Weekend Thoughts - 7.2.16

   Image  by  Andrea Kirkby , courtesy of  Creative Commons  licensing.

Image by Andrea Kirkby, courtesy of Creative Commons licensing.

Happy Saturday y'all! Below, I have rounded up some things for you to think about this weekend:

1. With all of the negative news surrounding us, it can be easy to think that the global state of affairs is getting worse. A lot of that is due to the way news organizations play off of a natural human trait—we are wired to pay more attention to negative news than positive news because that helps us survive in the wild. However, although we may fantasize about things being better "back in the day", the truth is the exact opposite in several ways. The author of the book Abundance: The Future is Better Than You Think, Peter Diamondis, has written an article that shows "Why the World is Better Than You Think in 10 Powerful Charts". Among some of the most powerful trends include a significant decline in people living in absolute poverty, a sharp decrease in teen birth rates, homicide rates have dropped to nearly zero compared to the past several hundred years, and both the global years of education and literacy rates have skyrocketed to all-time highs. Rather than obsessing over the negative news that the news organizations want us to focus on, it can be more powerful and inspiring to embrace the evidence that shows that things are getting much better, not worse.

2. Let's face it, getting stopped by the cops sucks. PBS put together a quiz that presents several different investigatory police stop scenarios which asks the reader to determine which of the situations constitute an illegal stop. It's fairly thorough, and definitely worth a read.

That's all for this week's edition of Weekend Thoughts. Until next week, keep thinking wilder.