Okay, I'm an American. Can't really be anything else, even if I wanted to be. Many of the values we Americans are supposed to have, I have.
But there's a particular undercurrent in America, a belief that progress is inherently good. Even people who are anti-progress, such as the zealots poisoning our research and education, are only selectively anti-progress: they're still very happy to buy the latest cell phone and take the latest cancer treatments. As much as they may deny it on the surface, they share the belief that progress - at least, the parts they can't clearly see - is good.
Sort of like the way most of us eat beef, but don't like how cows are treated, let alone actually being willing to butcher one.
America is inherently a culture of dissatisfaction, and technology plays a big part of that. It's where you find me: the American Technophile. Perhaps we're the same in every country.
I believe progress is inherently good.
There is a saying that technology (any power) is neutral and can be used for good or for evil. I think that's crap. I think that technology is inherently good.
Bad things have been done with technology. Atom bombs are bad. But that same technology was used to build atomic reactors and medical treatments. Forward on the same scientific basis we find advanced materials, next-generation medicines, and freakishly small miniaturization. Do they outweigh atom bombs?
Well, I suppose you could argue it either way - especially if you're Japanese - but nuclear theory has always been the "big example" of "when science goes wrong". At worst, it's actually pretty close to breaking even.
Most science and technology is just flat-out beneficial.
Whether this is because progress is inherently constructive or whether it's because the human appetite for good things is larger than the human appetite for destruction... I can't say. But even before we take into account that most of the problems we attribute to technology aren't technology's fault, technology still comes out well ahead.
So, yes. That's me. I believe progress will cure cancer, put us in space, fix the climate, stabilize Africa...
Despite the way we're inhibiting it.
How can I be proud of America, celebrate my 'mericanniness, when half my country believes in creationism? When people avoid inoculations and medical treatment in general in favor of prayer and voodoo? When people argue against genetic manipulation instead of simply arguing against the way it's being abused? When people have such a shallow understanding of science that they can't tell you if Jupiter orbits closer that Saturn, or further away. (Let alone locate France on a map.)
So, no, I'm not running around gleefully cheering on our nation. Because our nation fucking sucks.
... is yours any better?