Good News – Part II

10 More Observations of People, Institutions, or Things to Celebrate

Continuing Our Relentless Pursuit of Good Stuff

A couple of weeks ago, this blog listed a number of good news stories that seemed to me were not getting enough attention, or at least were getting lost in all the doom and gloom we sometimes generate. I mentioned then there were other good news items that made that list but did not want to make the blog too long.

Today, the rest of that list. Admittedly an arbitrary list, not complete and in no special order. Here are the next 10 for your review and commentary.

 Health and Technology

 Medical Advances: Really impressive breakthroughs continue to be announced. In recent weeks, I have been hearing about impressive progress in brain implants to control certain diseases, some amazing breakthroughs using sound and vibrations to treat everything from dementia to addiction.

We are still learning what CRISPR technology, which gave us the COVID vaccines, may do. Lots of scary things out there with new viruses, etc. but technology is, I believe, is coming into a golden age of medical advances.

Artificial Intelligence: These days you hear mostly dramatic warnings about AI, and for good reason. Still, the potential good in so many areas are staggering, and starting to arrive. I think at the end of the day, we will figure this stuff out and reap the massive benefits with comparatively little risk and cost. Remind me how wrong I was about that when the robot overlords take over…

EVs Approaching the Critical Spread Point: Electric vehicles worldwide are getting better and cheaper. We are at that classic point in new endeavors where it seems the problems will shut down the advance, but in the end, they take hold. Better batteries are definitely needed and a heck of a lot of people are working that, with some promising prospects.

This Winter brings home how much cold weather affects these electric vehicles, but smart minds are working that, too. We’ll get there. I do believe we have crossed the irreversible thresholds for EVs and other alternative vehicles to dominate. The gasoline engine will be here for some time, but its days are numbered. Good riddance.

Politics and Human Relations

Spread of Humanism: The number of people who declare themselves humanists, including those who more specifically think of themselves as secular humanists is on the rise, in the US and globally. This growth is both in numbers, but also in depth of understanding what such a philosophy means. This strikes me as a wholly good thing.

People who find we are fortunate to live on this planet, feel a connection to the universe directly, not through a religion, and who believe we as individuals and as a species have responsibility for what happens are a plus for humanity. This approach to life will never fit everyone, and that is OK. But its spread seems assured, and positive. Do the right thing not because you fear retribution in another life, but because it’s the right thing to do – period.

Youth Voting: People worry about Youth voting, but the data I have seen from midterms and special elections tells me that this generation shows up most often when it counts. Young people seem less motivated by institutions and more by results.

There are a lot of polls out there now saying Youth engagement and likelihood to vote in the November presidential elections are low. November is forever ahead. I expect that as time passes and focus increases, there will be a high turnout among Youth voters, and I expect to be pleased with how they voted.

 NATO and Asian Ties: Foreign affairs are always a dicey mix. Europe is seeing some surges in right wing movements and NATO could get shaky again if the US stops leading on Ukraine and other key issues. Still, overall, the Biden administration has restored NATO’s unity and effectiveness to a startling degree.

I did not imagine that they would be so successful so quickly. Similarly in Asia, they are quietly and effectively building new alliances that could be crucial, even determinate in potential future tensions and conflict with China.

This is probably the best foreign policy team I have seen in decades. I don’t know if anyone can break the cycle of hopelessness in the Middle East, especially with the current leadership among the key players, but if anyone can, its this US team. Fingers crossed.

 Sports and Entertainment

 Taylor Swift: OK, no shortage of media coverage on this one, but it seems worth noting what a remarkable person this is and the effects she has on others. As a performer, song writer, media presence, and role model, employer, she sets the standard. Not always observed is her business acumen. Beyonce gets a lot of justified praise as well, but Swift seems to me in a class by herself.

I recall when we first saw her, on 60 Minutes, many years ago when she was just becoming known nationally. Part of the interview was done on her extraordinary tour bus – that she had designed, as a teenager. We thought then this was someone we would see become bigger than life in short order. And so she has.

A couple of clips that make the point, one serious, on in fun:

Baseball Got Better: Baseball instituted some important rules changes this year, and made some apparently small other changes (made the bases bigger for example). All to make the game more exciting, faster, and open to surprise plays.

They succeeded beyond all expectations. The games have more stolen bases, faster innings, more exciting fielding. Games are much less predictable and end much sooner. The fans love it, attendance is up almost everywhere. Delightful. Play ball!

 What Else?

Some Better Blogs: I noted earlier how excellent Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s blog is. He has lots of company. I have found several new blogs in recent weeks, some by big names, some by folks none of us know, that are really quite good. The site Substack contributes much to this, providing an easy base to blog from and a very useful app for readers to access and track writers. Go browse on . Have fun shopping around.

Your Nomination: I saved the last in the list of ten for you. What are you seeing, experiencing that is cause for enthusiastic celebration or quite appreciation? Share the good news.

See you next week.

A footnote: As I am writing this, Ron DeSantis has announced the end of his campaign (and he quickly kissed the Trump ring). I feel a bit vindicated. When DeSantis first announced, a lot of people were really worried. He is, it’s true, smarter and more focused than Trump (not a hard bar to reach).

But within a few weeks of watching this guy, I declared him dead on arrival. He has a good mean streak, but not much in the way of real political instincts. He completely lacks personality or the ability to connect with voters. I said then he would be a flash in the pan, looking strong at first but running short of success as the campaign rounded third base.

And so, it has passed. Bad news for Florida now is that they get him back full time.

Bill Clontz (& Bonnie)

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2 replies to Good News – Part II

  1. Thank you for a summary of good news. The media concentrates on the negative which make people think that things are worse than they really are.

  2. I was excited to read that they are beginning to give vaccinations against malaria in several African countries. This is incredibly good news that can save lives as well as help prevent the illness from this disease.

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