THINKERS APRIL 24 2012: OPTIMISM

Extropia DaSilva: Welcome to Thinkers!
[2012/04/24 15:32]  Extropia DaSilva: Today we ask…
[2012/04/24 15:33]  Extropia DaSilva: How do we remain optimistic in the face of reality?
[2012/04/24 15:33]  ArtCrash Exonar: Self delusion!
[2012/04/24 15:33]  Extropia DaSilva: Ok. That is one way, I guess..
[2012/04/24 15:33]  Zobeid Zuma: I’m optimistic that more avs will show up….
[2012/04/24 15:34]  Extropia DaSilva: Do you think I am right to imply the future will be bad?
[2012/04/24 15:34]  ArtCrash Exonar: We are optimistic through stimulation of the senses. We are built to get rewards from them.
[2012/04/24 15:34]  Kimiko Yiyuan: I am not too sure what Art meant, but if it is what I think is about, I do have a different opnion for sure. But thats for some other time…
[2012/04/24 15:34]  Kimiko Yiyuan: The thing about history, of course.
[2012/04/24 15:35]  Kimiko Yiyuan: Hm, depends who you ask Extropia.
[2012/04/24 15:35]  Extropia DaSilva: And why would that be, Kimiko?
[2012/04/24 15:35]  ArtCrash Exonar: Part of our brain chemistry revolves around suppression of bad memories and pain.
[2012/04/24 15:36]  Extropia DaSilva: Because the future is not written except in our minds? And our minds are influenced by our current state of emotion?
[2012/04/24 15:36]  ArtCrash Exonar: We eat because food tastes good and we like it. We are optimistic that a future meal will taste good.
[2012/04/24 15:36]  Kimiko Yiyuan: Do you think YOUR future will be bad Extropia? Or of what kind of bad future are you referring to? What would be a “bad” future?
[2012/04/24 15:36]  Zobeid Zuma: I do think that optimism is partly an ingrained part of the personality that is not easily shifted by external circumstances. And it’s also partly cultural.
[2012/04/24 15:37]  ArtCrash Exonar: We respond positively to sweet smells, we are optimistic that future smells will be good.
[2012/04/24 15:37]  ArtCrash Exonar: etc.
[2012/04/24 15:37]  Extropia DaSilva: I think my future will be good.
[2012/04/24 15:37]  ArtCrash Exonar: That is what I mean by the senses create optimism.
[2012/04/24 15:37]  Extropia DaSilva: I guess I would define a bad future as one in which suffering has increased.
[2012/04/24 15:38]  Kimiko Yiyuan: Yeah, but if I am a pessimist I probably think my next meal will be bad, although then I might be surprised that it is not as bad as I thought it would be. Which does not mean that the next one is better. haha
[2012/04/24 15:38]  Extropia DaSilva: Hello Gwyn:)
[2012/04/24 15:38]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Yoo hoo 🙂
[2012/04/24 15:38]  Zobeid Zuma: Gwyn, hey! Thanks for validating my optimism. 🙂
[2012/04/24 15:39]  ArtCrash Exonar: It is a false dichotomy to say people are either optomistic or pessimistic. As they are degrees of both and also neutral.
[2012/04/24 15:39]  Extropia DaSilva: So come on, Gwyn, how do we remain optimistic in the face of reality?
[2012/04/24 15:39]  ArtCrash Exonar: Reality isn’t always bad, is it?
[2012/04/24 15:39]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Oh, the answer is simple, Extie — we just don’t take “reality” too seriously 😉
[2012/04/24 15:39]  ArtCrash Exonar: Reality can be good, no?
[2012/04/24 15:40]  Kimiko Yiyuan: Suffering increased in what way? You mean like more wars, famine, pestilence than there is today? Less jobs, less money, less standard of living? That sort of thing?
[2012/04/24 15:40]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: If it’s good or bad, it all depends on how we perceive it 🙂
[2012/04/24 15:40]  ArtCrash Exonar: All suffering is local to the sufferer.
[2012/04/24 15:40]  Extropia DaSilva: How about: The FUTURE is neither pessimistic nor optimistic; only our minds are.
[2012/04/24 15:40]  Kimiko Yiyuan: Hello there Gwyn!
[2012/04/24 15:40]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Like Art says!
[2012/04/24 15:40]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Hi Kimi 🙂
[2012/04/24 15:40]  Zobeid Zuma: You should send that to Reader’s Digest, Extie.
