Two glowingly positive articles about the state of humanity appeared in two separate publications at the end of December 2019. One — This Has Been the Best Year Ever — by columnist Nicholas Kristof was published on Dec. 28 in the New York Times. The other — We’ve just had the best decade in human history. Seriously — by Matt Ridley, author of the Rational Optimist, appeared the same day in the Spectator. What a glorious note on which to end the decade. My, how have times changed, and quickly at that.
Kristof in his article wrote that ”since modern humans emerged about 200,000 years ago, 2019 was probably the year in which children were least likely to die, adults were least likely to be illiterate and people were least likely to suffer excruciating and disfiguring diseases.” He also pointed out that the proportion of the world’s population subsisting on