Statistics reveal dramatic reductions in war deaths, family violence, racism, rape, murder and all sorts of mayhem.
In his book, [Harvard psychologist Steven] Pinker writes: “The decline of violence may be the most significant and least appreciated development in the history of our species.”
And it runs counter to what the mass media is reporting and essentially what we feel in our guts.
NASA-funded researchers found evidence this past summer that some building blocks of DNA, the molecule that carries the genetic instructions for life, found in meteorites were likely created in space. The research gives support to the theory that a “kit” of ready-made parts created in space and delivered to Earth by meteorite and comet impacts assisted the origin of life.
Over the last two decades, thanks largely to government policy, the poverty rate in Brazil has halved. With this, income inequality has also fallen sharply, declining on average by 1.2% a year.
Starting in the mid-1990s, major American cities began a radical transformation. Years of high violent crime rates, thefts, robberies, and inner-city decay suddenly started to turn around. Crime rates didn’t just hold steady, they began falling faster than they went up. This trend appeared in practically every post-industrial American city, simultaneously.
We’re just a few years from the point at which electricity from solar panels becomes cheaper than electricity generated by burning coal. The progress in solar panels has been dramatic and sustained.
The usual take on solar power is that it’s a niche energy source, too pricey and erratic to meet more than a sliver of our electricity needs. Bill Gates has mocked solar as “cute.” But, as Paul Krugman reminds us today, that’s changing far more quickly than people realize. “In fact,” Krugman writes, “progress in solar panels has been so dramatic and sustained that, as a blog post at Scientific American put it, ‘there’s now frequent talk of a Moore’s law in solar energy,’ with prices adjusted for inflation falling around 7 percent a year.”
Women now get more than half of all the doctorates awarded in American universities, but they’re still catching up in the fields of chemistry, engineering, and math.
Already, statistics from the Council of Graduate Schools show that women, overall, earned slightly more than half of the doctorates handed out in all disciplines in the United States in 2009 and 2010. When it comes to the STEM fields, women have been most successful in medicine and biology – and least successful in engineering, math and computer science.
But experts hope that, too, will change. A recent report from the American Association of University Women notes that, 30 years ago, the ratio of seventh- and eighth-grade boys who scored more than 700 on the SAT math exam, compared with girls, was 13 to 1. Now it’s 3 to 1.
Technological breakthroughs happen so often and we adapt to them so quickly, they make miracles seem commonplace.
Once technology jumps over a hurdle thought impassable before, it makes that supposed miracle utterly commonplace and boring. 40 years ago, the idea of a mobile smart phone was utter magic. Now, nobody even bats an eye at it even as the ripples of this change affect us all in surprising ways. That’s what technology does — it makes miracles so easy, it’s boring.
A video of people doing amazing things. (You might want to turn down the music, though.)
A world war is underway. It’s unlike any war in history. People around the world are not identifying themselves along national or religious lines, but as a global consciousness: demanding peace, democracy, sustainability, & economic justice. Their enemy is the corporatocracy that has bought governments, created its own armed enforcers, engaged in economic fraud, & plundered treasuries & ecosystems.
“You must be the change you wish to see in the world”
Still, real change that is sustainable is also an inside job. We are each a hologram and microcosm of the collective, and the inequities of the world will only be fully resolved when we heal the inequities of our own projections. Even if you don’t fully subscribe to this point of view, just imagine what kinds of transformation could be possible in your own life by applying some metaphors of the Occupy movement to your personal development.
The spirit of Abbie Hoffman blesses this action. Put more pranks in your protests, everyone! Time for a Yippie Revival!
Don’t believe the evening news: Violent crime and murder have been declining steadily for two decades in this country. Last year was statistically the safest year in almost four decades for Americans, and everyone’s got a theory as to why.
Like the U.S. homicide rate, Canada’s rate just keeps falling and falling.
The homicide rate in Canada has fallen to its lowest annual level in 44 years, thanks to significant drops in British Columbia, Alberta and Manitoba, Statistics Canada revealed Tuesday morning as it gave detailed numbers for 2010.
The national homicide rate is now 1.62 for every 100,000 population. It has been declining since it reached a peak in the mid-1970s.