We humans are silly, irrational creatures. Neurologically, we make decisions based on bad or misleading assumptions, impractical expectations, and often raw, unfiltered emotion. Psychologically, we then try post-hoc justification of what we've already decided, often allowing ourselves to jump through ridiculous logical hoops to try and seem reasonable. If that fails, we might even abandon pretense at rationality and simply appeal to unknown or unknowable forces that don't have to obey the rigid laws of reality.

By all rights, we ought to still be living in caves and banging rocks together.

And yet, we're not. We live in sky scrapers and mansions, apartments and houses. We travel around our planet at hundreds of miles an hour, or off of it at thousands. We create languages that lead to novels and poetry, instruments that produce punk rock and symphonies, artworks that inspire great emotions.

Of course, we've also created weapons of mass distruction. We've severely imbalanced if not outright destroyed entire ecologies. We've perfected genocide, popularized prejudice, and fought for thousands of years in the names of so-called benevolent deities.

95% of what we do as a species is irrational to say the least. It's that last 5%, though, that must give us pause. That last 5% gives us science, and reason, and medicine, and technology... all the things we associate with progress.

And while hope is silly, irrational, a product of the first 95%, it is hope that drives us again and again to thinking that maybe, just maybe, that last 5% can, in the end, make up for all the rest.

Which brings us to tonight, and my own personal moment of irrationality: here's hoping that, in the coning year, every one of you finds enough benefit from that last 5% to make the other 95 worthwhile.

Happy New Year.