Progress or Pessimism: How Should We Think about the Future?

optimist_pessimist

Over the past couple of years, my thinking has been greatly influenced by the "Prophets of Progress"—people like Stephen Pinker, Matt Ridley, Stephen Johnson, Hans Rosling, and Peter Diamandis to name a few. And I have written about their ideas extensively on this blog. Personally, I've been inspired by their persistent optimism about where we're headed in the future, even in the face of so much pessimism in progressive culture today.My student and colleague Carter Phipps, who is the author o … [Read more...]

2013, Or What to Do When the Apocalypse Doesn’t Arrive

New year 2013 is coming

I recently published a post titled, “The World is Getting Worse (And Other Lies)” in which I shared some inspiring data and anecdotes that have helped me to embrace what I consider to be “The Good News of Progress.” What does that mean? In short, the world is getting better—not worse, as many often suggest these days. . . especially as we've neared the dreaded apocalypse date of December 21st, 2012. In response to the post, I received a wide range of very … [Read more...]

The World is Getting Worse (and Other Lies)

Businessman pushing planet Earth off the cliff

Like millions of other Americans over Thanksgiving weekend, I went to see Steven Spielberg’s masterpiece, Lincoln.  I was mesmerized by Daniel Day-Lewis’s portrayal of the great statesman. I was also deeply moved by the thrilling depiction of the moral awakening at the film’s climax, in which the 13th Amendment for the abolition of slavery was passed by the House of Representatives. But there was something else about the film that struck me even more. And that was a … [Read more...]


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