If you click on the picture above, you will see a most interesting video-graph of human progress.
Human Progress is real, historical, sustainable and ever more complex.
Graphs are ‘representations’ of factual information, data. As such, they are built from each author’s viewpoint.
They use ‘verisimilitude’, they give the appearance of reality. They are not reality, but do represent it.
With this understanding in mind, these graphs show the remarkable achievements of the past 200 years.
Across the board, we have improved our lot and that of our fellow men and women and children.
Why is this sustainable?
As we become healthier, wealthier and wiser, we use resources more efficiently.
From mining and extraction through processing to end use, virtually all minerals, metals and grains are used sustainably today – and their efficient use will continue to increase.
Why is it ‘ever more complex’? Complex can be defined from its original Latin, plectere, to weave.
As life evolves it becomes more complex. In weaves itself into greater and more interesting clothe. Complexity drives itself to greater designs. Think of the DNA molecule. A weaving of life.
Thus, Galileo’s primitive telescope evolved to spectacles, which became eyeglasses, binoculars, sonar, radar, laser, radiotelemetry and massive mirrors on space based telescopes.
Now we have the Webb telescope - sitting at one of the LaGrange points a million miles from Earth - taking intensely accurate images of Jupiter, her moons, hundreds of stars, nebulae and the original galaxies of 14 Billion years ago.
Every theory of cosmology is being turned on its head with each new image. Big Bang? Dark Matter? String Theory? Not so much…
Complexity is how life evolves and how society evolves. Evolves means change.
As the world rotates and revolves, virtually everything on her changes. Rocks, the air, oceans and all critters great and small.
So, as we humans become wealthier, smarter, healthier we become more complex in our evolving relationships. With one another. With other species. With the globe.
We become better stewards. Better families. Better communities. Better governments. Better individuals. We change.
As we do so, we tend to get better at it.
Our definition of ‘better’ also changes.
Is ‘better’ a necessary result? No. we also become better at many horrible actions: war, politics, theft, destruction. Witness Venezuela. North Korea. Cuba. Crime rates. Rates of solitude.
What was better in 8th century Islam, 12th century Maya Land, 15th century Ming China or 19th century North Carolina is vastly different from today’s ‘better’.
If you’d like to dig deeper into these ideas, try any of these three books: Superabundance, Complexity and It’s Better Than it Looks.
And put aside the politics as you read: the first is from a conservative, the latter two are liberal authors.
We can all get along quite well if we try.
If we listen first.
If we have an open heart and mind.
If we see the beauty of each person to whom we listen, read, converse.
Love with Abandon!