Is the world getting better or worse? A look at the numbers | Steven Pinker

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Captain Ron : Wonderful talk! However, despite the convincing numbers that the world is a better place today than it was in the past, many people are incapable of seeing progress and instead dwell on current issues and problems. This is not a bad thing but focusing on the world's miseries (without acknowledging the amazing progress of human society) is a depressing way of living one's life.

yapdog : You wouldn't believe how harshly I always get attacked online when I said we're better off now than we were by nearly every measure. I've been saying this for the past 10 years, but, no matter their political leanings, people really don't like to hear it, calling me ignorant.

Brenda Rua : Curly hair, silver and funny! OMG!

darius bekker : "When was the last time the world wasn't falling apart?"

Goose Games : i think social media has amplified everything. things may not be as bad as 30 years ago but with social media people just love to complain, hate and voice their negative opinions.

Earthbjorn Nahkaimurrao : 9:15 - someone with ability should start a news organization that focuses on tracking the improvements we are making. This would greatly inspire people to contribute to society by becoming engineers, teachers, doctors, etc.

NAIVADA : $weet dreams.. The society and culture we're living in are driven by the worst of values to achieve anything that'd get us any closer to one where equality and morality could prevail. The whole economic culture we live in is unsustainable and it will collapse, everything will need and is going to change, one way or another. There isn't going to be an economic recovery. We will not see a decrease in poverty. The current system creates artificial scarcity > breeds competition, immorality, conflict, problem creation for the sake of profit, and much suffering. YAY

Whatsername : He has such a symmetrical face.

Muhammad Mirsab : So many hard words used, I had to write down about 30 words throughout this video. Ted captions should also have small definitions for hard words.

John Doe : Humans need to take a step back and understand that not everything is fine, but many things are. And the fact we can make progress makes things that aren't fine less scary and bad. Stop saying things are bad and change them. Just acknowledging issues is not making things progress. Action needs to be taken as well. And we can't act based off emotion. We need to act based on fact, reason and logic as well. As all true liberals/progressives should.

Abhilash S : "Knowledge is better than superstition" Thank you TED

Mara Schino : Wow, that last sentence completely encompasses my own journey away from fundamentalism into happiness. It's tragic that some groups in the US actively promote suffering, imagined persecution and intentional ignorance as virtues. Thank you for putting out videos full of facts and encouragement.

2OrdinaryGuys : Thank you for this video - from a student paramedic

Jason Martin : I have a theory: Perhaps people feel so poorly about the current state of the world because more and more people are having decent childhoods, thus looking at the past with rose-tinted glasses and looking at deviation from that as threatening. Basically, our increased standard of living is also increasing how threatened we feel by progress.

writerconsidered : He is absolutely correct, within the parameters he is operating in. What he is leaving out could fill volumes.

Frautcres : As the world progresses and becomes safer we find new reasons to be outraged and create danger, and I only think this will cause some sort of crash in the future.

Rebecca luis : We're making *great* progress

Earthbjorn Nahkaimurrao : Can we quantify what causes this progress? Is it technology, is it free markets, is it democracy, is it social programs?

Michael L : Its the lying main stream media.

Bitoni Lane : what country is a democracy? lost me on this one.

Editora Simonsen : A true genius.

Joseph Eden : A corrupted government is not a Democracy. Water quality, habitat loss, fauna extinction and animal extinction? Inequality gap/rate? Developed world stats propped up by the developing worlds growth. How and who came up with the statistics? Mouthpiece for the rich and oppressive "free market" Oligarchs.

Hari Hara Sudhan K R : A video summary of Enlightenment now

domsau2 : Collapsology is right.

mooxim : :D I could see his eyes welling up as he finished. I'm glad he kept his cool while speaking instead of getting too preachy and passionate but these are thoughts worth getting emotional about.

mil ford : This guy's confusing intellectuals with politicians...... There will be giant progress if scientists/professors don't spend the majority of the time begging for funding, then SOMETIMES getting it with strings attached, e.g dictated results/ scripted interview/ protect your results or someone else will steal it.... The vast majority of papers are results of years of study, with 0 details on how the reproduce experiments.

Colin Tibert : Which one’s Ted?

Allen Duncan : The Paradox of Human Progress Mr. Pinker's progress metrics are human centric with a bias discounting all other life forms. The problems he mentions, which are less now than thirty years ago, do not take into account the cost of that "progress". More crops to feed more people (less famine) is making abundant clean water source(s) scarcer and therefore more expensive for everyone. The convenience of plastic containers for product transport (more hours of leisure) which when said containers are discarded and dissolve in the oceans wind up in our food sources as indigestible micro-pellets of extra burden on our gastrointestinal system. Our happiness indicators are rising, but so too is opiod addiction spreading geometrically. Do we really need drugs to keep us happy? Extended life expectancy is financially burdensome to society from a care givers perspective as well as from a standpoint of increased neurological disorders of the elderly. Less crime may be a direct result of fewer personal freedoms and governmental spying on citizens. If you don't think so, watch how the TSA humiliates citizenry in the name of a more "secure" transportation system. More pesticides means fewer bees increasing real crop prices (without farm subsidies factored in). As the globe warms (abundant and inexpensive fossil fuel use), coastlines are eroded displacing thousands and soon millions. Who will pay for this displacement? And so on. We don't need cheerleaders who want to sell their own books. We need governments and financial institutions collaborating to prioritize problems which may slow gdp and bottom-line growth, but the solving of which will protect endangered species, loss of biologically diverse habitats, and humanities future. His closing statements are well thought out, but they should in no way make his audience think human life is getting better. It can, but it needs a wider scope of included challenges to really tell a truth about what are the real challenges we face as we move into the future.

