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The Progress Paradox: How Life Gets Better…
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The Progress Paradox: How Life Gets Better While People Feel Worse (alkuperäinen julkaisuvuosi 2003; vuoden 2004 painos)

– tekijä: Gregg Easterbrook

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
408748,367 (3.46)4
aInThe Progress Paradox, Gregg Easterbrook draws upon three decades of wide-ranging research and thinking to make the persuasive assertion that almost all aspects of Western life have vastly improved in the past century--and yet today, most men and women feel less happy than in previous generations. Why this is so and what we should do about it is the subject of this book. Between contemporary emphasis on grievances and the fears engendered by 9/11, today it is common to hear it said that life has started downhill, or that our parents had it better. But objectively, almost everyone in today’s United States or European Union lives better than his or her parents did. Still, studies show that the percentage of the population that is happy has not increased in fifty years, while depression and stress have become ever more prevalent. The Progress Paradox explores why ever-higher living standards don’t seem to make us any happier. Detailing the emerging science of “positive psychology,” which seeks to understand what causes a person’s sense of well-being, Easterbrook offers an alternative to our culture of crisis and complaint. He makes a Compelling case that optimism, gratitude, and acts of forgiveness not only make modern life more fulfilling but are actually in our self-interest. Seemingly insoluble problems of the past, such as crime in New York City and smog in Los Angeles, have proved more tractable than they were thought to be. Likewise, today’s “impossible” problems, such as global warming and Islamic terrorism, can be tackled too. LikeThe Tipping Point, this book offers an affirming and constructive way of seeing the world anew.The Progress Paradoxwill change the way you think about your place in the world, and about our collective ability to make it better.… (lisätietoja)
Jäsen:CCHP1
Teoksen nimi:The Progress Paradox: How Life Gets Better While People Feel Worse
Kirjailijat:Gregg Easterbrook
Info:Random House Trade Paperbacks (2004), Paperback, 400 pages
Kokoelmat:Oma kirjasto
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The Progress Paradox: How Life Gets Better While People Feel Worse (tekijä: Gregg Easterbrook) (2003)

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Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 7) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
Detailed analysis showing how so much has improved, particulalry in the west, over the last 100 years or so: poverty, racism. healthcare, environment, etc. Asks why, by many measures, we are no happier. Indictment of a materialistic culture. ( )
  blgriffin | Apr 27, 2016 |
My rating only reflects my own experience with the book. It turns out I'm disinclined toward works of this type to begin with, so even though The Progress Paradox is very much a cut above the normal, popular non-fiction essay pieces, it's just not my cup of tea. And, even though it is well-researched, thorough, and backed with plenty of statistics, I guess it didn't break through my innate skepticism of the thesis. Still, Easterbrook's a good writer, who presents a complete argument and anticipates plenty of counters, so others may find the it more impactful than I. ( )
  adamhindman | Mar 17, 2016 |
One of the problems of our age, particularly in the more affluent parts of the world, is that while life is really much better in many ways than it was in the past, people are on the whole getting less happy; certainly, there hasn't been much of a rise in happiness in First World countries, and depression has gone up a lot. Easterbrook's book is an attempt to argue both of these: things really have gotten better, even if it seems like they may have gotten worse, and that people really aren't happier about it. Then, he's got some ideas about where to go from here, to make the world better still and people happier in the process.

You don't have to buy his arguments, but he does make them pretty persuasively. It's true, the world is a lot better off than 50-100 years ago. Living standards have gone up on almost all measures, most of the problems of the past have been solved, people work less than they used to, live longer and retire earlier, get better educations and have more freedoms. To Easterbrook's credit, he does admit that not all problems have been solved, and that they still need more work: there's still more poverty in Western culture than we should allow, still more hunger, still too many people without health coverage. But on the whole, things do seem to be getting better.

But then, why are people getting less happy? Easterbrook's views are that people now feel that their lives lack meaning and drive, that the world focuses mostly on the negatives rather than how things have improved, that people have moved from seeking things they need (desires that can be satisfied) to things they want (desires that can't, leading to greater dissatisfaction), focusing too much on the small picture, collapse anxiety (the feeling that culture has peaked and is bound to fall apart sooner rather than later), trying to keep ahead of everyone else, and the sense that the future won't really be improved, among other factors. It's a pretty daunting and exhausting list, but it's all accurate, as far as I can tell.

His broad solution is that people should move to being more positive and doing things that can lead to more meaning in their lives, along with some specific policies to follow (such as providing a living wage domestically and greater foreign aid; I won't provide a whole list), and it actually is pretty positive, that this is something we may be able to get past. I suggest reading the book, just to get a full sense.

I didn't expect to like this book as much as I did, or find it quite so thought-provoking, and I did disagree with some points (want less sprawl? Well, that means getting rid of immigration... you don't want that, do you?), but it's a very strong book, all around. It's slightly out of date now, but it stands up pretty well, and I'd recommend it, for sure, if you have the time. ( )
  Capfox | Feb 1, 2009 |
Interesting question asked in this book: "Why do people feel worse while life gets better ?"

It started out strong, but got too speculative (and kind of preachy) toward the end.

I do like the concept of a "Gratitude Diary", though. ( )
  dvf1976 | Apr 23, 2008 |
This book is a bit unusual for me in that it is on the conservative end of the spectrum. The author writes for the New Republic and so I was braced for argument from the start. His main thesis? What's everyone worrying about? We should all be happy! The world is great!

