【媒库文选】人类生活处于有史以来最佳状态

生活实际上比人类更好

人类生活在历史上处于最佳状态

Mohadesa Najumi Muhadsa Najumi

我曾经是一个生态悲观主义者。我相信世界注定要失败,人类正在阻碍自己的发展。我不可能离真相更远。现在这是一个流行的趋势,跳上末日的潮流,把世界描绘成一个悲惨的故事。这个转义不仅脱离了现实,更重要的是它并非基于证据。

社交数据的非单调性为新闻媒体突出负面提供了一个简单的公式。然后是可用性启发式,它规定了一个故事越生动,血腥或令人沮丧,越多人会高估

这是我对预言家的抱怨:技术减少了对体力劳动的需求,死亡率下降,智商得分在上升,战争频率越来越低,致命,市场充斥着食物,批评者的强大是没有被判入狱或被枪杀,世界上的知识可以在一个衬衫口袋里找到 - 然而,这些胜利是无名的。

根据世界上不幸的地区的经验,战争,稀缺,疾病,无知和致命威胁是生存的自然组成部分。然而,世界在人类福祉的每一个衡量标准上都取得了惊人的进步,而这里几乎就是其中一个令人震惊的:知道它。

在18世纪中叶,整个世界的预期寿命为29岁。到1950年,它已在欧洲和美洲增长到60左右。在肯尼亚,2003年至2013年期间的预期寿命增加了近10年。全球儿童死亡率从18%降至4%。

根据哈佛大学心理学教授史蒂芬平克(Steven Pinker)在他的“现在的启蒙”(Enlightenment Now)一书中指出,短短二十年间,孟加拉国和肯尼亚等贫困国家的儿童发育迟缓率已经降低了一半。更重要的是,从非洲以外的所有地区看,几乎已经消除了对饥荒的脆弱性。 Pinker观察到,20世纪将成为因无法获得食物而导致数百万人死亡的最后一世纪。

This is not to say that war is any less haunting or tragic for those who are affected by violence today. For instance, over 11 million people are currently in need of emergency aid in war-torn Syria and the country produces more refugees than any other nation. Malnutrition is also a universal issue with 20 million babies being born underweight each year globally. A third of child deaths in the world are as a result of malnutrition.

Indeed, the idea that the world is better than it was and can get better still fell out of fashion among the clerisy long ago. It is probably the reason why you have heard of The Idea of Decline in Western History,but the book Infinite Progress: How the Internet and Technology Will End Ignorance, Disease, Poverty, Hunger, and War does not ring a bell. In fact, recent Pulitzers in nonfiction have been given out to four books on genocide, three on terrorism, two on cancer and one on extinction, while no books on progress have been recognised with a major prize.

Whether or not the world really is getting worse,the nature of news will interact with the nature of cognition to make us think that it is. Pinker argues that the reason for this could be that “optimists sound like they are trying to sell you something”. Whatever the case may be, knowledge of science is a moral imperative because it can alleviate suffering on a global scale by curing disease,feeding the hungry, saving the lives of infants and mothers, and allowing women to control their fertility.

I put eco-pessimism down to ignorance a shortfall of knowledge of how best to solve our problems. The solution to eco-pessimism? Enough intellectual honesty to admit that now is the best time to be alive than at any point in human history. Life is getting better, there is just no way around it.

我一度是生态悲观主义者,我承认。我认为世界在劫难逃,人类在阻碍自身发展。我错得不能再错了。现在的流行趋势是赶灾难预言家的时髦,把世界说得悲惨不堪。这种说法不仅脱离现实,更重要的是,它毫无依据。