A big mistake that we (humanity) have made in our technological progress, is to lose our memory of the past. We tend to not realize how good we have it compared to past generations. We’ve made incredible progress, especially over the past few centuries, but it’s been mostly taken for granted. And our heroes tend to be athletes, movie stars and musicians, instead of the inventors and innovators who have given us a substantially higher standard of living.
We also live in a “kinder, gentler world,” compared to the one our ancestors lived in. Without that knowledge of the way things used to be, it’s easy to lose faith in humanity. Because self-interest still rules the world (a lot of it is unconscious). Even when people work together, it’s usually out of self-interest. Altruism exists, but it’s not dominant.