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The Paradox of Progress

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The Paradox of Progress

The following is an excerpt from the first chapter of my new book Everything is F*cked: A Book About Hope. The book comes out worldwide on May 14th. You can pre-order the book from Amazon or get a signed copy from Barnes and Noble. You can pre-order internationally from a list of vendors here.

We live in an interesting time in that, materially, things are arguably better than they have ever been before, yet, we all seem to be losing our minds thinking the world is one giant toilet bowl about to be flushed. An irrational sense of hopelessness is spreading across the rich, developed world. It’s a paradox of progress: the better things get, the more anxious and desperate we all seem to feel.

Pessimism is widespread in the wealthy, developed world. When the public opinion data company YouGov surveyed people in seventeen countries in 2017 on whether they believed the world was getting better, worse, or staying the same, fewer than 10 percent of people in the richest countries believed it was getting better. In the United States, only 6 percent said it was getting better. In Australia and France, that figure was only 3 percent. The …

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