The sense that things are getting worse and worse is supported by the various imminent cataclysms of global warming, peak oil, antibiotic resistant diseases, fundamentalist terrorists, social collapse and an intrusive state.
However it seems people have been getting happier, from researchers at The World Values Society at the University of Michigan:
Economic growth, democratization and rising social tolerance have all contributed to rising happiness, with democratization and rising tolerance having even more impact than economic growth. All of these changes have contributed to providing people with a wider range of choice in how to live their lives—which is a key factor in happiness.
It is interesting that on the one hand people are predicting all the ills I mentioned above, and on the other you have Ray Kurzweil and the World Values Society pointing out that things are about to get a lot better and that people are feeling happier respectively.
I look forward to finding out who is correct.
[story via PhysOrg]