“The Boing Boing of Liberal Thought” – Adam Smith


On what principle is it, that when we see nothing but improvement behind us, we are to expect nothing but deterioration before us?

Thomas Babington Macaulay

The world is getting a better place to live for the majority of the earth’s inhabitants each and every day. That’s not just some over-optimistic simplification – there’s plenty of data out there to prove it.

That’s not to say the world isn’t facing some tough issues. There’s lots of reasons to be pessimistic too. Trouble is, that’s almost all you hear about in the media.

The trouble with pessimism is that it always thinks about the future in the present tense – forgetting or ignoring our amazing ability to constantly innovate our way out of trouble.

So here’s a site dedicated to bringing you some of the the good news too. About how in the last fifty years our average life expectancy has risen by a third. About the fact that over that same period we can also expect to bury two thirds fewer children and that we are, roughly, about a third richer too, both in the calories we consume and the money we make.

It’s also dedicated to the amazing impact the right kind of interventions and innovations can make.

Do you think that the world is doomed because of an ever growing population? Think again. Despite the fact the population has almost doubled in the last fifty years, we are managing to feed ourselves better than ever, and using relatively less land to do so too. Even global population growth is set to peak by around 2030. The reason for this is simple: as more children survive childbirth, the need to have more children to compensate declines. By some predications, 2030 might even be the year when we can also consign the term “the developing world” to history.

This site takes as its starting point investigations into philosophy, economics and politics. It is dedicated to the ideas that I think will further accelerate human progress, ideas such as free trade, free markets, innovation, and supporting the right for people to work and live where they want.

You’ll find occasional posts which I hope are eye-opening and controversial, but these will always be within the realm of things about which reasonable people can disagree. That’s cool. I welcome your comments and counter arguments. If I’ve got something wrong, I’ll be the first to admit it.

So enough already with the pessimism. It’s time for a jolt of optimism!


Michael “@swedishpotato” Taylor

My Nom de Guerre is Pomme de Terre

P.S. I’m always looking for good stuff to share. Feel free to submit your tip or reach out via twitter @swedishpotato – if it’s cool, it’s filed under optimism.


4 thoughts on “About

  1. Hi Michael,

    SoundEagle understands and appreciates your points presented here as a kind of counterclaims to some doomsayers and scaremongers, and would like to offer some advice and caveats:

    Many upsides have been mentioned here to the exclusion of the many downsides and flipsides of human activities and achievements in the social, economic and environmental domains. We must avoid cherry-picking the data and refusing to examine contrary evidences, so that we can understand and address many valid points, perspectives, domains and dimensions, and to evaluate and change our assumptions, standpoints, approaches and behaviours.


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