Tuesday Trends

the case for optimism

November 23, 2021

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Thanksgiving is my favorite American holiday. It's not religious, it's about family, food, and being grateful.

The tacked on stories about Pilgrims and Native Americans are a bit embarrassing and probably are made up, but focus on the food and gratefulness with people you love and you can't go wrong.

the case for optimism

Maybe it's the bubble I live in, maybe it's the media, maybe it's just a strange feeling many have, but there seems to often be a palpable feeling of dread about our current situation and the future of the world.

Millennials and Gen-Z have come of age in a global financial crisis, looming climate catastrophes, a global pandemic, and increasing political polarization — which I've covered in a series I'll finish some day (cut me a little slack please ;) it's a slightly depressing topic).

Regardless of your political persuasion it can feel like the world is on fire, but it's not. Young people these days (in Western Countries) are increasingly pessimistic. The infamous AOC even suggested we should question whether to have children. I obviously didn't agree with her. There has, quite literally, never been a better time to bring a child into the world.

The case for optimism

The world has never been better and all mega-trends are heading in the right direction over time. Sure in some localities, at some periods of time things may be bad. There's always minor setbacks, but on the whole the world is going in the right direction.

Let's take a look at a few variables in charts from the amazing site, Our World In Data.

Let's go ahead and start with kids.

infant mortality down
Infant mortality, down
Child hunger is down

Ok, the kids aren't dying or starving, but survival isn't enough.

I get that.

Let's look at a few other key indexes to assess the trends in the worldwide human population.

Electricity access up
Poverty is down
Education is up
Life expectancy way up

Ok, ok you say, but how about terrorism. Isn't that awful, sure it is, but war as a whole is down. The total number of soldiers dying any given year is way, way down.

war on the decline, world peace anyone?

You can encompass all of this into a Human Development Index, which is a composite of a bunch of health, education, and living standard indexes.

Let's take a look at the global trend in Human Development:

Up and to the right!

Stop with all these charts, they don't line up with my feelz!!

I hear you. I do.

But who's telling you how to feel? Is it an organization invested in you feeling like the sky is falling?

Everything being way better doesn't do well in a 24 hour news cycle world, it sure as hell doesn't earn political donations, or get clicks.

The world is better than it's ever, ever been and all trends are on the macro level heading in the right direction.

Let's be thankful this year we live in 2021, not 1021!

2 crazy things ✌

🔋 Battery recycling on the rise

With a rise in electrical vehicles, there's a rise in batteries, but what are we doing with them when they're past their life? Recycling? Take a look.


⭐ 600 Megapixel photo of the Milky Way

Reddit user DanielJStein spent 6 months of computer processing time to finalize this 600 Megapixel photo of the Milky Way, just gorgeous.

Milky Way
just gorgeous

Are you optimistic? Pessimistic?

Let me know. Just hit reply, I read and respond to everyone!

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Have an awesome week and see you next Tuesday!


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Over the long term, the future is decided by optimists. To be an optimist you don’t have to ignore all the many problems we create; you just have to imagine improving our capacity to solve problems.
Kevin Kelly

Read Kevin Kelly: The Case for Optimism

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