Everything is broken… 👍

If you read the news in the last few years, you might have seen headlines as such:

… Our Healthcare system is broken.

… Our Education system is broken.

… Our Democracy is broken.

… Our Financial system is broken.

… Our Real Estate system is broken.

… Our Energy system is broken.

… Our Income distribution system is broken.

Yep. Everything is broken. At least, if you believe the headlines.

On the flip side, if you look at any key metrics over the last 20, 50 or 100 years, you’ll see that we are much better of now than we ever were. There is no point in the past in which people live as well as they live now. No point in which as many people owned homes, went to school, voted for the president, had electricity at affordable prices, had access to vaccines and primary care, and earn enough to make a living!

So, which is it? Is it broken or not? Yes and no!

Similar to many diseases that have seen an “epidemic” over the last few years (ADHD, Cancer, Autism, etc.), the reality is that we are much better at diagnosing problems with our systems. It’s much harder for governments to hide problems, we live in times of greater transparency than ever before, and, most importantly, our expectations have shifted significantly.

Is everything “broken”? Yes. Has everything been broken before? Yes. Is “brokeness” a binary state in which things are “broken” or “not broken”? No. It’s a spectrum, and it will never reach the point of perfection. So it’ll always be broken. Somethings are more broken than others, and, even though we are mostly up-and-to-the-right in the graph of quality-of-life, sometimes we do have a few down steps, which are usually followed up by up leaps.

I leave you with this amazing data-viz presentation by Hans Rosling (who sadly passed away two weeks ago), so you can more clearly understand what I’m saying:

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Marcelo Calbucci

Marcelo Calbucci

I'm a technologist, founder, geek, author, and a runner.