My new book for middle schoolers, Your World Better: Global Progress and What You Can Do About It, available to download free from my blog, or you can buy kindle or hard copies (with author payments going to UNICEF).…
Broad message: America and the world are better places to live than they were when your parents or grandparents were young, but there’s still a lot wrong and some stuff getting worse. Working together, your generation can help fix that.
Motivated by talking to my kids and their friends, who seem a bit depressed about the state of the planet. (Who can blame them after the past year?) The idea is to tip readers back from helpless despair towards action motivated by realistic optimism.
Every hour across the world, 15,000 kids are born and every day twenty million people celebrate a birthday. In the US alone, about six thousand people get married each 24 hours and about 50 million kids graduate high school worldwide each (normal) year.

By the way, if you think there ought to be more books aimed at children that discuss global progress, go fund this, by @tonymmorley, which looks fantastic:…

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More from @charlesjkenny

6 Apr
I just got vaccinated by a woman born in Vietnam, with a vaccine created by two Turkish refugees living in Germany and manufactured by a US company run by a Greek migrant. Thank you, world.
(Apologies re. "Turkish refugees" actually a Turkish migrant and a German born to Turkish parents).
See also the Ebola vaccine, a combination of donors help pay for the vaccinations, it was developed by researchers in US, Germany, Canada, vaccine trials in nine countries, support from WHO.
Read 11 tweets
19 Mar
I'm told people in the UK who ordered The Plague Cycle are going to have to wait a little longer to get it. In very partial recompense, I present my utterly arguable list of top ten pandemics, ranked by impact on human history....
1. Neanderthal herpes: Neanderthals were already at home and well adapted to life outside Africa before anatomically modern humans arrived. Why did the Neanderthals end up extinct?
...One (disputed) theory: the newcomers arrived with a herpesvirus that was particularly deadly to previously unexposed locals. Maybe there wouldn’t have been human history at all if it weren’t for this pandemic.
Read 20 tweets
24 Sep 20
A short thread on liberty and public health in the US, with snakes (guest appearance by a worm).
The rod of Asclepius, symbol of medicine –here on a CDC logo (l). Clinical parasitologist Rosemary Drisdelle thinks the rod might originally reference a treatment for the guinea worm –healers remove the worm from your leg by slowly winding its tail end around a match stick (r).
Public health has long been a factor in the expansion of government power: restricting the travel of goods and people, keeping the sick in their homes or sanitariums, mandates from pasteurization through sewage treatment to trash removal, wild animal control...
Read 8 tweets
15 Sep 20
Justin and Dev gave a test to 2,300 students in India that combined questions from TIMSS, PIRLS and tests given in West Africa and Latin America. That allowed them to accurately compare learning outcomes across 80 countries. Fantastic work, but depressing results.
Some findings: in poor countries, more spending per student associated with higher test scores (not so much in rich); family *and* national income both associated with higher scores; learning inequality higher where income inequality is higher; [...]
...Lower test scores for girls are strongly correlated with higher
rates of child marriage and desired fertility; test-score divergence between private and government schools is significantly larger in more unequal countries.

But read Jusitn's thread!
Read 5 tweets
7 Sep 20
Just for example, here’s H. Clinton on Kissinger: a "friend" whose counsel she has "relied on." No one should be friends with this man.
To be clear, Clinton is far from unique —Bloomberg, Albright, all sorts of Democrats have embraced the man alongside Trump and loads of Republicans.
Or take this example. Many people I admire going to this event at which Kissinger is the honorary chair.…
Read 8 tweets
31 Aug 20
Oooh, book excerpt.

Yes plz,, more Americans.
"That people want to move here is — and historically has been — a strategic asset, and we have a form of creedal civic nationalism that can accommodate a broad range of newcomers."

And China doesn't, and is getting older as fast as the US.
"People should be equipped with the tools they need to avoid pregnancy and childbirth but also with the kinds of social support that help in the raising of children."

Yay! (though looking at Europe, not sure it will make a ton of difference to TFR long term)
Read 5 tweets

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