It’s Getting Better All the Time

As fun and profitable as it is to stand on a soapbox and declare the end of days, there's something to be said for quietly insisting that the world is slowly becoming a better place. If you're feeling a bit down about humanity's prospects, these books might put you in a happier place.

The Better Angels of Our Nature is a massive book devoted to the argument that mankind in the modern era has grown progressively less violent. Clocking in at around 700 pages before you even hit the endnotes, it's not the easiest read. All the same, it is so full of statistics, graphs, anecdotes and analysis that even if all you do is skim the pages, you're bound to walk away with a story or two proving that we're not so bad after all.

If you're the sort who believes that technology is reducing us to the level of pea-brained juvenile delinquents, Smarter Than You Think is out to prove you wrong. Rather than dumb us down, all the information tools at our disposal enable us to learn more, think globally and collaborate in ways we had never imagined were possible. Technology is making our usual problems so much easier to deal with, we're going to start coming up with harder problems to solve.

Taking the wonders of the modern age to their furthest extent, The Singularity Is Near portrays a future where technology radically alters human nature, allowing us to transcend our biology and live forever in a sentient universe. And you'd better get ready, because it's all going to start within the next few decades.

I'm sure I'll eventually get back to omens of doom and gloom, but for now I'll bask in the thought that society is making us peaceful, smart and unreasonably happy.