On the Edge site, see http://edge.org/q2007/q07_index.html , they ask the question WHAT ARE YOU OPTIMISTIC ABOUT? WHY?
I think that is a very good question and one that is fairly intimidating. Lots of answers are on the site but I thought I would just let my thought flow.
I think the world is getting better all the time. One thing that has happened in recently is that all men are considered equal. There is not a superior race which was common belief not too long ago. Children have rights that was not even considered at one time. Similarly women are gaining equality by leaps and bounds.
People are still committing atrocities on other people but world opinion really forces countries to think twice about such things.
Tolerance of other people’s opinions is getting better all the time.
The ability to help people with terrible diseases is really progressing. Information on serious health risks is being spread more quickly. Although AIDS is still a major problem, it is being addressed by important people.
The ability of the world to address issues on a global scale is better than it ever before.
I worry about the abuse of our planet but information is being discussed and we are very creative problem solvers, so I think we will save the planet.
I am amazed how many governments are toppled by peaceful demonstrations. I think of Poland.
Peoples rights and freedoms are being more respected than ever before. Religious freedom is better than ever before.
Understanding of the physical sciences, understanding of human nature, understanding of our relationship with universe, and understanding of consciousness are all advancing at an incredible pace. Technology has the power to make the world a better place for everybody.
The Internet has increase the individuals power to influence events no matter where they live. The ability to change quickly is very encouraging.
The press is more free than ever before and the Internet has given the individual much more freedom.
So that is my reaction to the question. What is yours? Comments welcome.