For most of my life, I guess I’ve been pretty optimistic. I came of age in the late 1960’s, witnessing the power of protest and action to effect change. The U.S. withdrew from the Vietnam War and brought down a corrupt president, the Peace Corps and the Environmental Protection Agency were formed, and discriminatory barriers against blacks, women, and the LGBTQ community began, slowly, to erode.
The moon landing was a spectacular demonstration of the power of science and technology to address some of our most pressing
problems in such diverse areas as medicine, agriculture and, of course, communications.
Most important, though, was the fact that humankind seemed ready to embrace these changes. People seemed to welcome and adopt new
ideas about justice and equality, about the roles of technology and science, about peace and global cooperation, and about the
planet as a finite resource that demanded respect. Even Disney cloyingly reminded us “There’s a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow,” and “It’s A Small World After All.”
Now, alas, that’s all turned to shit. In less than a year, since the election of Donald Trump, Americans in particular, but much of
Europe as well, seem all too willing to turn back the clock, reverse progress in social justice, and turn our backs on science and
education itself. We are taking one giant leap backwards into a new Dark Age.
And then there’s the whole cancer thing.