Debate and Discussion

Are You Optimistic or Pessimistic About the Future?
El Cid at 7:22AM, May 25, 2012
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It's a broad question, I know, but it's an interesting one… When you think about the future, do you get a picture that's predominantly positive, or overwhelmingly negative? Personally, I tend to see things in a positive light. I know that everywhere you turn, people are peddling doom-and-gloom stories of one form or another. The economy's gonna crash, negative demographic trends, the world's gonna heat up and melt everybody… I don't buy into the doomsday predictions. Every generation has its apocalyptic visions, which I think is mostly grounded in an egocentric view that Our Generation must be in some way special, and they usually come from the error of extrapolating some current trend out into infinity, as if it will go on unchanged forever (ignoring that the trend itself is a change), and generally ignoring other countervailing factors, as well as humans' ability to adapt.
 
So yeah, I'm a hopeless optimist. The one thing that does sorta scare me is nuclear and biological weapons. That's one thing that I don't think we have a historical precedent for, and like a lot of people, I wish that we could somehow un-invent them. I's a looming unanswered question whether human aggression can coexist with weapons capable of destroying us all. Again though, I have to fall back on my optimism, and I have faith that people, particularly in the aggregate, are rational and tend to make rational decisions in the end.
JillyFoo at 6:51PM, May 25, 2012
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I worry about the future. Does that mean I am pessimistic? I tend to watch the news all the time and they aren't very positive.
I'd be feeling better about the future if all my friends had good jobs and maybe I was back home with a job.
I did get promoted today so I guess that helps with my outlook.
 
Now the world ending? Ha! Not in my lifetime.
Hawk at 2:16PM, May 28, 2012
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I'm a pretty optimistic person.   I see a lot of problems with the world around me, but I know that for all the most serious problems, people are working to fix them.
bravo1102 at 10:27PM, May 28, 2012
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I call myself a pessimistic optimist.   We live in the best of all possible worlds and everything will work out for the best in the end, but getting there is gonna be a bitch.  Fasten your seat belts going to be a bumpy ride through the depths of hell before we get to the warm, fuzzy, happy, sunshine bunny ending.
ozoneocean at 10:46PM, May 28, 2012
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I don't think it is egocentric to be pessimistic about the future. Rather it's basic intelligence based on information to hand.
It is usually just that pessimism that actively helps AVOID extremely negative future scenarios! And the reverse that actively propels you toward them.
 
The Cold War is an excellent example: Back n the 1950's nuclear age optimists foresaw a glorious nuclear based future of American military dominance and limitless free power and they worked towards that idiot idea of the future.
In the ‘60s, ’70s, and ‘80s people were looking at the cold hard realities involved in just such an insane vision and finding the implications increasingly terrifying. Thanks to the efforts of the pessimists we managed to avoid nuclear war back then and limit the possibility of that happening in the future somewhat, as well as slightly limiting the chance of more nuclear accidents like Chernobyl. (scale back in Nuclear power-plants)
 
It’s the pessimists that bring up the scenarios and in doing allow us to be able to work to avoid them- from global warming crises, to fuel shortages, to pandemics, war etc.
 
I am optimistic because of the pessimists ^_^
Things don't just fall right by themselves, by relying on good intentions and “rational thinking”, it takes people to make sure things work out.
 
Now, a fatalistic pessimist is worse than useless, just the same as a dreamy optimist.
 
Genejoke at 3:03PM, June 30, 2012
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Some of the comments here made me think of this song.  Sorry the sound quality isn't great.
Miles hunt - stay scared, stay tuned.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=psA3m2YRI4Q
Honestly I can't say either way as it varies week to week, but there is always something to be positive about even if it is easier to be negative.
worldsgreatestlover at 9:00PM, Aug. 22, 2012
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I am decidedly pessimistic.  If you track the changes in the courts you can see a trend that follows the same pattern throughout the present lifespan of the SCOTUS.  Things are taking a hard right turn and Hitleresque figures keep popping up on our political landscape.  The messages are the same as those perpetuated during pre-German nationalism.  
If I'm right, which I hope I'm not, we have at least 20 more years of hard right politics and poorer living conditions to contend with before we see another push towards a more democratic form of government that more closely follows the will of an informed and educated public.  
When I was young I remembering thinking that revolution was coming, I just didn't expect it to be devolution.  We're already seeing this trend in academics, and our public education is laughable compared to the rest of the developed world.  in all honesty, there are precious few reasons to see a ray of hope at the end of the tunnel.  
Again, I hope I'm wrong.  It would be a pleasant surprise to stumble into a Netherlands style representative democracy rather than a Gibsonesque dystopia.  
SLK8ne at 7:29PM, Oct. 17, 2012
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Pessimist for my own country in the short term. Long term guardedly optimistic.

My observation is that the US is being propagandized. Genejoke's video was spot on. We're deluged with “news” specifically tailored to make us afraid of the government, our neighbors, and anyone who disagrees with us. Seriously, I know people on the right and the left that think that they'll be the first ones in the concentration camps if “they” take over.

It seems to me “they” already took over.

 And that “they” know exactly what buttons to push in the left and the right to have us at each other's throats. Classic divide and conquer tactics, only done with right and left wing propaganda. All while “they” loot the country.  I am encouraged though that more and more people are “unplugging” from “The Matrix” and are starting to wake up to the manipulation. It remains to be seen if enough people will “unplug” in time.




 
last edited on Oct. 17, 2012 7:30PM
redto at 1:45PM, Oct. 18, 2012
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Obama's gonna kill us all!
SLK8ne at 7:39PM, Oct. 18, 2012
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redto wrote:
Obama's gonna kill us all!
Hell, I don't think it matters who's in office, any of these turkeys could get us all killed! LOL
redto at 7:29AM, Oct. 19, 2012
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SLK8ne wrote:
redto wrote:
Obama's gonna kill us all!
 Hell, I don't think it matters who's in office, any of these turkeys could get us all killed! LOL
 
I'm moving to Iraq. Where it's safe.
SLK8ne at 7:13PM, Oct. 22, 2012
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redto wrote:
SLK8ne wrote:
redto wrote:
Obama's gonna kill us all!
  Hell, I don't think it matters who's in office, any of these turkeys could get us all killed! LOL
 
I'm moving to Iraq. Where it's safe. 
LOL, nah, move to Australia, you could hang with Ozone!

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