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Tag Archives: optimism
It’s title: To New Horizons. The logic is sunny and simple, but it has proven (thus far) to be pretty much dead on.
It’s 2014. A hundred years ago, the assassination in Sarajevo of Archduke Franz Ferdinand initiated a series of calamitous events that brought on World War I. And the way WWI ended (with the Versailles Treaty) led to yet another series … Continue reading
Every day, in a lot of ways, are we really getting better and better?
That, at any rate, is John Gray’s thesis, and he has a new book out. In a recent interview at The Spectator, he had this to say: [K]nowledge can never eradicate the conflicts of the human world, or produce harmony where … Continue reading
It sounds like a joke, but that’s the thesis of the lead article in The Spectator’s 2012 Christmas issue: Never has there been less hunger, less disease or more prosperity. The West remains in the economic doldrums, but most developing … Continue reading
Thinking and Apocalypse: Heuristic (Shorthand) Thinking vs. Critical Thinking. Should We Be Optimistic About Our Future?
Given the paucity of sustained critical thinking in our culture, science writer K. C. Cole reflects on our prospects for collective survival in a recent (and I think important) review at the Los Angeles Review of Books: No one in … Continue reading
John Gray thinks Steven Pinker’s thesis in his new book—in which Pinker argues that the world is progressing toward an ever less violent future—is deluded. In the Jacob-wrestle between Enlightenment rationality and our evolution-formed imperatives, Gray is betting that our … Continue reading
We live in interesting times: the end of the “dumb society.” A great short documentary on our collective (and hopeful) future:
Willem Buiter is Citgroup’s chief economist, and here’s CNBC today reporting his forecast for the global economy over the next 40 years: “We expect strong growth in the world economy until 2050, with average real GDP growth rates of 4.6 percent … Continue reading
A bit of optimism for a Sunday:
If you want to be hopeful about the human future (including America’s), think about this: free minds and strong exchange economies are positively correlated. It’s not that there is a one-to-one relationship between them, but wherever you have free minds the odds are good, … Continue reading
My daughters are four and six, and barring a severe catastrophe (personal or civilizational), my guess is that they’ll have lifespans that might double that of the average person living today. By the time they hit about the age of 50 (around … Continue reading
The universe appears to be lacking in purpose in some ways, but not in others. For example, the Holocaust and the panda’s “thumb” would seem to suggest that we live in a historically contingent universe indifferent and blind to both suffering and … Continue reading
Mental Health Break (after Thinking about George Bush’s One Million Iraqi “Commas,” Here’s a Song for the “Period”)
At the end of the line, after perhaps a number of clauses, and commas marking their course, there should be a PERIOD, and there it is.