Tuesday, June 18, 2019


People often call me "optimistic" or "positive-thinking". It always strikes me as strange, because I'm neither of those things...at all.

Here's the explanation: people are so skewed toward pessimism and negativity - dramatizing the undramatic and catastrophizing the mundane - that being merely levelheaded makes you seem like a Pollyanna ("an excessively cheerful or optimistic person").

79.9% of people are neurotically pessimistic, 19.9% are neurotically optimistic, and .1% enjoy some shred of clarity.

Never forget that everyone's playing a game, an angle (though they get so wrapped up in the pose that they forget they ever had a choice). Here's how it comes about, and here's why.


Display Name said...

My friend Conan the Librarian brags that he sees the glass as entirely empty. We do joke about it. When I have had enough I call him party pooper and sing the song or even the one that goes "it's my party and I'll cry if I want to." Once I was at his house and he was making us tea. I heard a little gasp and he explained that he read the op ed in the newspaper knowing it would upset him just to get a rush. There was a discussion yesterday online about the usefulness of the myers-briggs test and his opening salvo was "burn it with fire" Conan helps me make sure to always appreciate the wonderful people in my life and not take them for granted. For example the other day cdc and I were arguing about who should clean up a little bit of dog vomit. I won the "fight" so I got to clean it up. Him and I often fight over who gets the last slice of danish. Each of us wants the other to have it. When I told conan he wanted to know what planet we were from.

Anonymous coward said...

I've read somewhere, can't find it now the Internet can be annoying sometimes, that we pay 10x attention to negative news than positive. Here's some similar articles about how the media focuses on the negative. The key term is negativity bias.

The media exaggerates negative news. This distortion has consequences"
Steven Pinker


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