I am a pessimistic person. I rarely find anyone more pessimistic than I. Once recently NRO's John Derbyshire posted something in the Corner that made me think, "Dude, lighten up, it's not quite that bad", but usually when I read him or anyone else saying we're doomed, doomed, I'm apt to nod or irritably ask what else is new.
I'm not a denier of facts, though. We are better off in many ways than we used to be. Technology (applied science) helps, as does more humane attitudes toward our fellow men, more enlightened attitudes toward women, and the unprecedented wealth of modern Western societies. We now feed nearly everyone, survive diseases that used to be death certificates, and pollute less driving around than we used to pollute just letting our cars sit in the driveway. In many ways, things are getting better and better.
But nothing I've read about has excited me quite so much as this: a couple of biomechanists say that, what with new fibers and increased knowledge of how breasts move, we are about to have happen with bras what happend with running shoes in the 1970s. (Link via The Corner.) Just think of it. Comfortable bras that look good and support you. Remember what tennis shoes were like in the 1970s? Now remember how much better they were in the 1980s--so comfortable people started wearing them everywhere, because they didn't want to take them off. (If you're not old enough to remember wearing tennis shoes in the early '70s, look at some old photos of athletes. Do their shoes look comfortable to you? No. They had to exercise in shoes less comfortable and supportive than ones we wear to drive to the grocery store.) Now, if you're a woman, just imagine bras making that kind of leap in quality. Ahhh. It's a good thought. No more uncomfortable bouncing, dented shoulders, drooping where it should lift, bulging where it shouldn't, poking wires, biting elastic, cups that fit funny, and so on. Oh, brave new world that will have such things in it!
(If you're a man reading this, you probably have no idea what I'm on about. For an explanation, ask your wife or girlfriend if she's happy with her bras--better yet, ask a group of women. Try to still look interested when the complaining moves into the second half-hour.)