The "cynical optimist" is not a contradiction of terms, but a real understanding that while the human heart is undeniably corrupt, the breakthroughs and inventions of a few will make the entire world better, all without us needing to become better people at all – a “rising tide lifts all boats” scenario. We will get richer. We will become safer. We will technologically progress. All without any moral progression required at all. Thus, we must be on guard for the illusion that we are evolving when things around us get better, when we are most certainly not.