I am currently reading Steven Pinkers latest book Enlightenment Now about the many ways in which the world is improving and why we don't believe it.
It is an impressive work, full of statistics. The one that jumps out for me is that before about 1870, the average world life expectancy was about 30 years of age. Today it stands closer to 70. That is quite an achievement.
I have not finished the book, and although his statistics and arguments are persuasive, I feel the gains have been at too high a cost e.g. global warming, plastification of the oceans, species extinction, and more.
What I need to do next is to read a few articles such as these and see what I make of things on balance.