not everyone is dying and being maimed and raped, right?
May 30, 2008 2:40 PM   Subscribe

where can i find faith in humanity online?

i try to be a positive person, but it's hard when all i read is about how humans are just awful to each other at every turn. i'm a realist and agnostic so sites filled with perky women who want to talk about how every life is precious and jesus loves everyone aren't going to cut it. i'm looking for sites that talk about people being good to other people or people making a difference.
posted by nadawi to Computers & Internet (27 answers total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
Operation Smile usually makes me feel better about human beings
posted by carefulmonkey at 2:47 PM on May 30, 2008

Read your local newspaper, really. Of course you know that the reason that news is bad news, is because it sells. Get to know your neighbors and city - you'll find plenty of good stuff happening. We are living in one of the most peaceful times in history.
posted by bigmusic at 2:49 PM on May 30, 2008

Urban Monk?
posted by fire&wings at 2:51 PM on May 30, 2008

Strangely enough I find Metafilter fills this need for me... if you get right down to it there's a lot of positive stuff happening here and ask.mefi has almost never failed to help me. Sure, there's the snarkers and bad apples, but I didn't come here to be pampered.
posted by mr. creosote at 2:52 PM on May 30, 2008 [4 favorites]

I don't know if this is something which can be easily found online. The Internet and media do an amazing job of communicating how humans are awful to each other. For whatever reason, people being good and making a difference seems to be something which is easier to actually see on a smaller scale. Getting involved in organizations in your community is likely to let you see more of the good aspect of people, with the added bonuses of doing good yourself and being around other people who are willing to dedicate their time to help other people out.
posted by david06 at 2:57 PM on May 30, 2008

Here's a place on the internet which is dedicated to helping total strangers resolve whatever difficulty or dilemma is currently most troubling for them. It always helps me remember that people aren't all assholes.
posted by dersins at 3:00 PM on May 30, 2008 [1 favorite]

Ode magazine and the Good News Network
posted by healthyliving at 3:03 PM on May 30, 2008

Right here.
posted by fixedgear at 3:22 PM on May 30, 2008

posted by Deep Dish at 3:25 PM on May 30, 2008 - Good News and Positive Stories, served daily...
posted by seymour.skinner at 4:04 PM on May 30, 2008

Honestly, I'm encouraged every other time I watch one of the TED talks. It's nice to know that there are smart people with solutions to many of the problem in the world. For example, Craig Venter wants to design bacteria that turn CO2 into fossil fuels. And Bill Strickland is helping the poor people in our inner cities.

The world isn't all bad, and it's getting better all the time.
posted by JDHarper at 4:22 PM on May 30, 2008 [1 favorite]

i come here. there's something so gratifying about having a totally crappy day where nothing goes right, and then being able to come here and actually help someone solve a problem. and i love reading the advice--at worst, someone might be snippy and snarky, but whatever. the kindness overwhelms, imho.
posted by thinkingwoman at 4:24 PM on May 30, 2008

It's not a site about how people are good, but Wikipedia itself is evidence of it. It's a pretty amazing piece of work, and its (to some, bewilderingly) high quality gives me a good sense of how most everyone is beneficent.
posted by cmiller at 4:52 PM on May 30, 2008

Cuteoverload! Snarfle!
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 5:33 PM on May 30, 2008

You might like Big Think. Some have called it the intellectual YouTube. You can hear the great minds and/or luminaries of the speak succinctly discuss the big issues of life. And you can contribute your own thoughts and respond to people and all that. While it does have stuff about politics and the problems of modern society (and yes, a faith category), it also has plenty of good stuff on such subjects as inspiration, love & happiness, truth & justice, wisdom, arts & culture, philanthropy, rest & diversions, etc. I don't know why but it has a very fresh and positive vibe for me. Check it out.
posted by Askr at 6:44 PM on May 30, 2008 [1 favorite]

Funny, I was was thinking of starting a blog that only posted really positive stuff that restores faith in humanity; things like this, this, this and this. But I'm not much of a blogger, and unfortunately the stories seem to far and between to post about.

If you find one, let me know. I could use it too.
posted by jabberjaw at 6:44 PM on May 30, 2008

This article--The Man in the Water--is apparently revered in journalistic circles. It's about a man who dies saving others from drowning. But it takes a wider view, and a more true view, than merely reporting the facts. The last sentence will probably stay with me forever.
posted by roombythelake at 9:05 PM on May 30, 2008

Just do not go to 4chan. I repeat do not go to 4chan. I would join a forum of educated people, probably a field specific forum where they still have general chat.
posted by Javed_Ahamed at 10:35 PM on May 30, 2008

If you like Cute Overload, you'll like i can has cheezburger.
posted by philomathoholic at 12:02 AM on May 31, 2008

Remnember that what you read or see on TV is a product, not necessarily a reflection of reality. It is all negative for a reason that has nothing to do with objective reality.

This article may help put that in perspective.
posted by dzot at 8:13 AM on May 31, 2008

Cop-out answer I guess:

You don't find faith in humanity online, you make it for yourself. The world is only as good as you make it, and reading online doesn't cut it.

You want faith in human kind, get out and get your hands dirty by actually doing something. Reading about something and witnessing something are different.

I can write all day long about the good work we do with the people who need it. Or, you can come watch the eyes of the 5 year old light up when the warm cup of soup meets her lips, and you can marvel at the tears of the 14 year old homeless boy who gave it to her.
posted by TomMelee at 8:37 AM on May 31, 2008

What gets me going is searching for poetry slams on YouTube. Here are some to get you started.. And I know those are weird examples, but it rejuvinates my faith in humanity to know that this sort of stuff gets exposure.
posted by spiderskull at 1:01 AM on June 1, 2008 [1 favorite]

I wanted to add that even though Cute Overload and i can has cheezburger are mostly just pictures of animals, there's still an element of "humanity" to it. The people running those websites are obviously not interested maiming and raping. And, without a human's interpretation, they'd just be boring nature documentaries.
posted by philomathoholic at 1:04 AM on June 1, 2008

Another vote for TED talks.

This one has an uplifting message about the global condition.

Also, there's an outlook-changing book out there called _The Birth of Plenty_ by William Bernstein which rigorously points out the current era as a special one, one of unprecedented peace and prosperity. And the book argues well that the system we've built is robust. And we owe it to the constellation of property rights, scientific rationality, access to capital, and speedy transport (of both information and stuff). The first chapter is available here.

Here's an excerpt: "Consider that from 1950 to 1999, average life expectancy in the developed world increased from 66 years to 78 years; in the developing world, it increased from 44 years to 64 years. The nearly universal Western outcome of living to old age, rather than resulting from the rare stroke of luck, may be the greatest accomplishment of the past fifty years. Or consider that over the same period, the world’s real per capita gross domestic product (GDP)—the amount of goods and services produced by the average person, adjusted for inflation—nearly tripled. Or that by the year 2000, real per capita GDP in Mexico was significantly greater than that of the world leader in 1900, Great Britain. And if you’re not impressed with mankind’s material progress in the last fifty years, as measured in dollars and cents, you should at least note that almost any measure of social progress you wish to examine—infant mortality, literacy and mortality rates, or educational levels—has dramatically improved in all but a few still-benighted corners of the planet. "
posted by k7lim at 10:41 PM on June 4, 2008

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