My round-up of the week’s causes for optimism, discussions of optimism/pessimism gap, and debunking of optimism/pessimism, as noticed in the media.
* “A global tipping point: Half the world is now middle class or wealthier” writes the Brookings Institute, on…
“the rapid emergence of the global middle class. […] In the world today, about one person escapes extreme poverty every second; but five people a second are entering the middle class.”
“… this is not a sustainable tactic in the long-run. Sooner or later, the consumers will realize the game that is being played. As the statistics clearly show, more and more people are turning away from traditional mainstream news outlets and toward more alternative, independent and unconventional sources.”
“An experimental anti-venom has been developed against dendrotoxins from the world’s most feared venomous snake, the black mamba […] the findings were recently published in the journal Nature Communications. [After this practical breakthrough, researchers are] working to develop an anti-venom against several species of snakes.”
“The team systematically screened the entire banana collection at IITA, Uganda, and identified 13 other sources of resistance [to the disease …] Bananas are an indispensable part of life in the region providing up to one-fifth of the total calorie consumption per capita.”
“Liu [author of the famous sci-fi book “The Three-Body Problem”] thinks science fiction can contribute to China’s technology push by inspiring the imagination of its readers. But he’s quick to add that without education and greater science literacy, literature won’t affect innovation. Until 2014, the 55-year-old Liu was a full-time engineer at a state-owned power plant.”
Presumably they’re not promoting the sort of recent western science fiction that promotes grim dystopia, looming apocalypse, and/or is laced with a gloomy dribble of despair.
* “NASA Releases Roadmap for Future Space Exploration” and “Lockheed Martin Unveils Their Proposal For a Reusable Manned Lunar Lander”, albeit with graphics that make it look very scary and dark (translation from their visuals: “pay us megabucks to make it safe”)…
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