In order to sell papers or keep you tuned in until 11 PM, the news has to sound dire. "Is Your Dinner Salad Actually Killing You?" "Will Subprime Loans Take Down the Economy?" "Are Your Blog Reading Habits Making You Go Blind?"
This may yet prove to be one of the more pernicious legacies of "grab your eyes" journalism.
Let's look at the facts about the time we live in. Never has a generation had the promise of greater longevity (and some even think that our mere 80 years is just the beginning of an explosion in life expectancy). Bio tech has made the problems of disease and aging problems of programming, of engineering. Every day, tens of thousands more knowledge workers are joining the work force - ready and able to begin solving the myriad problems that progress brings with it. The global economy continues to grow, lifting more people out of poverty. Foundations like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation are beginning to make real progress towards alleviating suffering in third world countries. Progress in computing promises the ability to create simulated environments for learning and experimentation. The problems of climate change are real but solutions to that problem are reachable. Garrison Keillor is still broadcasting, Van Morrison is still recording. Every month, more great books are printed than I even have time to read. Young people are still invigorating because their lives are filled with more possibility than even they realize and babies and toddlers are still enchanting because they are so unselfconscious and honest. Here in San Diego the weather is absolutely gorgeous - the winds and rain have made this sunny and warm day even more spectacular than it might otherwise be.
Don't let your blog reading or news consumption habits blind you to that.
Let hope seize hold of you by the lapels and shake a little joy into your senses. This is an amazing time to be alive.
[You may now return to your regular diet of gloom, doom, and prognositications of worsening conditions.]