I just listened to a discussion between John Horgan and Madhusree Mukerjee, and the conversation ended on a moderately down note as Mukerjee seemed pessimistic about the prospects for the world's poor. Where do these people get the idea that things are getting worse? I recall the same sentiment from Massimo Pigliucci. These are people with advanced degrees in science (Mukerjee has a doctorate in physics from University of Chicago, and Pigliucci has multiple advanced degrees), but they seem totally immune to the empirical trendlines of our age. Here is China's life expectancy over the past 50 years: And below are a series of vital statistics for the world which are "looking up." I'm not arguing here that
things will inevitability get better, I'm arguing to at least acknowledge that things have noticeably gotten better.