Columns It’s annoying to think positively, but I guess it’s believable: Things just get better

Evidence of improvements is irrefutable, writes cultural journalist Miska Rantanen.

Annoy think positively. But it is a must when evidence of improvement is irresistible.

The good news was heard again last week when the newspaper reported (HS 11.1.) On the change in the causes of death in Finland in the 21st century. According to statistics, the number of road deaths, homicides and suicides, among other things, is declining.

The change has taken place gradually and is driven by technological developments, legislation and changes in attitudes. It’s just stupid to act irresponsibly.

The glow of the world may sound strange in the midst of a viral pandemic and a climate crisis, but even these scourges are currently being successfully combated with the help of science.

I read at Christmas time, by chance, two books in a row that shook my usual pessimistic thoughts. The first was Hans Roslingin The world of facts (2018) and another Rutger Bregman Good history (2019).

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The core message of both is that the state of the earth is significantly better than assumed on average. Man is not a wolf to man but a compassionate species.

Both Rosling and Bregman carefully justify their arguments.

Rosling dumps on the reader the statistics and time series of the receiving UN. He shows in dozens of tables how, for example, oil spills, child deaths and hunger have been reduced. In fact, quite a few developments are completely stalled.

Above all, Rosling calls for a sense of proportionality. He considers the most damaging misconception that the world is divided between the impoverished poor and the getting rich rich.

According to big data, people’s living standards are rising steadily and the number of people living in extreme poverty is falling.

In his book, Bregman, for his part, questions thoughts of thought about human behavior.

He refers to a number of studies and surveys that show that a person does not actually act ruthlessly in emergencies, for example. We just think of such an old habit.

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The books lit the insight lamp familiar from cartoons on my head and brought comfort during the epidemic to boost my crisis of existence.

The whys and wherefores to the basic pessimism of modern man, the writers find within the human head: we are guided by instinctive fear and the need for generalization.

They were useful properties in savannah times, but no longer in the modern world.

The culprits, on the other hand, are media that inflate and exacerbate a distorted worldview, exploiting the factory settings of the brain to build a dichotomous drama out of almost everything.

Clearly a place to look in the mirror.

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