I rather liked this

https://humanprogress.org/article.php?p=1613

Finally, there is what I call “turning-point-itis.” This is the tendency to think that things may have improved in the past but will no longer do so in the future, because we stand at a turning point in history. It’s true, as brokers like to say, that past performance is no guide to future performance. But as the historian Lord Macaulay wrote almost two centuries ago, “On what principle is it that with nothing but improvement behind us, we are to expect nothing but deterioration before us?”

So cheer up. The world’s doing better than you think.

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Author: Bryan G. Stephens

Bryan G. Stephens is a former executive on a mission to transform the workplace. He is the founder and CEO of TalkForward, a consulting and training company, utilizing Bryan’s clinical and management expertise to develop managers and teams in a corporate environment. As a licensed therapist with strong understanding of developing human potential, he is dedicated to the development of Human Capital to meet the needs of leaders, managers, and employees in the 21st Century workplace. Bryan has an Executive MBA from Kennesaw State University, Coles School of Business, and both a Master’s and Bachelor’s degree in Psychology.

19 thoughts on “I rather liked this”

  1. This attitude (that we reach a turning point after which things only get worse) is pretty much baked into the human cake. That is because it always happens on an individual level. No matter how successful, how improved, how wealthy any individual human is, at some point age catches up with you and it is downhill to a common end – death. Even if you expect a celestial reward, there is a point in each individual’s mortal life when that individual will “experience nothing but deterioration before us.”

    The fallacy is extrapolating that beyond a single individual. It does not necessarily scale, and those who come after you can improve the world.  In a sense it is like socialism. Works great on an family level (parents and children) but does not scale worth a flip.

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  2. Absolutely everything is better, for a far greater number of people, than  it was even mid 20th century! The fact I always mention, and nobody ever believes me, is “world hunger”; obesity is now a bigger problem than hunger worldwide.  That was simply unimaginable when I was a kid.
    But on the other hand, “The innocent and the beautiful/Have no enemy but time” as Yeats wrote. No, nor need none other.  So Seawriter is on point,too.

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  3. Technological progress masks a world of regress.   The fact that the entire world is better fed and in better health now than just a few decades ago hides a dark regress.   There are more known diseases, and now many disease vectors have acquired resistance to effective treatments.  Though our collective information bank is increasing, the mental capabilities of the average person is in decline.

    Great harvests are due to a combination of American agri-business advances and global warming.  It is unknown if the agri-tech advances are sustainable, and global warming is statistically likely to reverse.

    But my pessimism is not based on gloomy views of such mundane matters.

    My pessimism is not for the human race, whose days are numbered.   My pessimism is for the future of western civilization, which threatens the lives of children who face a very uncertain future.   Half of America is prepared to vote for Communism.   Half of America decrys American history and American values.   The energy that brough technological and social progress to the entire world is sapped through our “intellectual” elites who have no interest in general welfare or stability.

    The Prophets foretold that the latter days would be very uncomfortable.   Signs of looming calamities abound.

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  4. MJBubba:
    Technological progress masks a world of regress.   The fact that the entire world is better fed and in better health now than just a few decades ago hides a dark regress.   There are more known diseases, and now many disease vectors have acquired resistance to effective treatments.  Though our collective information bank is increasing, the mental capabilities of the average person is in decline.

    Great harvests are due to a combination of American agri-business advances and global warming.  It is unknown if the agri-tech advances are sustainable, and global warming is statistically likely to reverse.

    But my pessimism is not based on gloomy views of such mundane matters.

    My pessimism is not for the human race, whose days are numbered.   My pessimism is for the future of western civilization, which threatens the lives of children who face a very uncertain future.   Half of America is prepared to vote for Communism.   Half of America decrys American history and American values.   The energy that brough technological and social progress to the entire world is sapped through our “intellectual” elites who have no interest in general welfare or stability.

    The Prophets foretold that the latter days would be very uncomfortable.   Signs of looming calamities abound.

