I recently read a quote from Elon Musk:
“If anyone thinks they’d rather be in a different part of history, they’re probably not a very good student of history.
Life sucked in the old days.
People knew very little, and you were likely to die at a young age of some horrible disease.
You’d probably have no teeth by now.
It would be particularly awful if you were a woman.”
Like him or hate him, I agree with him that despite the challenges we face, such as climate change, political unrest, and economic inequality, there is a strong case to be made that we are living in the best time in human history.
We have made unprecedented strides in technology, healthcare, education, poverty reduction, gender equality, and overall quality of life.
Yet many people are complaining and that's not surprising considering the media keeps telling us how difficult life is.
The truth is that overall, things have never been better, so I’d like to prove that we are indeed living in the best time in history.
Technology has never been better.
Technological innovations have reshaped our world and significantly improved our lives in countless ways.
Here are a few examples:
There are 4.9 billion active internet users worldwide.
That's 62% of the world's total population.
Only 361 million people used the Internet worldwide in 2000 (6% of the world's population at the time).
This connectivity allows for greater access to information, improved communication, and increased economic opportunities.
b. Artificial Intelligence
I know a lot of people are worried by how quickly artificial intelligence is developing, however, AI has been around for a long time - just think of Siri or Alexa.
AI has revolutionized industries such as healthcare, manufacturing, and finance.
For example, AI algorithms can now detect diseases like cancer at early stages with high accuracy.
c. Renewable Energy
The cost of solar and wind energy has significantly decreased, leading to a rapid increase in renewable energy adoption.
In 2019, renewables accounted for 27.1% of global electricity generation, up from 22.1% in 2015.
Millions of people around the world are now living well over the age of 90 and 100+.
In fact, there are currently more than 500, 000 people around the world over the age of 100, and the UN predicts that figure to skyrocket to almost 4 Million people by 2050.
Over the last hundred years or so, we've made some incredible progress in science, medicine, and technology, which has really boosted the average human lifespan.
One of the primary factors behind this increase in life expectancy is the development of new treatments and vaccines that have successfully eradicated or reduced the impact of various life-threatening diseases.
In addition, improvements in sanitation, hygiene, and access to clean water have further contributed to the decline in mortality rates.
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Furthermore, public health initiatives, better nutrition, and an increased emphasis on preventive care have played a crucial role in helping people live longer and healthier lives.
As a result of these collective efforts, we are witnessing an era in which people are not only living longer but enjoying a better quality of life well into their later years.
Medical research and advancements in healthcare have contributed to increased life expectancies and better overall health:
- Vaccines: Widespread vaccination has led to the eradication of smallpox and the near-elimination of polio. Additionally, vaccines have played a crucial role in combating COVID-19 Which in previous times would have had a much bigger death toll. Mark created it's not one o'clock yet
- Treatments: Breakthroughs in treatments for diseases like HIV/AIDS and cancer have significantly improved survival rates and quality of life for patients. The development of targeted therapies and immunotherapies has transformed cancer treatment, while antiretroviral therapy has turned HIV/AIDS into a manageable chronic condition.
Note: We have more options than ever before!
Never before in all of history have we had more options than we do now – we are spoiled for choice:
- Business options -
- Thanks to the internet it’s never been cheaper, easier, or quicker to start a business than it is now. You don’t need a large marketing budget either, you can market and promote your products for free to a worldwide audience using online social media channels: Facebook, Google+, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube etc. You don’t even need to quit your job, you can start your own business part-time after hours.
- Career options
- Entertainment options
- Food options
- Investment options
- Movie/Music/TV options
- Payment options
- Shopping options
- Travel options – it’s never been easier to travel and see the world.
Efforts to reduce poverty have led to significant improvements in the global standard of living:
a. Economic Growth
Rapid economic growth, particularly in countries like China and India, has lifted millions out of poverty.
China alone reduced its extreme poverty rate from 88.3% in 1981 to 0.7% in 2019.
b. Social Safety Nets
Government programs such as cash transfers, food assistance, and subsidized healthcare have provided crucial support to vulnerable populations, reducing poverty rates and improving overall well-being.
