It's easy to be pessimistic about the future. We're inundated with horror stories about the lack of water, the depletion of resources, of wars, famines, terrorism, disease. And the list goes on and on. One reason (I believe...) is because that's all we hear about. The news gets higher ratings when it spreads stories promoting those topics.
But I watched a Reason.TV podcast today (you can watch it: HERE) that introduced some facts into the discussion of how bad off are we. They talked with several Venice Beach residents and asked them how they felt about certain subjects. Mostly they asked if they felt the future would be better or worse based on their perception of the facts as they knew them. It was interesting to hear how they felt--I imagine many feel the same way.
Reason.TV debunked the popular opinion that we are worse off and they highlighted several areas in which people are concerned: violent crime, urban population, food production, the sale of guns producing a more violent society, etc. And they talked a little about how life used to be. I know these were only a select number of topics, but the facts showed that our society is doing better than the perception in many areas. We have good reason to be optimistic, rather than the opposite.
We many times forget about the past and how many changes have improved our lives. Maybe it's just human nature to focus on the bad. We live in the most amazing time in human history, and since everything has an opposite, if the bad in the world is extremely bad, then we're failing to see how amazing is the good. Personally, I think I'll just stop watching the news.