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Are things getting better?

Are things getting better than they were 5, 10, 50 years ago? With social media being the center of every modern civilization, a cute cat clip and horrifying tale from too-close-to-home is all a click away. Yes, we have clearly evolved for the better in a lot of aspects but has our common sense and moral compass forgotten us into believing that the world is better now more than ever?

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    Apr 10 2014: Dan, the world is as same as the way it used to be. Only a few changes in technology. Everything is same old same old. It depends on you how you take it.

    And as you've asked me, things have always been great for me. I wake up with a new opportunity even when I am struggling. And I sleep at peace that I've tried.
  • Apr 14 2014: The thing will be better when people around the world start to smile, help and be polite with the other no matter the skin, religion, or beauty. Dont try to change the world, but try to change the day of the people around you at the bus, in your job, at your school and at home. One world, one action, one minute and you light up the day for someone who maybe need it. And you also light up your day too.
    If things be like this thw world will be change for good.
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    Apr 9 2014: I guess things getting better or worse are in the eye of the beholder. "Tis nothing good or bad, but thinking makes it so." -Shakespeare
    Here are a lot of things to consider though: In the U.S, the middle class is getting wiped out. Median wages are stagnant. There are more people on welfare than ever before. 1 in 5 children face hunger (I drive by this billboard every day and it irks me). University tuition is out of control (even then there are a lot of underemployed/unemployed people). $1 trillion of student debt. Great hour long video by the way by Thom Hartmann about this. Inflation on every day items (gas, food, etc.) is going up. While poverty is decreasing throughout the world, we have an immense strain on resources and ecosystems (even our own TEDster Ken Robinson made a good reference to it in a talk at UVU). There is a sense of global uprising: occupy wall street, the arab spring, etc. has come and gone. Personally, I think our moral compass has gone off course. In regards to social media, I can't believe the amount of views of some videos. There's something wrong in our society when a very informative/educational video gets only a few thousand views and something else that probably decreases your intellect gets millions. I think bottom line is what Richard Wilkinson says, "Are you growing up in a world where you will have to fight for what you can get, watch your back and learn not to trust others because we are all rivals, or are you growing up in a world where you will depend on cooperation, reciprocity and mutuality?"
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    Apr 8 2014: Dan, That would totally depend on who you ask and on what they judge their opinion on. Is the question locally, state wide, national, global?????? It would differ on educational level, racial background, economic situation, etc ...

    A person in the USA who is receiving many subsidies while not working would say things are pretty good while I am paying more taxes and my insurance rates just tripled to help pay for the "freebies" they receive may say it ain't all that.

    For those who never question anything ... life is what life is daily ... for those who are still capable of thought ask how did you arrive at those numbers ... why are you exempt from those laws ... why are you the new elite .... where did 17 trillion dollars go ... do you have a recovery plan .... a budget plan ... etc

    What have we learned from history ... nothing ... and we are doomed to repeat all of the tragic errors made.

    Do things look good in the short term or long term.

    If I spend all my paycheck partying on Friday night ... things are great until I wake up on Saturday.

    You can only lie to the people for so long and then they find out what all of the hidden cost and impacts are ...

    So are we better ... that is for history to judge. As a older person I think we are going in the wrong direction ... I have never seen this poor of leadership on all levels ... I see hardship in the future.

    However the CWI / CIT world of socialists endorsed all of the stuff .... think about that.
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    Apr 12 2014: .
    Getting worse!

    Reason:
    Our bio-evolution can never catch up with them.
    • Apr 13 2014: We cannot physically evolve the mutations required to live in an environment that results from Unsustainable Economic Growth and Anthropogenic Global Warming.
  • May 5 2014: ...I feel it is getting better...no fruit gifted by God without peels, so as the life...every era and time has their social and moral challenges, this time do has its own...but it's going better...evolving better...

    ...common sense has never been common, how it can be now...though ignorance is less now, awareness is more...we are not living on an island of social, religious or political belief...we are evolving...co-existence is better than ever...

    regards
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    May 5 2014: I really thought about this question and to an extent I think parts of our live have improved. We can now from the comfort of our home browse thousands of articles, videos and pictures and connect with people from around the world. However through all of this social media we loose the face to face contact with people. How many people have 500+ friends on facebook and yet still feel lonely. Are we really moving forward in the sense that we interact more over the internet than in real life
  • Apr 22 2014: As the global human population grows the average human being becomes older and wiser.
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    Apr 12 2014: To answer this question, you would have to define what "getting better" actually means. What is the benchmark ? What parameters are you comparing.
    In general, looking back in time, some things certainly got better but others got worse.
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    Apr 10 2014: We are almost at the point where the mistakes of history have been leading us.

