. Then to talk about the world as equal to human, predefined, well-being is at least simplistic.


They indeed do not, I never meant to say they did.

tuco wrote:BTW are people today happier than people say I dunno 5000 years ago? They should be since they are getting better.


I'm not sure if they were, neither do I wish to show this with these statistics. All I'm trying to show, that in the course of complaining about NSA, state of economy or shitty food. We should take time to appreciate that these kind of things are improving at such a rate. Many people do not know about these things. We should be happier than 5000 years ago, it doesn't mean we are, but these statistics obviously state to me that we should. Do you agree with that?
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Re: The world is only getting better, not worse.

#43  Postby tuco » Feb 25, 2014 4:13 pm

Yes, too late I realized this was an optimistic thread.
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Re: The world is only getting better, not worse.

#44  Postby hyena » Feb 26, 2014 11:00 am

tuco wrote:Yes, too late I realized this was an optimistic thread.


It's not completely. The statistical evidence still shows improvement in the circumstances of the species. While the common belief is the exact opposite. That's the goal for the threat, to remove that idea, that's why it is in the debunk.
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Re: The world is only getting better, not worse.

#45  Postby Sendraks » Feb 26, 2014 11:03 am

Of course it is an optimistic thread. We're having a discussion with people from all parts of the world in fairly effortless way.

I never even conceived such a thing might be possible when I was a kid.

This is amazing.
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Re: The world is only getting better, not worse.

#46  Postby JoeB » Feb 26, 2014 11:53 am

It's definitely true that the world is becoming 'better' for most people right now. However this happens at a massive expense of the environment. It's only a matter of time before mother nature catches up with us, I hope we have our shit together before then.
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Re: The world is only getting better, not worse.

#47  Postby Frank Merton » Feb 26, 2014 11:56 am

JoeB wrote:It's definitely true that the world is becoming 'better' for most people right now. However this happens at a massive expense of the environment. It's only a matter of time before mother nature catches up with us, I hope we have our shit together before then.
It appears to me, except for the scary global warming, that the environment too is getting better. I know for sure that both the air quality and the water quality of our canals in Ho Chi Minh City are noticeably better.

It's interesting that this is all happening at a time when wealth is becoming more and more concentrated into fewer and fewer hands.
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Re: The world is only getting better, not worse.

#48  Postby Sendraks » Feb 26, 2014 12:04 pm

Frank Merton wrote:It appears to me, except for the scary global warming, that the environment too is getting better.


I don't agree. I think the rate that it is getting worse is slowing, but we're a long way from global "improvement" in the environment. Take deforestation as an example:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-26287137

Where things are "better" here is that we have the knowledge and understanding about how our actions impact on the environment and we can use this, should we choose, to change those impacts. The challenge we face is getting those resistant to accepting the evidence of the harms we are doing to change their behaviours.

But the position we are in is better than it was, say, 100 years ago in terms of making informed decisions.
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Re: The world is only getting better, not worse.

#49  Postby Scar » Feb 26, 2014 12:12 pm

Frank Merton wrote:
JoeB wrote:It's definitely true that the world is becoming 'better' for most people right now. However this happens at a massive expense of the environment. It's only a matter of time before mother nature catches up with us, I hope we have our shit together before then.
It appears to me, except for the scary global warming, that the environment too is getting better. I know for sure that both the air quality and the water quality of our canals in Ho Chi Minh City are noticeably better.

It's interesting that this is all happening at a time when wealth is becoming more and more concentrated into fewer and fewer hands.


You can't really extrapolate from one specific example in your home town to "the environment" at large.
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Re: The world is only getting better, not worse.

#50  Postby Frank Merton » Feb 26, 2014 12:18 pm

Scar wrote:
Frank Merton wrote:
JoeB wrote:It's definitely true that the world is becoming 'better' for most people right now. However this happens at a massive expense of the environment. It's only a matter of time before mother nature catches up with us, I hope we have our shit together before then.
It appears to me, except for the scary global warming, that the environment too is getting better. I know for sure that both the air quality and the water quality of our canals in Ho Chi Minh City are noticeably better.

It's interesting that this is all happening at a time when wealth is becoming more and more concentrated into fewer and fewer hands.


You can't really extrapolate from one specific example in your home town to "the environment" at large.

Yes I can -- I just did. It is that way over most of the developed and developing world. China has an air pollution problem and Brazil a deforestation problem, but the situation, for example, in the States is vastly improved; I can remember when the Cuyahoga river caught fire.
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Re: The world is only getting better, not worse.

#51  Postby Scar » Feb 26, 2014 12:31 pm

Frank Merton wrote:
Scar wrote:
Frank Merton wrote:
JoeB wrote:It's definitely true that the world is becoming 'better' for most people right now. However this happens at a massive expense of the environment. It's only a matter of time before mother nature catches up with us, I hope we have our shit together before then.
It appears to me, except for the scary global warming, that the environment too is getting better. I know for sure that both the air quality and the water quality of our canals in Ho Chi Minh City are noticeably better.

It's interesting that this is all happening at a time when wealth is becoming more and more concentrated into fewer and fewer hands.


You can't really extrapolate from one specific example in your home town to "the environment" at large.

Yes I can -- I just did. It is that way over most of the developed and developing world. China has an air pollution problem and Brazil a deforestation problem, but the situation, for example, in the States is vastly improved; I can remember when the Cuyahoga river caught fire.


Well technically you can - but you'd reach a wrong conclusion. So, yeah.
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Re: The world is only getting better, not worse.

#52  Postby Sendraks » Feb 26, 2014 12:33 pm

Scar wrote:Well technically you can - but you'd reach a wrong conclusion. So, yeah.


