The Counter-Intuitive Fact File

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4 min readDec 23, 2020

This is the beginning of series I call the Counter-Intuitive Fact File. Often we are misled — by our friends on social media, the media elites, or even by our own assumptions. I have found that often with a bit of research, the truth I find reminds me of the old adage that appearances can be misleading.

A common theme in all of the factoids I share will be that the world is not the dystopian nightmare that we’re often led to believe it is. Nor is it headed on a downhill slide toward such a state. I was inspired to make these lists by reading Steven Pinker’s book, Enlightenment Now in which he includes over 70 graphs as to how the world has improved since the Enlightenment in the 18th Century. It is an incredible book that I highly recommend. But if you want the short version, then I also recommend his Ted Talk on Youtube.

Thanks for reading, and if you know of any other facts, please feel free to let me know.

  1. The United States has the highest survival rates for most cancers (the exception here is childhood Leukemia), and cancer mortality in the US is steadily decreasing Source: https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/dcpc/research/articles/concord-2.htm

2. Since 1990, the number of people living in extreme poverty throughout the world has decreased significantly. Source: https://ourworldindata.org/extreme-poverty

3. Since the early 1990s, violent crime in the United States has fallensignificantly. FBI statistics say by 51%. Department of Justice say by 71%.

Source: https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019/10/17/facts-about-crime-in-the-u-s/

4. Men, on average, make more money per year than women. That gap, however, closes almost completely when controlling for skill level, experience, and job choice.

Source: https://www.payscale.com/gender-lifetime-earnings-gap

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The pedantic ramblings of a hopeless contrarian, grasping for sanity in a world gone mad