The Other Side of the Story: What News Feeds Don't Tell You

Ever wondered what lies beyond the mainstream narrative of social media and news? I have surfed the web lately and have some good news for you. Get ready for an intriguing read!

The Other Side of the Story: What News Feeds Don't Tell You
this cover image was created with the help of AI, I do not know how much time, effort and money it would take me to come up with visual like this on my own

As I sit down on this quiet Sunday evening, my mind wanders through the day's news - conflicts in the Middle East and in Ukraine, the relentless march of AI towards humankind (and sad news about Sam and Greg being fired by board members). It is easy to feel overwhelmed by the media's focus on crises.

But, is this constant barrage of negativity the only truth about our world?

🖼️ Reframing the Narrative:

While I often fantasize about waking up in a utopia—free from conflict, thriving on technological harmony - I know its more of a dream than a reality. Yet, it's crucial to recognize that, beneath the alarming headlines, there are untold stories of progress and hope. Here are a few highlights that rarely make the news:

  • A Healthier, Longer Life:
    Global life expectancy has soared from 52 years in 1960 to 72 by 2016. This leap is a testament to improved healthcare, nutrition, and overall living conditions.
  • Protecting Our Children:
    The child mortality rate has dropped dramatically, from 22.5% in 1950 to just 4.3% in 2017—a reflection of better healthcare and living conditions.
  • The Power of Literacy:
    From a mere 12% literacy rate in the early 19th century to a staggering 85% by the 20th century's end, education has truly become a global achievement.
  • A Leap Forward in Reducing Poverty:
    Did you know that since 1990, global extreme poverty rates plummeted from 36% to 8.6% by 2018? It is a monumental leap forward, lifting millions into a better life.
  • Rising Global Income:
    The World Bank reports a significant rise in global GDP per capita, from $3,688 in 1980 to $11,297 in 2019, marking broad economic development.

⏳Comparing with Ancient Times

How does today compare with ancient times? Let's take a quick look:

  • Life expectancy, once capped at 25 years during the Roman Empire, now exceeds 70 globally.
  • Infant mortality has drastically decreased from up to 30% in ancient times to below 4% today.
  • Despite ongoing conflicts, the global death rate from warfare is significantly lower than in brutal ancient battles.
  • Deadly diseases of the past are now treatable or eradicated, thanks to medical advancements.
  • Women’s rights have seen a sea change, moving from limited roles to active participation in all societal aspects.
  • Education, once a luxury of the elite, is now widely accessible.
  • While ancient times normalized slavery, today, it's globally outlawed, despite ongoing challenges. Instead of enjoying a relaxing day working from your laptop on the beach with a fancy smoothie, life in the past could have meant facing harsh punishments, like being whipped by a merciless overseer for not carrying enough stones to build a fortress or some other nonsense.
  • Improved sanitation systems have significantly reduced disease outbreaks.
  • The work-leisure balance has evolved, offering many a better quality of life.

🤔 No conclusions here, only food for thought

I don't want to make it seem like everything is perfect in our world. But in times like these, when it is easy to feel down, we should remember the good progress mankind has made. Dwelling only on things we can't change makes life seem gloomy. Life goes by fast, so why waste time on negative news and doom-scrolling all the time? Let's focus on the positive changes and work towards a future that's more hopeful than sad.

Time for a side note, this week I had the privilege to visit my friend Luka, who is playing drums and guitar in his free time. He showed me some fascinating music by the Tool band and I want to attach here one song, that resonates with the idea of this blog post, at least I see it this way. Have listened to it around 20 times this weekend, on solid repeat.

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Wishing you all a nice start to the week! Be good to yourself 😉