Tensions, stupidity, misguided masculinity, religious stupidity; all those are coming closer by the day; encircle us.
On what basis do you claim these things? Objectively speaking the world has been improving over the last 50 years along almost every dimension you could look at, in some cases dramatically: Air quality, water quality, length of workweek, access to information, health care and lifespan, crime rates of all kinds (murder, theft, sexual assault), standard of living.
Yep. For *some* of us, this is true. It is not true for the people in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, almost all of the Maghreb. Anyplace tropical Africa and below, including South Africa. It is not true for the poor in the developed world, with the gap of the 'Haves' and the 'Havenots' increasing continuously. Read the article in The Baffler (referenced above) on the decline of North American Universities; at least their continued conversions into industries; and you'll find that the misery has increased, not decreased, since the 1970's for the underprivileged in the USA. Europe? Several countries hoovering around bankruptcy for some years now. Close to one billion people undernourished is not compensated by the epidemic level of obesity in the developed world. Languages are getting extinct; and so do species of flora and fauna in South-East-Asia; simple from greedily uprooting primary jungle. I don't remember how many acres are lost daily in Brasil, for the same reason.
Access to healthcare? I for one see an increasing number of people who drop out of healthcare for purely monetary reasons: they cannot afford it any longer. Oh yes, I am talking about the developed world. Access to information; that's true, because it brings a good ROI. Don't try to tell me any carrier increases coverage in Africa for humanitarian reasons. Are the Putins of this world what a statesman ought to be? Are the fundamentalist Muslims on the rise, and spread, or on the decline? Is democracy on the rise or on the decline? Standard of living? Cheapo tablets and great iPhones have advanced the standard of living - not so much for the exploited factory workers in PRC, who work non-regular hours under inhuman conditions ("length of workweek") to assemble all those machines; including being slowly poisoned. And the trash industry; I had the dubious honour to observe human beings crawling through dirt and trash to extract material for recycling; including wading in lakes of chemicals and pulling out things with their bare hands in Asia. For the advances that you describe above. Advances, true, but for a minority of the humans on this planet.
I stop here. I have nothing against bean counters, engineers, linguists, natural scientists, etc. I agree that everyone has the potential to improve this world of ours. Including writers, philosophers, you name them. But, and that's a big 'but', as we can see, including from the discussion in here, is that materialism and monetary / economic aspects have unabatedly taken the lead over anything else. Whatever someone does, is not based on a vocation, rather on economic considerations. And the results, samples given further up, are often based on economics having taken the primary lead in decision making. What a bleak future, when we decide to submit ourselves, our environment, our planet, to the dictate of maximizing returns.
(And only for completeness, no, I do not think the 'creation' of more and 'simpler' PhDs in the humanities would solve anything.)