In my (accidental) ongoing series of posts talking about safety and security of the world, I’d like to bring up a new article by Slate entitled The World is Not Falling Apart: Never mind the headlines. We’ve never lived in such peaceful times. The article begins with the popular notion that the world is going crazy (something I hear constantly):
It’s a good time to be a pessimist. ISIS, Crimea, Donetsk, Gaza, Burma, Ebola, school shootings, campus rapes, wife-beating athletes, lethal cops—who can avoid the feeling that things fall apart, the center cannot hold?
But is the centre holding? Is the world safe? As Bill Clinton says, “Follow the trend lines, not the headlines.” In other words, don’t look at individual news reports that can be discussing something a thousand miles away — and continue discussing it until the next disaster happens. Rather, look at the statistics and see where the trend lines are heading.
As Slate discusses, the trends for nearly all violence has gone down dramatically over the last few decades. Violent acts like homicide, rape, child abuse has gone way down. If you take a look at the big violence happening around the world — mass killings, genocides, etc. — you’ll see that the past ten to twenty years has seen a major decline. Armed conflicts and wars has dropped significantly since the early 90s.
The world is not falling apart. We just need to use an evidence-based mind set and look at the facts and not the headlines. Even though ISIS and various (historically small) civil wars have taken over the 24 hours news channels, things are getting better out there. That doesn’t mean violence will some day end (we aren’t heading towards a singularity of peacefulness, sorry), but I hope this article allows you stop being fearful about travelling the beautiful world on which we live.