Phi : He forgets to mention the demographic decline of the west, the destruction of the environment and that happiness doesn't explicitly come from material things. I have the sense that we are more egoistic than ever before, and this is what bothers me. Not that I doubt scientific progress, I fear it. Artificial intelligence is a threat. Progress is a threat.

Honig Son : Fun fact , statistics say its becoming better, but i dont know anyone whos feeling it

Daniel Șuteu : We multiplied our fortunes, but we reduced our values. We talk too much, we love too rarely and we hate too often. We learned how to make a living, but not how to live a life, We added years to life, not life to years. We've gotten up to the moon and back, but we're in trouble when we have to cross the street to get in touch with a neighbor. We have conquered the cosmic space, but not the inner space. We did bigger things, but not better. We cleaned the air, but we polluted the soil. We conquered the atom, but not our prejudices. We write more, but we learn less. We plan more, but we do fewer. We learned to hurry, but not how to be patient. We have larger buildings, but smaller souls; Wider highways, but narrower minds. We buy more, but we enjoy less. We have more accessories, but less time; more knowledge, but less judgment; more experts and yet more problems, more medicine, but less health. These are the times of fast-food and slow digestion, Great people, but petty characters; Rapid profits and superficial relationships. These are the times when we have two incomes, but more divorces, More beautiful houses, but broken homes. These are the times when we have one-night stands, overweight bodies and pills that can induce any feeling, from joy... to peace... to death... -- Paler, Octavian

We Not Me : Oh my god, following attacks on free speech labelled as "fake news", the Hegemony has now started haranguing us with Neo-Liberal propagandists like this guy. You can prove anything with the selective use of statistics. But here are a few statistics that Pinker conveniently forgot to mention, for balance; * Fewer than 400 people own more than 50% of all the wealth on planet Earth. * The Anthropocene Age has resulted in more than half of all mammalian species going extinct in less than 100 years. * Homicide rates are down in the US, but incarceration rates are higher than in Communist China, and more than 5 times the global average, with 1:2000 adults in prison. * People living in Africa who used to eat rats and drink cattle blood now live in houses, and that's great. But the Global Financial Crisis made 3 million Americans homeless, and homeless rates have been rising ever since. * Literacy rates in America are falling, as is class mobility, fewer people have access to adequate healthcare, and child mortality rates in the US are climbing. He didn't mention Capitalism once, and he made the completely spurious claim that "Democracy" is spreading everywhere. The truth is, our societies are becoming less democratic, in terms of the measurable influence public opinion has on public policy, while political theatre abounds. We were more prosperous in the United States when rampant Capitalism was more restrained, and tax rates on the rich were > 90% Pinker is gaslighting us. You are not crazy to believe that the world is becoming less free, less just and less democratic. People like Pinker are definitely a part of the problem and should be resisted.

geistreiches : it’s getting better because we work so much, and that’s why it feels worse.. edit: with "much" I mean work has become a lot more complex because we have become so efficient, there is just a small margin of error and you won't succeed on the global market.. due to better tools (computers) fewer people need to overlook a lot more than in the past.. work has become a lot harder because of how many perfectionists always want to get better and with less errors.. we might work less when looking at pure numbers, but work has become a lot more demanding for your brain in recent years

Abundantia : Are there any Evangelicals listening to this?

OneWaifu4Laifu : May 28th 2016 death of Harambe aka worst day in human history.

Timothy Hilditch : Can anyone define Poverty & extreme Poverty without Googling it? Because statistics without explanation are useless. There are multiple definitions for the word "Poverty".

Rodrigo Rios Lee : Nice chat... but as some others have pointed out, much of this "progress" has been done to an enourmous cost, one that many prefer to deny: the destruction of the environment. Steven Pinker forgot to show statistics about the dramatic ongoing death of all species in this world. Do you really think we, humans, will go unpunished?

Esben Andreasen : Orwell was right when he said that most socialists do not care about the poor; they simply hate the rich. Leftists hate progress because it undermines their critique of the powers that be.

marcos cesar da silva a : It seems the ideas presented here are ideologically driven, I have lived and worked in more than a dozen countries in 3 different continents, the idea that the world is getting better is the equivalent of believing economists saying the economy is actually better.

Goku : Great talk. It's so frustrating to see how many people ignore the good of the world in favor of fatalism.

Willy Tanner : I'm an optimist, I agree is getting better, but....only 10% of extreme poverty?? Whaaaaat? I've traveled to China, India, Africa, Southeast Asia....combined they make more than half the world's population, and I'm sure that number is wrong!

EvilChris2010 : Stephen Pinker seems more like a normative ethicist than a psychologist. I love it.

Mar nig : World and People are Not the same.

zer0bit : What a nice video!! I just hope they add Portuguese subtitle soon so I can share with my friends that doesn't speak English.

JeremyIan : Meh... I think the world is a pot about to boil over. Thanks anyway, Stinker

CEIA BOSS : He is not telling the truth in the right way, obviously every years changes and improves but there still a lot of serious problems

Amena Aasim : Data is biased. He's only showing results from one side of the world. What about the other countries?

calliph : Yeah, but the avalanche of of data points to a much worse future to come far outweigh whatever cherry picked data you decided to put on display here.

KRasta Smoke : Better for what\who? Worse for what\who? Progress do not exist in general. Maybe "moving" is what the "world" getting (doing, what happening to it). Any of these talks are just your perception points of your interests.

james beihl : I would like to see him try and debate Chris Hedges