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Opening Arguments

The good news

I know most of you know this, but in case the doom-and-gloom headlines and the rantings of lunatic pessimists are getting you down:

The world is not falling apart. The kinds of violence to which most people are vulnerable—homicide, rape, battering, child abuse—have been in steady decline in most of the world. Autocracy is giving way to democracy. Wars between states—by far the most destructive of all conflicts—are all but obsolete. The increase in the number and deadliness of civil wars since 2010 is circumscribed, puny in comparison with the decline that preceded it, and unlikely to escalate.

I think I've linked to this article before, but it's worth another look - "Cheer Up! 17 reasons it's a great time to be alive," among them:

Compared with 50 years ago, when I was just four years old, the average human now earns nearly threetimes as much money (corrected for inflation), eats one third more calories, buries two thirds fewer children, and can expect to live one third longer. In fact, it’s hard to find any region of the world that’s worse off now than it was then, even though the global population has more than doubled over that period.
Happy New Year. Don't ignore the bad stuff, but don't dwell on it, either.