TED Conversations

Paul Blake

BBC News

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What is progress? A recent essay prompt asked, 'Is history since 1500 the story of progress? Why or Why not?"

How do you define progress? What constitutes progression? What factors are involved? How do you measure it?


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  • Dec 17 2011: Progress is increasing the well-being and happiness level of humanity.
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      Dec 17 2011: This, to me, is also the definition of progress. Though I realise that this is somewhat of a utilitarian definition of progress...
      • Dec 17 2011: You use the word "utilitarian" as though it diminishes the concept. I do not understand. Is "ivory tower" more impressive to you than "utilitarian." Do you prefer "useless," "idealist" or some other concept?
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          Dec 17 2011: No, I don't intend to demean a utilitarian definition of progress -- as I said, it is also my definition of progress. However, my point was to acknowledge that there are other definitions and 'progress' means different things to different people.

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