    And yet, and yet…

    Times, like climate, will always change. We speak of the “Dark Ages” as if they were bad times, yet people did better then than they did in times previous. Perhaps the Roman Empire fell, but Charlemagne rose and inspired the creation of numerous universities. Indeed, while I am hardly a “fan” of Europe today, one thing they have is history, and it is worth looking at.

    So the best you can do is teach your children well, live as well as you can, profess your beliefs without fear, and, as with wayward children, disabuse the mentally challenged of some of their more malignant thoughts gently and calmly but firmly. So has it been and so it will continue until the end comes. And we know not when the end will come, so simply live in preparation of meeting your Maker and don’t be depressed about His creation or Plan.

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  5. No?  even though He’s gonna put us through a great tribulation,  we shall say: blessed are the wombs that are barren, the teats that never gave suck!  We shall say to the hills: hide us! and to the mountains: fall upon us!  “Depressed”doesn’t quite cover it.

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  6. Hypatia:
    No?  even though He’s gonna put us through a great tribulation,  we shall say: blessed are the wombs that are barren, the teats that never gave suck!  We shall say to the hills: hide us! and to the mountains: fall upon us!  “Depressed”doesn’t quite cover it.

    You are quoting Luke 23.   Matthew 24 is like it.

    I think in both passages Jesus is speaking words of prophecy that are doubly true.   Part of what he says applied to the year 69-70 and the destruction of the Temple.   Part of what he says applies to the days that will occur as the end of time approaches.

    If you want the grim details of how brutal and grisly those days will be, just read the account of the year 69-70 in Josephus.

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  7. Civilizations rise and fall.

    What makes this one unique to be exempt from that historical reality?

    Even now, we are planting seeds of future destruction unless a reversal is made. With SCOTUS supporting the regression in CA, I don’t see much opportunity to move forward anytime soon. The four horsemen might be less what is done to us and more what we bring on ourselves by foolish hubris.

    But at the end of the day, I’m not pessimistic because I know my redeemer lives and he will return.

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  8. Stina:

    Bryan G. Stephens:
    I don’t share your form of faith.  How odd that Christians keep s1aying we are in the end times, and still Christ does not return.

    What do you believe in if not the hope of his return?

    I don’t believe that we are living in the end times, nor do I think we are supposed to cater to that belief.

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  9. Bryan G. Stephens:

    Stina:

    Bryan G. Stephens:
    I don’t share your form of faith.  How odd that Christians keep s1aying we are in the end times, and still Christ does not return.

    What do you believe in if not the hope of his return?

    I don’t believe that we are living in the end times, nor do I think we are supposed to cater to that belief.

    But that’s neither here nor there. Do you not believe he’ll return?

    I think end times, much like the prophecies of Israel’s imminent doom throughout the prophets, is what we make of it. Repent and turn from our wicked ways or double down and be destroyed. In the midst of the destruction that there’s no coming back from is Christ – he’s the hope that remains when it seems all hope is lost for those who believe.

    I do think we should be mindful that rejection of God’s law leads to destruction and civilizational collapse and following God’s guidance leads to flourishing as a civilization. However, up to the last minute, it is always reversible – like Ninevah in Jonah.

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  10. Stina:

    Bryan G. Stephens:

    Stina:

    Bryan G. Stephens:
    I don’t share your form of faith.  How odd that Christians keep s1aying we are in the end times, and still Christ does not return.

    What do you believe in if not the hope of his return?

    I don’t believe that we are living in the end times, nor do I think we are supposed to cater to that belief.

    But that’s neither here nor there. Do you not believe he’ll return?

    I think end times, much like the prophecies of Israel’s imminent doom throughout the prophets, is what we make of it. Repent and turn from our wicked ways or double down and be destroyed. In the midst of the destruction that there’s no coming back from is Christ – he’s the hope that remains when it seems all hope is lost for those who believe.

    I do think we should be mindful that rejection of God’s law leads to destruction and civilizational collapse and following God’s guidance leads to flourishing as a civilization. However, up to the last minute, it is always reversible – like Ninevah in Jonah.

    I was specifically responding to the idea we were in the end times, nothing more.

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