Why 2017 Was the Best Year in Human History?

“The more perspective you have, the better everything looks.
And the less … the worse!”
– Nick Murray

It has been my tradition with these monthly missives to begin every year with a brief commentary on how our world is making tremendous progress on just about any metric you care to focus on. Unfortunately, it does seem many of us truly believe the planet is quite literally going to hell in a hand basket!

This perspective is understandable, given that we are continually bombarded 24/7 with news reports and article such as this one from The Globe and Mail with the cheery title “Expect more war, hunger and extremism in 2018”.

Edwards Deming once wrote, “In God we trust, all others bring data”. An intelligent, data driven friend of mine forwarded me this remarkably positive (and rare) article from the New York Times, the subject line being “Every Year It’s The Same Damn Story!”. What he was pointing out was the fact that our media overwhelmingly highlights the “bad” while at the same time de-emphasizing the “good”.

Please click on the graph for a bigger image. 

 If you lived 200 years ago there would have been an over 90% chance that you would have been born into poverty. Today, the worldwide poverty rate is less than 10%.

May I suggest, as we begin 2018, to appreciate and be thankful for how much better the world and our lives are compared to 25 years ago (1993), 50 years ago (1968), 100 years ago (1918) and most certainly 200 years ago (1818).


Keith Thomson

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