Last Christmas morning you were probably not listening to the radio as you opened presents. I know we weren't. But that is when Morning Edition broadcast a short interview with me on the subject of progress. I guess in the spirit of things cosmic and joyful, they let me rant about the reason I am an optimist. You can listen to the segment here, but I can sum the story by saying that I am optimistic because I think that while disease, illness, stupidity, wickedness, problems, and evil fill 49% of the world, health, wisdom, light and goodness fill 51% -- and that tiny 2% difference compounded over time is what makes civilization and cultural.
More audio details at "Weighing the Good and Bad at Christmastime", NPR Morning Edition, Christmas Day 2007.