Access to education and literacy rates have increased dramatically, empowering individuals and communities:
- Higher Education: The global gross enrollment ratio in tertiary education increased from 19% in 2000 to 38% in 2019 , providing more individuals with the skills needed for the modern workforce.
- Online Education: The rise of online learning platforms has made education more accessible, with millions of people worldwide now able to access courses from top universities and institutions at minimal cost or for free.
Gender equality has seen significant progress, with women experiencing greater access to education, employment opportunities, and political representation:
- Education: As of 2020, girls' enrollment in primary education was nearly equal to boys', with a gender parity index of 1.00.
- Employment: Women's labour force participation has increased, though there is still work to be done to close the gender pay gap and ensure equal opportunities in leadership positions.
Despite all the news about mass shootings, murder, rape, violent crime etc. crime rates worldwide are currently at their lowest rate in history and they’re still dropping:
- Wars: While the war between Russia and Ukraine continues and regional conflicts still occur, the number of large-scale international wars has decreased.
- Homicides: The global average homicide rate has dropped from 8.1 per 100,000 people in 1990 to 6.1 in 2017.
- Violent Crimes: Many countries have experienced a decline in violent crime rates over the past few decades, due in part to improved law enforcement strategies and social programs aimed at addressing the root causes of crime.
Racism, sexism, homophobia etc. is definitely becoming less common, and as the world wakes up and people become more educated and less ignorant, fewer people are judging others on things like the colour of their skin, gender, height, or sexuality.
This greater awareness and activism have led to improvements in human rights and social progress:
- LGBTQ+ Rights: The rights of LGBTQ+ individuals have significantly advanced in recent years, with more countries legalizing same-sex marriage, adopting anti-discrimination laws, and promoting social acceptance.
- Racial Equality: Although racial inequality persists, progress has been made in addressing systemic racism through legislation, education, and social activism.
- Disability Rights: Laws and policies promoting the rights of persons with disabilities have increased globally, leading to improved accessibility, inclusion, and quality of life.
It’s never been easier to network, connect, or make contact with anyone in the world.
Gone are the days of having to slowly build your network up one person at a time, by having to go to lots of boring after-work networking events.
Now thanks to Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media sites, it only takes a few seconds to connect with anyone anywhere in the world, meaning you can grow your network thousands of times faster and easier than ever before.
- Each online connection can then easily lead to a face-to-face meeting, or even better, to a new friendship or business relationship.
- It’s hard to imagine a world without Facebook, yet social media only really started to become a thing about 16 years ago, around 2007.
Despite inflation, lots of things are getting cheaper every year:
- Electric cars
- Laptops and tablets, Smartphones
- Phone plans
- Solar panels
- Education - education used to be limited to the rich and wealthy, but not anymore. Thanks to the Internet you now have access to the world's greatest libraries, philosophers, scientists and teachers available to you for free. In fact, you now have access to more information than anyone else in history on any subject imaginable. No need to go to the library - you can simply search for the answer to any question on Google or watch 10s of thousands of hours of free educational videos on YouTube.
- YouTube, movies, music, TV shows, video games, sport
- there are over a billion videos on YouTube and if nothing else was ever added it would take you more than 60,000 years just to watch what's currently there
- Cloud storage
- Email, Instant messaging
- Entertainment, Games
- Maps and GPS
- Phone calls (even international)
Sure there are lots of things that still annoy us and are way harder than they need to be, but overall things have never been easier or more convenient than they are right now:
- You can buy anything you like without needing to leave your home.
- You can get lunch, dinner, or groceries delivered right to your front door.
- You have infinite entertainment and information right there on your phone 24/7.
- You can get an Uber to pick you up right from your door and take you anywhere you want to go.
But whether it’s the best time or the worst time…
Note: While challenges remain, it's important to recognize the remarkable progress we have made as a global society.
However, it’s also important to realize that even though we’re living in the greatest time in all of human history, with all of the opportunities and resources in the world, it’s not time, opportunities or resources that make you successful, it’s you.
You can have all the opportunities and resources available to you in the world, but what good is it if you won’t take advantage of them?
It’s a good idea to remember that some of the most successful companies in history were started during depressions and recessions, proving that hard work and dedication pay off no matter what time you’re living in.