An end to doomerism (fashionable thought orientations)

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Coming out as an impatient optimist

EXCERPT: . . . The issue is that people mistake optimism for “blind optimism” — the blinkered faith that things will always get better. Problems will fix themselves. If we just hope things turn out well, they will. Blind optimism really is dumb. And it’s not just stupid, it’s dangerous.

If we sit back and do nothing, we will not make progress. That’s not the kind of optimism that I’m talking about.

Optimism is seeing problems as challenges that are solvable; it’s having the confidence that there are things that we can do to make a difference. “Urgent optimism,” “pragmatic optimism,” “realistic optimism,” “impatient optimism” — I’ve heard many terms for this concept.

To make my case for why optimism is so essential for progress, we need to understand the positions of optimists versus pessimists. The definition of pessimism is “a tendency to see the worst aspect of things or believe that the worst will happen.” Optimism, on the other hand, is the “hopefulness and confidence about the future or the success of something.”

People mistakenly see optimism as an excuse for inaction. They think that it’s pessimism that drives change, and optimism that keeps us where we are. The opposite is true.

Optimists are the ones that move us forward. They are the innovators, the entrepreneurs, the ones willing to put their reputation, money, and time on the line because they see an opportunity to solve a problem.

Pessimism blocks solutions. If we always believe that the worst will happen, then what’s the point in starting? If any action will fail, we should stick with the status quo. Follow the pessimists if you want the world to stagnate or regress.

The reason pessimists sound smart is that it’s hard to prove them definitively wrong. Pessimists are a moving target. If they predict that a technology will fail, and it succeeds, then there is always another reason why it won’t work. It might have solved one problem, but it won’t solve all of them. Or it might work for most people, but it won’t work for everyone.

There are almost limitless opportunities to shift the goalposts. A pessimistic stance is a safe one. There is often little to lose... (MORE - missing details)

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