Reasons for optimism

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Intro

Not sure where this fits into the grand scheme of things... One major point basic philosophical disagreement seems to be whether or not humans can actually ever make significant progress ("progress" needing further definition); this page is for collecting evidence that humans do make progress. If anyone wants to contribute counterpoints, they can go in reasons for pessimism. --Woozle 18:54, 30 Dec 2005 (CST)

The List

Started Description Sources
~1990 Crime in the United States has been decreasing significantly since the early 1990s http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7109893.stm (more sources needed)
~1993 World violence has decreased http://www.slate.com/id/2133226/, http://www.humansecurityreport.info/
~1990 We now have a worldwide network allowing near-instantaneous essentially free communication between people in all parts of the world, with more people gaining access every day
~1965 "anyone who grew up in Los Angeles 40 years ago should attest that five times as many people now live there, breathing air that's five times better." http://www.signonsandiego.com/uniontrib/20050911/news_lz1v11science.html
1900s? Integration: Women and minorities, once completely barred (by the force of law) from certain arenas (e.g. academia), now face barriers largely of a social nature and generally prohibited by law. The descendants of minorities once confined to ghettoes (Irish, Jewish, Polish, Italian, Chinese...) are now just "Americans", and work as equals at all levels of society. (Downside: many groups of "black" people are still having a hard time, for reasons that remain unclear, although the situation does seem to be improving gradually.)

Related notes

  • Intelligentsia and criminals can work together to create a harmonious society, as long as the criminals are heavily outnumbered: Kengir uprising