Is civilization teetering on the edge of a cliff? Or are we just climbing higher than ever?Most people who read the news would tell you that 2017 is one of the worst years in recent memory. We're facing a series of deeply troubling, even existential problems: fascism, terrorism, environmental collapse, racial and economic inequality, and more.Yet this narrative misses something important: by almost every meaningful measure, the modern world is better than it ever has been. In the United States, disease, crime, discrimination, and most forms of pollution are in long-term decline, while longevity and education keep rising and economic indicators are better than in any past generation. Worldwide, malnutrition and extreme poverty are at historic lows, and the risk of dying by war or violence is the lowest in human history.It's not a coincidence that we're confused--our perspectives on the world are blurred by the rise of social media, the machinations of politicians, and our own biases. Meanwhile, political reforms like the Clean Air Act and technological innovations like the hybridization of wheat have saved huge numbers of lives. In that optimistic spirit, Easterbrook offers specific policy reforms to address climate change, inequality, and other problems, and reminds us that there is real hope in conquering such challenges. In an age of discord and fear-mongering, It's Better Than It Looks will profoundly change your perspective on who we are, where we're headed, and what we're capable of....
|Title||:||It’s Better Than It Looks: Reasons for Optimism in an Age of Fear|
|Number of Pages||:||352 pages|
|Url Type||:||Home » Download » It’s Better Than It Looks: Reasons for Optimism in an Age of Fear|
It’s Better Than It Looks: Reasons for Optimism in an Age of Fear Reviews
I think books like this are important. It seems like the current zeitgeist tends to push individuals towards commiserating with one another (and self-aggrandizing) through an easily accessible yet poorly-supported or justified skepticism of progress. Books like this make me feel better about working hard to improve the things that are immediately obvious within the amazingly complex social structure and historical context I find myself in. I've found this type of improvement in outlook produces ...more
This is a Goodreads win review. This book is very relevant to the times we are living in. Every I see the news on any channel it is full of American politics, and what bad shape our country is in. We also see almost daily acts of terrorism, rascism, wage inequality, sexual harrassement, climate change, natural disasters from weather. So the state of things looks pretty bad. But despite these problems democracy is still the best form of government for the better world we want to live in. He state ...more
This could also be called something like "The Neoliberal Manifesto" in that it posits market forces as the greatest agent for change in the history of the world. Which is a view to which I very reservedly subscribe.
The good: I think, probably, nearly everybody who is optimistic at heart should read or listen to this if only to have access to solid arguments for rebutting everybody who whines about how awful the world is. Easterbrook presents oodles of evidence that we, as a collective species, a ...more
I loved the statistics aspect of this books and it is heartening for the most part. I love to think about how things really are better than media and even entertainment would have you believe. His conveyance of his political belief as fact is expected, as he’s the author, but he also attempts to convey the conservative viewpoint and argues it without understanding the conservative mind at all. I was appreciative that he did not withhold criticism for any political person or side completely thoug ...more
This book is a must-read, especially with the current pessimist and nostalgic good old days mood all around us. It was one of the books that changed my view significantly towards many aspects, e.g. climate change, economy, violence and poverty. A large portion of the optimism is based on a myriad of facts and numbers, which are convincing. Yet, I have the impression that sometimes they are also based on some wishful thinking and not as concrete as the other sections. I felt that sometimes the ar ...more
From the title, I expected this book to be much like those by Steven Pinker, showing how human life has steadily improved from generation to generation, about how we've reduced things like hunger, disease, poverty, crime, and war by implementing the ideas of the Enlightenment. There is some of that in these pages, but Easterbrook isn't really looking at the broad scope of history here. He is more focused on today, or at least on the last century. His main point is that things today (in general) ...more
The shared tactic of Sanders and Trump, the NYT and Fox: manipulation by crisis and the creation of an us vs them siege mentality, despite the fact that on the whole, by nearly every measurable outcome, we are better off than generations past. In Easterbrook’s updated argument for dynamism and against declinism, he explores the gap between what we are inclined to believe, vs. what is true. Why such a gap, exploited by the left and right equally? How can we protect ourselves against attitudes of ...more
I'd buy this book for everyone in my family if I thought they'd read it. A great book that opens one's eyes to exactly how much better things are today than we think. Damning critique of social media, bad journalism and lousy parenting. A must read if one wants to survive and thrive in the 21st century.