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OptimisticPessimism

Bo Leuf writes on 16 March 2003 with great wisdom about the current political context:

... may those concerned see their way to the decisions that will, ultimately, lead to a better and more stable situation. Nothing turns out as planned, so the moment-by-moment decisions by individuals are always more crucial than credited.

I'm really disinclined to comment on much of anything these days ...

I second Bo's emotions ... as I've increasingly come to suspect that in chaotic times like this it's best to be confused, conflicted, and hesitant. Excessive certainty --- on any side of complex issues --- is risky business. Witness events, recent and in years past, local and far away, where fanaticism has taken the reins (or reigns?!) of power.

Maybe it's useful to quantize the infinite range of possible futures into a 2x2 matrix:

Short-termLong-term
OptimismQuick victories, bloodless coups, etc.Social progress, economic prosperity, increasing liberty, individual flourishing ...
PessimismMassive death and destruction Quagmires, multi-generational hatreds, poverty, ignorance, "decline and fall" of civilizations, ...

Pick one from each column, and you've got your scenario.

My wavefunction on all this? Fuzzy! Although I wish I could believe in the "Optimism" row, I fear that things won't go smoothly, especially for the next few generations on this globe of tears. On longer timescales, beyond my personal event horizon I can feel a bit more pollyannaistic ....

(see also Underappreciated Ideas (6 Jul 1999), MereAnarchy (6 Oct 1999), Tolerance and Pacifism (8 Oct 2001), LearningAndLosing (23 Nov 2001), InvestInPeace (9 Jul 2002), PolicyMaking (6 Oct 2002), ThankGoodness (25 Dec 2002), RightToInterfere (22 Feb 2002), SimplyDifficult (28 Feb 2003), ...)


TopicSociety - Datetag20030319


(correlates: Bo Leuf, TheWikiWay, FreeTrial, ...)