« Philippe Cousteau, Environmental Advocate | Main | Terminal Confusion In The U.S. — The Labor Force »

04/10/2013

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Alexander Ač

Thanks Dave.

Now this begs the question, why there are any realists AT ALL, when nobody needs (reads, hears, follows) them? I think it might be a kind of "genetic deviation", even though other deviations are much more common in human population.

Dommers are well known from the past and their much smaller number might in a way "counter-balance" the optimists. So if you make "average" of those two groups, one might be close to the group of realists. Which of course is irreletant, because neither of the group has any or little relevant knowledge of the surrounding world.

It seems to me that being Realist is one of the most difficult tasks during the whole life. Task, that only few people can actually (try to) accomplish. Even less people can actually write about it and stand the attacks of both groups... :-/ DOTE is maybe *Endemite*.

Alex

Ken Barrows

I may be a "doomer" actually, although I know that I cannot predict the future. Perhaps Dave you are among the very, very few grounded people. However, do you think it might be a good idea to cut a little slack to those a little too optimistic or too pessimistic?

I enjoy the blog but maybe I am not quite in the realist circle (I have my opinions and time will tell). Are you okay with those outside the realist circle being here?

Dave Cohen

@Ken

Anybody can read here. DOTE is free to the people.

Re: good idea ... cut a little slack to...

Letting people who are out of touch with Reality off the hook is not what this blog is all about.

So, No, I don't think that's a good idea :-)

-- Dave

Clyde

If, proportionally, many more realists survive the upcoming population bottleneck than optimists (if only because they are more prepared for it) then does that mean there is a good future ahead for the human race and it's genotype? If so, then can we be optimistic about the future after all?
I'm confused now.

Dave Cohen

@Clyde

You're confused because of your bogus assumptions.

For instance, in the astounding world of the future, the realists will be the first to be killed :-)

Remember, no good deed goes unpunished, as Jesus, Martin Luther King, Gandhi and many, many others would tell you if they weren't deader than a doornail.

-- Dave

Helicopter Cheese

As a realist you get to understand how the world works, and also understand you can do nothing to manipulate or alter it.

People just do what they do.

I became a realist because I thought that looking at things squarely as they really are might give me some kind of competitive advantage. I was being optimistic. It gives no advantage whatsoever, but does grant one a mild sense of superiority, which is not, for me at least, sufficient compensation.

This is why I'm going to give up on realism some time in the near future and become an unthinking optimist. It's what we're supposed to be, after all.

Mr. Roboto

I suspect a lot of the hardcore Doomers are crash-burned optimists who swung to the opposite extreme out of emotional disillusionment with the Religion of Progress. I clung to neo-primitivist ideology for a while myself until I realized that glomming on to some brand-new form of True Believerism wasn't ever going to be the answer.

James

Yeah, a Doomer is really just an Optimist in a gas mask. They believe their insane world view will be vindicated despite all facts.

Dave Cohen

@Mr Roboto

re: crash-burned optimists who swung to the opposite extreme out of emotional disillusionment with the Religion of Progress

That is a defense mechanism. Psychologists call it a reaction formation.

You're right, some pessimists are optimists who could not deal with the brutal assault waged by Reality on their rosy attitudes. So they became extreme pessimists instead.

-- Dave

T. Greer

Perhaps you have forgotten the largest group of all? The "Clueless" or "Apathetic" - those who take no notice of the world around them, and thus are in no position to predict if things are going well or going poorly?

Alexander Ač

Dave,

"Remember, no good deed goes unpunished, as Jesus, Martin Luther King, Gandhi and many, many others would tell you if they weren't deader than a doornail."

Exactly. Here are couple of others, at the end of the video, e.g., Dian Fossey among others,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=nGeXdv-uPaw

Alex

Dave Cohen

@T. Greer

Well, in 2 pages I have to leave out lots of things. I could write a book. Not forgotten.

But thanks for your smart ass remark.

-- Dave

Randy Pickard

You mean you do not subscribe to the theory that new technologies will save the day. Sarcasm aside, there is some interesting stuff in the labs. Sadly, seems unlikely that any game changing technologies will be broadly distributed within the next 20 ears. Guess we will continue with experimenting on the sensitivity of the atmosphere and oceans to billions of tons of greenhouse gas emissions.

And of course since Krugman is a Nobel Prize honoree, his lack of concern about the rapidly growing national debt has me totally reassured.

J. Drew

Is it really Fair to call "Doomers" like Dimitri Orlov pessimists when their "pessimimstic" vision of the future involves Sailing the high seas on a 50 foot schooner, stopping only to gather vegetables and tropical fruit from their permaculture plantations on deserted private islands?

Don Levit

Alex wrote:
It seems to me that being Realist is one of the most difficult tasks during the whole of life. Task that only few people can (try to) accomplish.
I agree with you, Alex. I believe we are all biased, some more than others.
I remember someone asking me about 30 years ago, if I was prejudiced. I said "Of course not."
He then asked me, "Do you ever prejudge?" And, then it hit me - I AM prejudiced!
Reality is very hard to define, with all the filters we all have.
In order to convince people, we need to be real and realistic: we all suffer from some type of bias, and that 100% objectivity is impossible.
Shalom,
Don Levit

JohnWDB

I do have to give it to Orlov on this quote:

"The American way of dealing with dissent and with protest is certainly more advanced: why imprison dissidents when you can just let them shout into the wind to their heart's content?"

Indeed.

Eric Thurston

"..., some pessimists are optimists who could not deal with the brutal assault waged by Reality on their rosy attitudes. So they became extreme pessimists instead."

And then you have the pessimists who flip the other way and become optimists, sometimes to an extreme. I'm thinking of the late 'Great' Julian Simon who claimed he was a real pessimist until he got the religion of the uber-optimist. He did provide a perverse type of entertainment with his writings.

Ray Blaak

I read this blog because the articles are well written and reasoned. You present a pretty compelling case of how humans have, are, and will continue to fuck things up by their very nature.

It seems to me you are being realistically pessimistic.

I ask honestly: how are you not a doomer?

Helicopter Cheese

I think the difference between realism and pessimism is that with realism there's a certain moment of liberation e.g. when Carlin said "I'm divorced from it now".

There's a certain emotional commitment with pessimism - you still believe in humanity in general, but despair of the "bad" people at the top fooling and manipulating those below them.

With realism, you understand that it doesn't work like that - everybody wants to be fooled. As Morris Berman points out, the 99% don't oppose the 1%, they want to join them.

The problem with realism is that it is necessarily isolating; you tend to lose that sense of belonging with your fellow humans. That's why for me, realism is only going to be a vacation from mankind, not a permanent condition. At the end of the day, I like to party.

Diogenes

Oh, man...

Now I'm think'n of the Mudd Club.

"Sometimes the pool-pah exceeds the power of humans to comment."

Best

The comments to this entry are closed.