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    • Somehow, despite all the hard things that have happened in the recent years in our country. Despite all the tragedy, the crazy politics, the state of the government, and hard conditions for so many people in the world...I still have hope. Maybe that is naive. Maybe I am just a wide-eyed optimist. Maybe I don't want to face it all. But I look at my kids, I listen to their ideas and thoughts and the way they view the world and I know that while I cannot change a lot of things in the country I live in....I can give the world these 3 women with strong ideas and knowledge and insights that might make a difference.

      What gives you hope?

    • Data. Hard and unbiased data gives me hope.

      Data shows extreme poverty dropping to lows never before seen and being mostly erradicated from existence. Epidemics are all under control and even AIDS ceased to be a death sentence. People are becoming freer, better educated, and adopting more progressive ideas across the globe, and even in less tolerant nations the rights of women, homosexuals and racial minorities are becoming less infringed upon. All segments of society are benefiting from the tremendous wealth generated by a combination of factors.

      Even back home this embarrassment of a president is under control by the incredible resilience of a constitution with strong checks and balances. A Trump in a country with weak institutions would have caused devastation (e.g. Chavez in Venezuela). Here, instead, the economy is soaring.

      The world is still very imperfect, but the trend is clear and there has never been a better time like the present.

    • It's a strange thing with us humans, how unhappy we get about some things that keep getting better. For example, flying. How many times have you heard someone say "Oh, the flight was SO TERRIBLE! The flight boarded 10 minutes late and THEN WE SAT ON THE RUNWAY FOR 40 MINUTES! It ruined my day."

      Never mind that you get to sit in a climate controlled rocket that Greek Gods could not even have imagined, that are safer and cheaper than ever, that go to every part of the world, and the delay was probably to keep their unimaginably safe record.

      Thinking back on some terrible times and comparing today to them: the depression, two world wars, the Vietnam and Iraq wars, the assassinations of the Kennedys, Martin Luther and John Lennon, the civil rights lynchings. It's true we used to complain about a president who did that thing with Monica during a time of peace and prosperity as if it were the worst thing in the world, but we're not at war, we have a good economy for now and if we can just get back to decency, things could be pretty good, no?

      Seems like there are some leaders who stand for decency on the rise.

    • There are reasons to be hopeful. Steven Pinker's book, Enlightenment Now, gives extensive evidence. (We discussed it here on Cake). Day to day headlines (not to mention tweets) miss the bigger picture. One passage from the book really struck me:

      Max Roser points out that if news outlets truly reported the changing state of the world, they could have run the headline NUMBER OF PEOPLE IN EXTREME POVERTY FELL BY 137,000 SINCE YESTERDAY every day for the last twenty-five years.

      OTOH, we shouldn't be complacent--to the extent that things are improving it's because of hard work and sometimes bravery and sacrifice of people who challenge the status quo.

    • Hans Rosling was amazing and what a loss to the world when he passed. He wrote an incredibly great book (Factfulness) and Bill Gates wrote a long, 5-star review about it on GoodReads. Photo: his son Ola, who contributed to the book.