4-19-20 Reasons to be Cheerful Talk Notes

Unity of Auburn

April 19, 2020

Reasons to be Cheerful Notes


Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About The World And Why Things Are Better Than You Think by Hans Rosling

“It turns out that the world, for all its imperfections, is in a much better state than we might think. That doesn’t mean there aren’t real concerns. But when we worry about everything all the time instead of embracing a worldview based on facts, we can lose our ability to focus on the things that threaten us most.”


"The nature of news is likely to distort people’s view of the world because of a mental bug that the psychologists Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman called the Availability heuristic: people estimate the probability of an event or the frequency of a kind of thing by the ease with which instances come to mind."


Pinker, Steven. Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress (p. 41). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition. 
"It’s easy to see how the Availability heuristic, stoked by the news policy “If it bleeds, it leads,” could induce a sense of gloom about the state of the world. Media scholars who tally news stories of different kinds, or present editors with a menu of possible stories and see which they pick and how they display them, have confirmed that the gatekeepers prefer negative to positive coverage, holding the events constant.13 That in turn provides an easy formula for pessimists on the editorial page: make a list of all the worst things that are happening anywhere on the planet that week, and you have an impressive-sounding case that civilization has never faced greater peril."


Pinker, Steven. Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress (p. 42). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition. 

For a daily dose of good news, try Beautiful News Daily which adds one new story each day in visual format and you can go back through the archives to see all the good news that has been coming out over the past year. https://informationisbeautiful.net/beautifulnews/

More good news can be found at Good News Network which is updated daily. https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/

Finally, there is a website called Reasons to be Cheerful which is the creation of David Byrne, a musician and songwriter best known for his work with Talking Heads. He posts in depth stories on a weekly basis along with essays and other inspirational pieces. There motto is: “Don’t despair, solutions are everywhere!” You can also sign up for email notifications. https://reasonstobecheerful.world/


As a sign of solidarity, a village in Switzerland projected the American Flag onto the Matterhorn


Sidewalk chalk art in Florida