    Things aren't really better or worse they are just piling up like the trash that we accumulate and don't have a solution for.

    In the history of human existence we haven't figured out how to coexist without war, that's a sad reality.
    In the history of human existence we haven't eliminated famine nor disease.
    In the history of human existence we haven't stopped suffering in any of its forms.
    Throughout the history of human existence people including children and even infants have been brutalized and/or killed.
    Throughout the history of human existence people have diligently worked on refining their skills and become better and more adept at lying, cheating, and scheming.

    Are we doomed to repeat history's mistakes? Absolutely!! But that's not enough. We have to outdo historical figures. We have to top them and figure out where they failed in their attempts to achieve maximum destruction so that we can do a far better job of annihilation.

    I wouldn't say that things are getting better. I would say things are coming to a head and I think a big change is somewhere on the horizon. We're moving closer to it every day and right now it feels like the bad decisions and destructive behavior is just accelerating the process because people are having a much harder time choosing not to see it. Ignorance isn't really an option any more.
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    Apr 8 2014: The world is perfect as it is.
    How else can it be?
    • Apr 10 2014: Theodore

      i am taken with your laconic answer. It does leave a couple of questions. Please define perfect, as opposed to other possibly imperfect planets. Perhaps, the state of being of our world is the perfection you speak to. That it exists is perfection and cannot exist otherwise. Does such perfection, as you note, indicate a perfect creator?
  • Apr 8 2014: Sometimes yes, sometimes not.
  • May 7 2014: As for my country, I could say - "Yes".
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    May 7 2014: No, I'm still as broke as I was five minutes ago.
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    May 6 2014: Inventions and technologies dont make the world better. Humanity determines by their choices (as individuals and communities) to make the world a home or some hell.
    The importance of human relationship is often underestimated; and that is a fatal choice.
    I dont think the world is any better or any worse. It is still a mix of good and evil as it was in the 16th century.
  • May 5 2014: Near things are getting far and far things are getting near. you dont know your neighbour but you surely know someone in Netherlands... lol !!
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    May 5 2014: It depends if your baseline outlook on life and reality is viewed through the lens of pessimism or optimism. Both can have equal clarity and legitimacy. Pessimism feels real for the pessimist and optimism feels real for the optimist.

    The world is going its own way, and like it or not, our view of it is coloured by populist opinion-formers. Nowadays, that is the media. If we listen too hard to the so-called "moral compass" and "common sense" as espoused by popular media sources, then the collective bias will inevitably be towards pessimism and the feeling that the world is much worse now than it used to be.

    I suspect that if we stopped reading newspapers and watching TV, shelve our erroneous technology, and instead meet people face to face, and get our hands dirty again, then even the most die-hard pessimist will turn optimist in a very, very short time. And the world (which remember, is just going it's own way), will feel just fine.
  • May 5 2014: Yes you can say that in a way it all about how you want to look up thing that matter now If I want to see my friend I just see his account and I will know what he/she is doing that was the basic idea of it and yes there is a bigger picture of it we think we are close to someone but in reality we don't know anything about anyone we are just telling our mind we know about him/her but we don't this is really effecting people way of thinking we are helping each other less and the crime is at the limit. form there you can say that people are the same but these thing are effecting our way of thinking.
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    May 5 2014: Yes, it's going much better.
    Hunger and extreme poverty are way down. Maternal and infant mortality is down. Primary school enrollment is way up, with gender inequality being down. The middle class is for the first time over 50% of population. Violence is in decline, with both wars and crime rates heading down. Per capita food availibility is up, as is energy per capita. And the world is getting greener. A lot less people die of Aids and Malaria and other diseases. Peoples healthy longevity is up. Illiteracy is down.

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/6d/Extreme_poverty_1981-2008.svg

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d1/Millennium_Development_Goals_Report_2010_graph_comparing_proportion_of_people_living_on_less_than_%241.25_a_day_in_1990_and_2005.png

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/57/Millennium_Development_Goals_Report_2010_graph_comparing_net_enrolment_ratio_in_primary_education_in_1998%E2%80%931999_and_2007%E2%80%932008.png

    http://blogs-images.forbes.com/erikkain/files/2011/09/RVAE378_VIOLEN_G_20110923205707.jpg
    http://www.psychohistory.com/originsofwar/images_originsOfWar/03_03a_declineHumanViolenceLRG.jpg
    http://filipspagnoli.wordpress.com/stats-on-human-rights/statistics-on-violence/

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hunger

    http://www.rationaloptimist.com/blog/the-greening-of-the-planet.aspx

    Combined:

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/db/International-development.gif


