"I recall Chekhov’s story because of a link Dave Lull sent me to a brief essay by Rebecca Goldstein at Edge. She is one of 160 people – scientists, journalists, psychologists, academics of various sorts – asked to respond to this question: “What are you optimistic about?” Her answer, in short, is that humans have the capacity to understand one another." Thus writes Patrick Kurp in a new year's essay.
So what are you optimistic about in these first few days of a new year? Putting aside world peace, and end to hunger and a stop to all beauty contests, what is the one best thing that has a good chance of happening this year?
So far, our newly acquired and rapidly accumulating knowledge of genetics and "genomics" has not translated into demonstrable benefits for human health and wellbeing (eg agricultural improvements). I'd like to think that in 2007 such a direct benefit might be found.
I'd also like to think that the seventh and final "Harry Potter" book will be published this year, and that it will be as good, and as satisfying, as the others.
What are your optimistic predictions for the year ahead?