Why Isn’t Everyone a Boundless Optimist?

My uncle got my my wife and I tickets to see The Scottsboro Boys in the West-End for Christmas. It was awesome; funny and affecting with a late, optimistic coda. That said generally the entire story was pretty grim (racial oppression and a brutal miscarriage of justice.  But with catchy tunes!) which is even worse if you read the actual history of what happened.

But I got to thinking about how much things have improved.  I’m an optimist and a believer in the steady march of progress so I got to wondering; why would anyone not be? How could someone want social/scientific/cultural progress to slow down, stop (or in the case of reactionaries) reverse?

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Patching the World : The Spirit Level Book Review

I’m an optimistic technologist; I know that the application of reasonThe Spirit Level and knowledge is the best way to improve the world. This ethos is normally applied to tasks such as sorting out the universal remote control or un-jamming the cat flap but I believe that everything will improve with the march of progress.
But what if you could improve the world as a whole, rather than improving individual components (a cure for cancer, electric cars, un-jammable cat-flaps)?
That’s what The Spirit Level is about, and it’s well worth a read.
Continue reading “Patching the World : The Spirit Level Book Review”