This category exists to keep me sane. To remind me that the seemingly unrelenting stream of hatred, stupidity, anger and fear that I encounter in the media and on the streets is only part of the story. To remind me that good things are happening everywhere. And, ultimately, to reassure me that, despite the detours and reverses, progress towards kinder, more rational, and more civilised outcomes is still possible.
It’s just too easy to find bad stuff to write about. It fills ‘mainstream’ and social media, because it instantly excites the chimp side of our brains, without taxing the other, more rational, side. Because it’s objectively easier to rationalise why some state of affairs is ‘wrong’, than it is to research and evaluate the complexity of most real world problems. All it requires is recognition of the ‘wrong’ and the mobilisation of existing knowledge or prejudice to explain it.
But I’m not willing to surrender to my chimp brain. It’s just as stupid and dangerous as anyone else’s. It is just as prone to latch on patterns it recognises, to explain new phenomena in terms of the things it already ‘knows’, and to judge new ideas by the company they keep — rather than by their internal logic and correspondence to verifiable ‘fact’. But I’m just not willing to surrender to this chimp.
So I’ll try to balance every rant in this blog with at least one ‘good news’ story, i.e. a story in which kinder, more rational and constructive outcomes are suggested or pursued.
And that’s what the ‘Likes’ category is for.