2015: the best year for humanity yet

So sayeth Daniel Hannan.

A sample:

He also says the world is better fed, greener, healthier, and richer.

Do you agree?

He is broadly correct-on the whole the trajectory of history has been towards improvement of conditions notwithstanding world wars, terrorism, mass shootings, and natural disasters.

Yes. Globally speaking, this was a good year.

There are still tons of problems that need to be fixed…but we have, in fact, fixed a lot of other problems. Fewer nations are outright tyrannies than ten years ago. That’s a real good start.

If you have 18 minutes to spare, have a look at this video: “This Animated Data Visualization of World War 2 Fatalities Is Shocking.”

It goes beyond WWII and it’s really astounding how far we’ve come as a species.

Here is another fascinating and relevant data visualization video: https://youtu.be/jbkSRLYSojo

You may also be interested in Max Roser’s www.OurWorldInData.org for more data visualizations along this theme.

Perhaps I’m a little overly-sensitive but I’m a bit annoyed that Hannan seems to attribute much of the negativity to clergy but overall I agree whole-heartedly. Here’s a few more articles:

World Bank says extreme poverty is below 10% for the first time.

Things are good despite negative news.

What does this sentence by Daniel Hannan mean?:

> The number of homicides in that country is down by 600,000 since 1995, and is
> falling at 3,000 a year.

It’s true that the murder rate in the U.S. peaked (over the last few decades) in about 1992 or 1993. So, yes, the murder rate has gone down since 1995. But what does it mean that it’s gone down by 600,000? The number of murders in the U.S. is now about 15,000 (give or take a few thousand) per year. How could it have gone down by 600,000? What could that possibly mean?

Probably counting the number of murders that ‘didn’t happen’ because the murder rate fell by 3,000 a year? If you calculate that each year 3000 less people were murdered than the previous year, that comes out to 630,000 people that would have been murdered if the yearly murders had remained at the 1995 numbers. Basically (300020)+(300019)+(3000*18)…and so on.

Alternately, it could be counting 3000*20 and accidentally adding an extra 0, since that’s 60,000. Either way it’s kind of a nonsensical number. Especially since it suggests that there were 75,000 murders in 1995, if the current year has 15,000 and the number has fallen by 3,000 per year since then.

I can’t find any website with a list of the number of murders (not murder rates per capita, but number of murders) for the period from 1995 to the present. My guess is that the number was a little less than 30,000 in 1995 and a little less than 15,000 is 2015. If the number has dropped each year over that time by the same amount, that would say that the total is about 470,000 over those 21 years. If the number had stayed at 30,000 each year, that would be about 630,000 total for those 21 years. So perhaps the total number of murders for those 21 years is maybe 160,000 less than it would have been if the number stayed at the 1995 level.

So the number 600,000 comes out of nowhere. The number 3,000 comes out of nowhere. The sentence “The number of homicides in that country is down by 600,000 since 1995, and is falling at 3,000 a year” makes no sense. I presume the numbers were completely messed up in editing.

I haven’t reviewed his data in detail, but as always with such statistics, there’s a danger of focusing on the mean, which may improve, while in fact, a greater number of people are actually worse of (hence the need of looking at the variances). But I truthfully don’t know if that’s the case or just my biased view.

very much so its a different generation these days, i remember when i graduated high school in 2001. my freshman year we had well over 1000 students but by the time i graduated only 256 people did so. in reference to that my cousin who just graduated had over 80% of his class that was with him his freshman year to graduate with him. that speaks volumes as to the new younger generation now taking there place in the world. there smarter then us “yikes”.

Ironic.