We Live in a Time

We live in a time where:

We have invaded mars with camera-and-sensor-and-laser-wielding robots, and successfully completed a Rube Goldberg-esque rover descent so complex it was referred to as the 7 Minutes of Terror.

We can increase the lifespan of mice by 24% with a single gene-therapy treatment.

Old business models are being upended, leaving entire industries wide open for innovation and disruption.

You can download a new book to read, or publish a book for others to read, from 30,000 feet over the Pacific.

An HIV vaccine is being tested, as are numerous new cancer treatments.

Simple quantum computers and routers have been built, and practical, consumer-grade versions are on the horizon.

We can temporarily increase our intelligence with electricity.

The Higgs Boson has been confirmed, leaving us free to discover everything else (like dark matter).

You can work from and live anywhere in the world and still Skype with grandma.

3D printers that can build just about anything, including computer chips, skin, and internal organs (mixed with stem cells), are available at prices everyday people can afford.

The smartphone in your pocket is thousands of times more powerful than the computers that landed men on the moon.

Anyone with a computer and the will to make a difference can build a product, start a company, or fire up a revolution.

The world isn’t perfect, but there’s a lot to be happy about. And these victories don’t belong to one person or one country. They’re the products of humanity and the global community of which we’re all a part. We have plenty of reasons to be proud of ourselves as members of the human race. We’ve made a lot of mistakes and will continue to do so, but we’ve kicked a lot of ass, too.

If you can’t think of a reason to get up in the morning, excited to start the day, you’re not paying close enough attention.

Update: February 19, 2017

I think about this every day: how amazing the world is, and how many cools things our species has accomplished. I’ve allowed that amazement, and the curiosity it stimulates, to guide a lot of my work and how I spend my time.