Global Welfare and
the Human Population
It is much more difficult to characterize the living conditions of the entire human population than those of a particular country (such as the United States) because it is a historical truism that the world is very diverse and conditions always vary greatly in different regions. This is also true when discussing trends in the scope and direction of changes in the human condition.
Some changes tend to be more global than others, although it is safe to say that the global nature of events and changes in living conditions have increased in the modern age of rapid communication and transportation. Positive global changes wrought by the revolution in computer technology and communications are everywhere, but some global changes in the speed and ease of human movement have had negative consequences. An example is the rapid spread of new, formerly local diseases, as I discussed in chapter 2. Globalization led directly to the spread of AIDS, and fears have been legitimately raised that other, even more frightening diseases such as Ebola might begin to breach their previously narrow geographic boundaries.
The reality is that globalization (at least in this context) has been with us long before the modern age, as many plagues eventually found their way