We’re in a dark age--but with iPhones and atom bombs. While it's true we're seeing progress in a narrow technological sense, humanity is also backsliding in the ways that matter most.
For example, by the numbers:
We’re more distracted than ever, glued to our phones for 3-7 hours every day.
We’re on track to have more plastic than fish in the earth’s oceans by the year 2050.
We’ve created an obesogenic society, where adults are now more than twice as likely to become overweight than to maintain a healthy body weight.
We’re razing or burning the world’s forests at a rate of 12 football fields per minute.
We’re on track to drive over 1,000,000 species to extinction in the coming decades.
Teen depression and mental illness increased by more than 50% from 2009 to 2017.
We list these facts not out of a desire to dwell on the negative and make you feel depressed. We list them, because they are facts and they call into question the story of progress we see in Pepsi commercials and show instead an incredibly powerful species that can put it's extraordinary creativity and energy into creating a much better future. And that is a message of hope.
But progress sometimes must start with dark truths, and these numbers show us that we are accelerating in the wrong direction. Collectively, our species is moving backwards, even as many of us strive to do good. That is the definition of a dark age: an era of human regression towards worse outcomes.
But the last dark age lasted over 1000 years and this time, we can't afford to wait that long to turn things around. So it may sound grandiose, but The MATH MVMT is calling for a Second Enlightenment to nip this dark age in the bud and move humanity forward. Because only light can drive out darkness, and only an enlightenment can end a dark age.
New Enlightenment Principles
REASON: Strive to be radically reasonable and reasonably radical.
BIAS: reason doesn't come naturally. Bias does. Learning the psychology of bias must be part of every education.
MATH: If it's not a numbers-based political conversation, it's an emotion-based conversation.
SYSTEMS: The simplest answers aren't always the best and focusing on systems gives a clear understanding than single factors.
PRIORITIES: Humans don't exist to serve the economy. The economy exist to serve humans.
POLICY: Personal responsibility is for personal problems. Policy is for social problems.
WELLNESS: Physical and Mental Health are more than the absence of disease.
GROWTH: Personal and social growth begin with a growth mindset.