Like you, I sometimes tire of the clichéd Thanksgiving statements. Family, job, home. I assume you’re thankful for those. Here are some other things I’m thankful for.
* All branches of science and the regular incredible discoveries being made. This year alone: used gene-editing tools to correct mutations in human embryos, discovered a new planet that can possibly sustain life, clinical trials already helping human patients via artificially generated human tissue, successfully reused an orbital rocket, advances in artificial wombs, artificial intelligence learns to play complex games, first detection of gravitational waves, discovery of new species, new male contraceptives, and more.
* Modern conveniences, including mobile phones, internet, digital music — and not-so-modern conveniences that continue to improve, including dishwashers, blow dryers, light bulbs, and so on all the way back to indoor plumbing. I personally lived life for decades without mobile phones and the internet, and don’t wish to go back. And I can’t even imagine living without the older inventions.
* Modern infrastructure. For all the legitimate complaints about city water, road design, city planning, electric power grids, and so on, it is all much better than it could be.
* Silence. I have always enjoyed a good dose of peace and quiet, but fatherhood has made me appreciate it that much more. If you were thinking of getting me something for Christmas, just send me a patch of silence and I will thank you.