The world needs more optimism these days–what with Ebola in West Africa, a civil war in Ukraine, and multiple wars in the Middle East. Here’s a does of optimism from one of the world’s greatest optimists, Hans Rosling, and yes, he has numbers to back it up:

Try watching the first couple of minutes and taking his quiz (I got 2 out of 3).

Most people in the western world believe that the world is getting worse. Only a small fraction know that things are getting better for the most part. Population growth is slowing. Average per capita violence is at historic lows. Extreme poverty was cut in half five years ahead of schedule. And so on.

Obviously, there are still big problems in the world. Reducing child mortality and promoting universal education are proving tough nuts to crack, not to mention all of the current crises. But just remember that the future is not as bleak as the news sites would like to paint it.

About Alex R. Howe

I'm a full-time astrophysicist and a part-time science fiction writer.
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