Yup. The same kind of wrong conclusion climate change denialists make when they look outside, see snow, and go "so much for global warming eh?" :grin:
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Re: The world is only getting better, not worse.

#53  Postby JoeB » Feb 26, 2014 1:22 pm

Frank Merton wrote:
JoeB wrote:It's definitely true that the world is becoming 'better' for most people right now. However this happens at a massive expense of the environment. It's only a matter of time before mother nature catches up with us, I hope we have our shit together before then.
It appears to me, except for the scary global warming, that the environment too is getting better. I know for sure that both the air quality and the water quality of our canals in Ho Chi Minh City are noticeably better.

It's interesting that this is all happening at a time when wealth is becoming more and more concentrated into fewer and fewer hands.

Sure, local effects may be positive, but have you considered the oceans for example? They are acidifying at an alarming rate, causing all sorts of problems for marine life. Or what about the melting of siberian and canadian permafrost? These could present large hazards in, say, the coming 50 years or so.
I agree things are improving now, it's just not sustainable improvement. A massive correction will come, one way or another unless we make a very serious effort into making our societies sustainable. Can you imagine what'd happen if India were to suffer a massive drought one year long for example? utter anarchy.
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Re: The world is only getting better, not worse.

#54  Postby Briton » Feb 26, 2014 4:40 pm

My prediction is that when a global disaster strikes humanity, it wont be predicted.
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Re: The world is only getting better, not worse.

#55  Postby Agrippina » Feb 26, 2014 4:41 pm

I tend to agree. You never see it coming. When you do expect it, it's never the way you thought it would be. So when the big one comes, we won't know it.
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Re: The world is only getting better, not worse.

#56  Postby quas » Feb 26, 2014 5:31 pm

Global warming, mass extinction, depletion of fossil fuels, etc. Don't see how it's getting better.

So what if we have lesser wars? Who needs war? War is simply a means of securing resources (land, natural resources, manpower, etc). Who needs to wage wars when you can enslave people to work for you and buy from you?
The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem
those who think alike than those who think differently. -Nietzsche
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Re: The world is only getting better, not worse.

#57  Postby Arjan Dirkse » Feb 26, 2014 7:06 pm

The world is getting better, but pollution and climate change are going to fuck us. We have a chance to steer in the right direction right now, but all the indicators are showing we're probably going to miss that chance. If we miss that chance all bets are off, even extinction is a possibility. Look at the horror scenario unfolding in China right now: China's toxic air pollution resembles nuclear winter
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Re: The world is only getting better, not worse.

#58  Postby hyena » Feb 26, 2014 11:02 pm

quas wrote:Global warming, mass extinction, depletion of fossil fuels, etc. Don't see how it's getting better.

So what if we have lesser wars? Who needs war? War is simply a means of securing resources (land, natural resources, manpower, etc). Who needs to wage wars when you can enslave people to work for you and buy from you?


So what if we have less war?

Are you seriously suggesting that less war isn't better? That a damn amount of people have been lifted out of poverty such a short amount of time, doesn't mean a damn?

Problems will always be... If Global warming, mass extinction were to fade, you'll probably end up with other excuses. It's like people think that if they stop being cynical or stop interacting with the world through a layer of detached irony that they're selling out or giving consent to the world's evils. And I think this is another bullshit lie we tell ourselves.

We have our list of excuses, we want the world to be bad... All of the information in the world is available to you via the same machine you're using to read this. Why aren't you a genius yet? What are you doing with this power?

It was not cynicism which ended these problems... It's going out in the world, and believing what you do is worthwhile. If everyone had this mind-set, I'm sure many problems would fade away in a phase that no one had ever imagined.
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Re: The world is only getting better, not worse.

#59  Postby quas » Feb 27, 2014 3:41 am

hyena wrote:So what if we have less war?

People generally don't go to war because they hate each other. It's nothing personal, it's just about the money. Less wars means we have perfected a system to screw someone else over economically without having to risk our lives.

Are you seriously suggesting that less war isn't better? That a damn amount of people have been lifted out of poverty such a short amount of time, doesn't mean a damn?

More inflation now. Things cost more than before. Maybe things are worse now.

It's like people think that if they stop being cynical or stop interacting with the world through a layer of detached irony that they're selling out or giving consent to the world's evils.

Or just naive.

We have our list of excuses, we want the world to be bad...

I think most cynics want the world to be better, it's just that they don't see how that's going to happen.

All of the information in the world is available to you via the same machine you're using to read this. Why aren't you a genius yet? What are you doing with this power?

Many reasons:
1. Not all information is available on the internet.
2. Even if information is available, it's not guaranteed to be accurate.
3. Even if information is available, it takes time to process information.
4. If information is indeed available to everyone, then you would lose any power.
To be powerful means someone else has to have less power than you. Power can only come from asymmetrical information.

It was not cynicism which ended these problems... It's going out in the world, and believing what you do is worthwhile. If everyone had this mind-set, I'm sure many problems would fade away in a phase that no one had ever imagined.

Of course, everyone can do a little good each day, but in the grand scheme of things, it doesn't matter.
The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem
those who think alike than those who think differently. -Nietzsche
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Re: The world is only getting better, not worse.

#60  Postby Agrippina » Feb 27, 2014 7:18 am

I think that from the point of view of information becoming more freely available, and people being able to speak about everything more openly, being able to start a revolution about perceived injustices and so on, it is better.

From the point of view of what the past has done, and the present continues to do, to destroy the environment, not so much.

Everything changes so quickly because of more openness, and more freedom, for the better? I don't know if my grandchildren will be living "better" lives than mine has been, I hope so, but I don't know, so I can't say. I definitely think they're going to have a better childhood than I did.
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