Is the world doing better? Easterbrook spends a lot of time saying it is. He parades the environmental progress we've made since the seventies, the amazing advances in public health, the "moral" advances of fewer abortions and teen pregnancies. Then he explains why modern problems are really hardly problems at all. Poverty? Well, we'll always have poverty as long as we have immigration. You don't want to ban immigration, do you? And who can complain of sprawl? Should we simply ban prosperity? I'm being unfair by picking the two points I most disagreed with. Of course sprawl can be managed better with urban planning -- we shouldn't just ignore it as a byproduct of wealth. Easterbrook does have a point that the world is doing pretty well, certainly better than 50 years ago in many respects. So why are people unhappy?

The second part of the book discusses positive psychology, that is, the study of what makes people happy as opposed to what makes them dysfunctional. He makes the simple argument that it's better for you to be good and forgiving. (Or as in the words of the old rhyme, "a Sunday's child, bonnie and blythe".)As the book progresses, the supporting footnotes get rarer and rarer. I don't hold much to psychology but I can understand the sentiment. He quotes the 19th century essayist John Lubbock, "Happiness is a thing to be practised, like the violin" and I totally agree. I long ago decided that I would rather be made a fool than learn not to trust people, and I live by it. (This rule is of course practised with moderation. I still wouldn't pick up hitchikers near the maximum security prison.)

The book ends with Easterbrook talking about any random thing he ever wanted to write a book about. Does the solution to violence in the Middle East have anything to do with the thesis of the book? No, but hey, while he has a captive audience...! And despite the theme of "things are really great, don't worry", he ends with chapters on how to change the world for the better. This is of course the problem. Can you be happy and revolutionary? Do you need crusaders with their extra high seratonin levels to make the changes that will lead to betterment of society? How can you be happy without being complacent? That message Easterbrook doesn't really address.

In all, I found this book interesting but not captivating. It was primarily interesting to hold a dialogue in my head with a reasonable conservative writer, one who takes the time to reference his points. Perhaps the talking heads on Fox would do the same if they had time, but at least I have a better understanding now of how someone can come to these positions.
  myfanwy | Oct 12, 2007 |
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» Lisää muita tekijöitä (1 mahdollinen)

Tekijän nimiRooliTekijän tyyppiKoskeeko teosta?Tila
Gregg Easterbrookensisijainen tekijäkaikki painoksetlaskettu
Galian, Carl D,Kannen suunnittelijamuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Lambert, J. K.Suunnittelijamuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Marosz, JonathanReadermuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Sinun täytyy kirjautua sisään voidaksesi muokata Yhteistä tietoa
Katso lisäohjeita Common Knowledge -sivuilta (englanniksi).
Kanoninen teoksen nimi
Tiedot englanninkielisestä Yhteisestä tiedosta. Muokkaa kotoistaaksesi se omalle kielellesi.
Alkuteoksen nimi
Teoksen muut nimet
Alkuperäinen julkaisuvuosi
Henkilöt/hahmot
Tärkeät paikat
Tärkeät tapahtumat
Kirjaan liittyvät elokuvat
Palkinnot ja kunnianosoitukset
Epigrafi (motto tai mietelause kirjan alussa)
Tiedot englanninkielisestä Yhteisestä tiedosta. Muokkaa kotoistaaksesi se omalle kielellesi.
Happiness makes up in height
what it lacks in length.

-- Robert Frost
Omistuskirjoitus
Tiedot englanninkielisestä Yhteisestä tiedosta. Muokkaa kotoistaaksesi se omalle kielellesi.
For my mother,

Vimy Hoover Easterbrook

1917-1776
Ensimmäiset sanat
Tiedot englanninkielisestä Yhteisestä tiedosta. Muokkaa kotoistaaksesi se omalle kielellesi.
Suppose your great-great-grandparents, who lived four generations ago, materialized in the United States of the present day.
Though the airfield does not appear on many charts, its existence is whispered of among pilots.
Sitaatit
Viimeiset sanat
Tiedot englanninkielisestä Yhteisestä tiedosta. Muokkaa kotoistaaksesi se omalle kielellesi.
(Napsauta nähdäksesi. Varoitus: voi sisältää juonipaljastuksia)
Erotteluhuomautus
Julkaisutoimittajat
Kirjan kehujat
Alkuteoksen kieli
Kanoninen DDC/MDS
Kanoninen LCC

Viittaukset tähän teokseen muissa lähteissä.

Englanninkielinen Wikipedia (1)

aInThe Progress Paradox, Gregg Easterbrook draws upon three decades of wide-ranging research and thinking to make the persuasive assertion that almost all aspects of Western life have vastly improved in the past century--and yet today, most men and women feel less happy than in previous generations. Why this is so and what we should do about it is the subject of this book. Between contemporary emphasis on grievances and the fears engendered by 9/11, today it is common to hear it said that life has started downhill, or that our parents had it better. But objectively, almost everyone in today’s United States or European Union lives better than his or her parents did. Still, studies show that the percentage of the population that is happy has not increased in fifty years, while depression and stress have become ever more prevalent. The Progress Paradox explores why ever-higher living standards don’t seem to make us any happier. Detailing the emerging science of “positive psychology,” which seeks to understand what causes a person’s sense of well-being, Easterbrook offers an alternative to our culture of crisis and complaint. He makes a Compelling case that optimism, gratitude, and acts of forgiveness not only make modern life more fulfilling but are actually in our self-interest. Seemingly insoluble problems of the past, such as crime in New York City and smog in Los Angeles, have proved more tractable than they were thought to be. Likewise, today’s “impossible” problems, such as global warming and Islamic terrorism, can be tackled too. LikeThe Tipping Point, this book offers an affirming and constructive way of seeing the world anew.The Progress Paradoxwill change the way you think about your place in the world, and about our collective ability to make it better.

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