Illusion Series 6: Illusions About Our Global Society

by Don Berg
(Portland, OR, USA)

In this final installment I offer five videos about objective evidence that global patterns of violence and socio-economic conditions are not how most people assume they are. We tend to ask where are we going and why am I in this hand basket? Going to our doom is always implied and assumed to be pervasive in every aspect of our global situation.

These talks point to a different sense. We are on a course for doom in some ways, but not in others. The situation of human environments is dire, but the situation of human relations is actually optimistic. It is the global improvement of human relationships that holds out hope for our ability to address the environmental problems head on and either prevent or mitigate disaster.

Hans Rosling on the Myth of the Third World

Steven Pinker on the Myth of Increasing Violence

Gary Slutkin says violence is a communicable disease and epidemics of it can be treated just like other disease epidemics, like the plague:

Gary Slutkin: Disrupting Violence from PopTech on Vimeo.

Hans Rosling on a New View of Poverty and What's Possible

The challenges we face are not insurmountable, as Hans Rosling so dramatically demonstrates in that last video. We have to rememeber the difference between our means and our goals. Academics are a means to becoming educated, not the goal of education. The goal of education is to develop attitudes that enable us to be fully engaged with the realities of our existence. All the climate change and economic chaos can ultimately be addressed if we can be fully engaged with the reality of our situation. We may not be able to prevent all suffering and disaster, but the more engaged we are with the world, the more effectively we can anticipate and mitigate what's coming.

Here's a 2011 update on the state of the global peace index:

2011 Global Peace Index from Vision of Humanity on Vimeo.

Illusion Series:

1: Literal Illusions

2: Illusions of Knowing The World

3: The Illusion of Knowing Our Own Minds

4: Illusions of Evil

5: Illusions of Good

6: Illusions About Our Global Society

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