In previous articles, we have talked about how progress can be quantified and how people can see in numbers how much our society has evolved. The progress of society has nothing to do with how much money we earn. There are always some who make more money than others and historically people have not lived without the concept of possession for many years. At least from the point they invented writing and we passed from the stage of -pre-history to history, society has always had classes. Until possession was finally invented, the idea that someone would have more resources than someone else was not yet captured.
Today we would like to have a different view on how society has moved on and whether progress has been achieved in the right direction. Many people claim that some years ago things were simpler, more innocent, and perhaps better for everyone Let’s this interesting and yet mysterious approach that makes us wonder whether they are indeed correct.
As we see from the analysis of the famous economist Nordhaus society has ”improved 50 billion percent compared to 1.700 BC. This progress regards the amount of time we have to spend in order to produce or enjoy stuff. Our lives have moved on for the best when it comes to comfort and the ability to relax but what about other aspects that are oriented, let’s say, in joy, health, and pleasure.
One of the first things that we have to consider is the matter of solidarity. Today we seem to be missing that more than ever. We are not willing to protect our fellows and we are basically focused on ourselves. Our health, our well-being, our prosperity, our personal development, and the ability to reveal the potentials we are hiding are what we care about the most.
However, there is also another way one can think about the mood that people have to help others or cooperate somehow. A way to calculate that is by checking how ”friendly” people have become in terms of wars. Archeologists can enlighten us a great deal on that. Many skeletons of people who lived thousands of years ago have been found. The finding has been transferred to scientists’ laboratories to conclude as many things as possible. Most of the people would die because of the attack of a wild animal or another human being. Tribes were divided and kept their territories safe from intruders. People at that point would only copy the behavior of other animals like monkeys and lions to see how they would handle their own personal situations. Animals that lived in herds could provide valuable information about the way one should act to survive. If you think about it this is what we still do. Our invention of airplanes has been based on birds. People saw the simple structure of birds’ wings and decided to copy that for their benefit. Having a glimpse of what nature does is an old trick and every species will try to copy things that are essential for survival.
At this point, things are pretty simple. The food was not enough for everyone, so a way to secure the food for your own tribe had to be invented. Violence was the answer to that and it was not so difficult to figure it out. Nature and human history are full of violent stories. Moving to the present we will see that the amount of violence that is out there has been decreased. To be precise, scientists believe that there is 10 times less killing today than it used to be in the old times. Today there are fewer wars, or at least the wars have fewer victims and this is a sign that violence has decreased.
The destruction of the environment is also to be discussed since it indeed plays a major role in what we call solidarity and violence. Scientists wanted to quantify violence throughout human civilization and this was the most accurate way at this point, but further consideration has to be taken to see whether we truly have managed to become more peaceful as a species and more willing to share and cooperate.
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