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Logo Logo Nick Hodges

Getting better all the time

/ 3 min read

Today is the best day in the history of the world to be alive.

I think that the conditions on the planet — the lives we all lead, the creature comforts, how we treat each other — have been getting better and will continue to get better. This seems blazingly obvious to me, but interestingly, I find that not everyone agrees with me. That I find curious.

For the first 100,000 years of humanity, we all lived in grinding, oppressive poverty. We got up each day and worked our asses off from dawn to dusk to barely provide food, water, and shelter for ourselves. Most of us couldn’t read or write, and even the kings and emperors of the world lived in the squalor that was the average street in our cities. We regularly killed each other for being outside of our tribe, burned people at the stake for some minor difference of opinion, and wouldn’t think twice about taking conquered people as slaves.

But of course things started to radically change around 400 years or so ago, with the rise of the notion of freedom, which in turn begat capitalism and a radically improving world. The hockey stick graph started taking effect, and today, even many of the poorest among us have cell phones and refrigerators and televisions. We celebrate (well, not everywhere, but the idea continues to spread and grow) differences of opinion. Homosexuality is no longer a crime in a growing number of places. Sure, we have a long way to go, but it is utterly undeniable that life in 2024 is overwhelmingly, inarguably, and profounds better than it was 100, 1000, 10,000 years ago

And I think that is going to continue. I think that 100 years in the future, we’ll have figured out things like nuclear fusion, and it will bring abundant and excessively inexpensive energy. We’ll figure out new ways to use that energy, and quite simply, no one even can conceive of what wonders and delights those new energy uses will bring. Think of the health care our great-grandchildren will be able to get. And 100 years from now. Good grief, who even knows?

Or look at it this way: If you went back to 1924 to try to explain the world today to an average person on the street, they wouldn’t even be able to comprehend things like computers and the Internet and air conditioning and big screen TVs and the vast litanies of things I can’t even think of right now because I take them so deeply for granted that I don’t even bother to think about them.

I can’t think of a single reason why the same won’t be true about a person living in 2124 thinking about us.