The problem with hoping for progress of any kind is that we, as a species, consider how our life was/is to be essentially correct and self-evident, or at the least "normal" and that to progress we need to make minor adjustments to work out the kinks in that. We never even consider that the entire framework that our life/education/government/society/business/artistic pursuits/interpersonal relationships are built on would be better if it was rebuilt completely. We even tend to dismiss such suggestions without serious examination.
I don't mean to say that all, or necessarily any, of these things need to completely rebuilt from scratch. I almost wrote that I don't mean to suggest that, but of course I mean to suggest that. That's not to say I think some more incremental solutions aren't better for some things, but I would feel much more comfortable with that kind of conclusion if it were based on the kind of examination that would come from looking at rebuilding as an option. It's an enormous blind spot in the way we think as a species. It requires a real effort for most of us to look there, but we should make that effort. We should make it a lot, rather than as seldom as we do, which is really, really close to never.
There are a lot of things that could seriously use that kind of serious examination, individually and collectively, and we are, I strongly suspect, holding ourselves back by limiting ourselves to relatively easy solutions that might mostly be short term solutions at best.
With no building that was as old as the US is, or even the educational system we have in it is, that the needs and use were as radically different as our needs of government or education, would it be even remotely responsible to not investigate being served without looking at building a new structure. New sports arenas are built for much more trivial reasons than filling the needs of a full hundred times the population, not to mention the many other, perhaps greater changes that have taken place. This isn't me endorsing any specific radical or complete change. It's me saying that it's madness that we don't even consider the possibility that we would be better off doing so.
Suggesting even the notion, as I do here, without a specific plan in any direction, will get anyone with a bigger audience than I have shouted down at best, dismissed with laughter at worst.
I'd rather given up on the idea and slipped to casual apathy most of the time until Conan was born, but it makes me really angry that he'll be dealing with the same bullshit 30 and 40 years from now because people aren't able to get their heads out of their asses long enough to think that maybe not everything about the way things were done in the time and place they were raised was basically the best way, or, to be kind, the best way to go forward in a world that is changing whether we adjust to it or not.
The colossal deep-seeded stupidity embedded in the way we do things, that thousands of years of progress hasn't yet shed us of. We still have these non-progressing brains.