For the Next Time Your Cranky Uncle Complains About How Terrible Things Have Gotten


Theories of unstoppable progress can be dangerous, but it’s hard to argue that our world is not a richer, more equal, healthier place in 2017 than it was in 1817.  To the above can be added Steven Pinker and others’ work showing that over the long-term human against human violence is trending downwards.  Maybe 2017 won’t be such a terrible year after all, if we look beyond the headlines to the slow, painstaking work of improving health care systems, teaching everyone literacy and numeracy, and solidifying political institutions.

A deeper dig into the data is available here.