You may like to reminisce about how great things were back in the day, but if you look at the facts you have to admit that right here, right now, we are living at the very pinnacle of civilization. In fact, compared to today, things back then really kind of sucked.
That’s a hard point to get across to people who think that the answer to all our problems is to return to some imagined era of sunshine and lollipops (for conservatives this era is the 1950’s; for liberals it’s before Columbus landed in North America; for Ed Begley Jr. it’s before man discovered fire). But this promotional video for the book The Rational Optimist does a nifty job of explaining some of the reasons why:
(via Reason’s Hit&Run blog)