    Why pessimism is the prevalent vision, I do not know.
  • May 5 2014: "No fruit without peel."
  • May 1 2014: Good question. I'd like to think my moral compass is still pointing in the right direction. The more I learn, the more I seem to perceive both suffering and happiness around me, and it is necessary to be aware of when to shut my eyes so I still have something to give to others. In 7th to 9th grade I became quite aware of the state of the planet and I used to worry quite a bit. It was mostly about ecological disasters lurking around the corner, whereas in recent years social injustice is what gets to me. The world is still being polluted and my daily life still goes on, so it seems necessary to shut those thoughts off from time to time. It may sound calculating, but on the other hand I can be more generous this way; assist yourself before assisting others. I think every generation has its own worries, its own egocentric individuals and its own generous individuals, but history keeps repeating itself in a comforting way and nothing is new under the sun. Maybe it wouldn't hurt to learn from past mistakes, though, even a little.
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    May 1 2014: Indicators if things are getting better:

    1) Is the air we breathe and the water we drink getting cleaner? NO
    2) Are the foods we consume healthier and more affordable? NO
    3) Is K-12 education getting better? NO
    4) Is college education more affordable? NO
    5) Is health care more accessible and affordable? NO
    6) Is decent housing more affordable? NO
    7) Are we paying lower taxes? NO
    8) Are our communities safer and healthier to live in? NO
    9) Is the relationship among countries better? NO
    10) Is the world a safer and healthier place to live in? No
  • May 1 2014: If dying is breaking even, I wouldn't worry about it...
  • May 1 2014: Well, as Saad said "the world is as same as the way it used to be ,Only a few changes in technology." The keyword is technology, as technology gets better , our possibilities get better.But sometimes improvement in science cause more harm than benefit.

    So technology changes human life but it depends on one if it change good or bad.
  • Apr 30 2014: I think life continues it's inevitable ups and doewns. We are currently in a down period as our current society has gone from a moral foundatiion to one based solely on money. Morality is no longer honorted as it should be. Costs are going up as are human frictions and wars. What has technology brought us? More human alienation and disintegration. All compassion for fellow humans is disappearing and with it we are quickly falling into the corruption and moral decay of the Roman Empire and all past great civilizations. It's a continual up and doewn of societies.
  • Apr 29 2014: Hi Dear Dan,I think things here are better than they were five,ten year,but not sure fifty-years.Becauseit seems fifty-years ago it is too far for me to know more.So I don't like myself to judge better or worse:)

    No,I think the world is stiall far away to be better now more than ever,but living in not flawless world is always lucky,don't you think so?:)
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    Apr 29 2014: I think it's a give and take world .
    We give up privacy for faster shopping .
    We give up privacy for quicker restaurant searches .

    We give up time with our kids so we can work more , internet ,email ,voice mail ,texts etc..
    We give up the country life ( simple farming ) for the city life ,,better jobs .

    We gave up simple car repairs ( shade tree mechanics ) for computer based automobiles .
    We gave up barber shops for hair styles .

    I guess i could go on and on , from my stand point it's just life, things change .
    I like inflated rubber tires and metal wheels verses wooden wagon wheels .
    Yes I have rode in a wagon with wooden wheels .
    Horses do eat grass ,gas is expensive .

    Mp3 players much better than an 8 track or even a cassette tape .( google it )
    GOOGLE search faster than the encyclopedia .

    I am going to stop .
    I think life is just getting better I know I feel younger ,smarter ,am more physically fit definitely more computer savvy and some would say better looking ,( not sure about that ) than five (5) years ago .

    Go figure.

    Great question ,and debate .
    thanks for letting me ramble on ...
    one of the prizes of getting older .
  • Apr 28 2014: I think the world will end just like the wall-e movie
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    Apr 26 2014: It depends on what we consider 'better' means. Lifespan is longer, education is (in average) better, health, lifestyle, sports, clothes, glasses, technology, and all this stuff is better than fitty or than five hundred years ago, for example. Quality of food, means of transport, weather forescast or e-books; a lot of things are better than years ago.
    However, human behaviour hasn't changed so fairly. We can be very violent and develop bad behaviours if we want to, just like in old ages, and on the other hand, it's true than we haven't invented politeness now.
    My answer is: Yes. Things are now better than when I was a child. Undoubtedly.
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    Apr 26 2014: I think that things are going on.
    In the future, we can use our past experience, skip past mistakes, but there will be a plenty of new situation, so things are getting more different, and there will be enough space for learning more. :)
    And, of course, things are the part of your perception- and the way we see them (good, bad, ok...) creates your view of the things. Everything can be good, if you want to view it that way.