For the March issue of The Highlight, Vox examines pervasive pessimism. The present feels bleak, but the issue will argue that for all of the challenges of modern life, we also happen to be living in a time of unparalleled health and prosperity in human history. Social progress is undeniable — for all the problems humanity faces, we are also on the cusp of breakthroughs that promise a brighter future. In this issue of The Highlight, Vox’s Future Perfect vertical makes the case that the only thing we have to despair of is despair itself.
“From climate change to politics to war, it’s easy to despair about the state of the world. But for this month’s Highlight, the team at Future Perfect wanted to push back against the dominant doomer mentality, spotlighting stories about progress and optimism,” says Future Perfect editor Bryan Walsh. “Whether it’s our chances of stopping runaway AI or figuring out how to feed the world sustainably, there’s reason to hope.”
Contributors to the issue include Bryan Walsh on why the doomers are wrong about humanity’s future — and its past; Dylan Matthews on why the news is so negative, and what we can do about it; Hannah Ritchie on the need for the right kind of climate optimism; Kenny Torrella on how the Dutch have solutions to feeding Earth’s rising population; Sigal Samuel on the case for slowing down artificial intelligence; and B.L. Blanchard on how Native American histories show rebuilding is possible — and necessary — after catastrophe.
The Highlight, in partnership with Apple News, is a dedicated home for the signature features, essays, and explainers that help our audience go beyond the headlines of the day to tackle the big ideas and issues that are changing our present and influencing our future.