[2012/04/24 15:40]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Extie: the future doesn’t even exit yet!
[2012/04/24 15:40]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: *exist
[2012/04/24 15:41]  Extropia DaSilva: It does according to general relativity.
[2012/04/24 15:41]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Why worry so much about things that don’t exist?
[2012/04/24 15:41]  ArtCrash Exonar: Is General Relativity the commanding officer these days?
[2012/04/24 15:41]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Oh sure, I agree, if you want to go mathematically about it… I don’t worry about the number “3” either, but I cannot deny that maths says that “3” exists 🙂
[2012/04/24 15:41]  Kimiko Yiyuan: Yeah, the Future itself does exist in our minds only either. Not sure if that really gonna help here though.
[2012/04/24 15:41]  Zobeid Zuma: Neal Stephenson has complained about most science fiction today being too pessimistic, depressing, dystopian…. He says you can’t inspire people to build a better future with stuff like that.
[2012/04/24 15:42]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Kimi: no, but it helps to take it far less seriously 🙂
[2012/04/24 15:42]  Zobeid Zuma: He admits to being guilty of the same, but now he’s striving to become more of an optimist. 🙂
[2012/04/24 15:42]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: What neal should be doing is writing optimistic stuff instead 🙂
[2012/04/24 15:42]  ArtCrash Exonar: Most of the classics of Sci Fi are pessimistic too, the exception being Asimov.
[2012/04/24 15:42]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Right, Zo! That’s the spirit!
[2012/04/24 15:42]  Extropia DaSilva: Is that because conflict is a necessary part of a story, I wonder?
[2012/04/24 15:42]  Zobeid Zuma: What? No! Most of the classics that I remember we’re about adventures exploring space, stuff like that.
[2012/04/24 15:42]  Kimiko Yiyuan: Serous? Wait a minute. Have to look that word up.
[2012/04/24 15:42]  Kimiko Yiyuan: 😉
[2012/04/24 15:43]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: I’d say it’s because it reflects better the way most people think, so, well, that means they’ll sell more.
[2012/04/24 15:43]  ArtCrash Exonar: Classics of Sci Fi like Dune and Farenheit 451, When worlds collide etc..
[2012/04/24 15:43]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: The same applies to the reason why TV and other media prefer to sell horrible, depressing stories.
[2012/04/24 15:44]  ArtCrash Exonar: I guess Arthur C Clarke had some non pessimistic books.
[2012/04/24 15:44]  Zobeid Zuma: My faves were more like Ringworld or Gateway. :/
[2012/04/24 15:45]  Zobeid Zuma: But anyhow, they weren’t all about, you know…. people living in polluted slums trying to hack into the computers of our corporate overlords before their ration of soylent green runs out. :/
[2012/04/24 15:45]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Well Art, I did read a lot of the classic Sci Fi thingies too, and I don’t remember them being so “pessimistic”. However, in later decades, the “optimism” in Sci Fi relegated Sci Fi to “escape literature”, while, of course, serious writers (from realism to post-modernism) are a depressive bunch who worry too much about nothing worth worrying about, and so Sci Fi authors of the 1980s and beyond started emulating them to be more “accepted”…
[2012/04/24 15:45]  ArtCrash Exonar: That is pretty funny about the Neal Stephenson quote, as he is the author of The Diamond Age! haha
[2012/04/24 15:46]  Kimiko Yiyuan: Maybe Stephenson underestimated the fascination that dystopias and the apocalypse have on readers and humans as a whole. hihi
[2012/04/24 15:46]  Extropia DaSilva: Hello Hari
[2012/04/24 15:46]  Kimiko Yiyuan: Although I do not think that. he probably was just in a bad mood that day.
[2012/04/24 15:46]  Extropia DaSilva: ah, and hello Deb
[2012/04/24 15:46]  Zobeid Zuma: There have always been naysayers and doomsayers and a certain morbid fascination with what they peddle.
[2012/04/24 15:46]  Hari Lucky (hari.luckless): i everyone
[2012/04/24 15:46]  ArtCrash Exonar: Most overarching sci fi classics conclude that manking cannot rule itself without conflict.
[2012/04/24 15:46]  Hari Lucky (hari.luckless): hi
[2012/04/24 15:47]  Deb Metaluna: hell all
[2012/04/24 15:47]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: I think there is a mechanism of “protection”. If we read about how badly others are suffering, we tend to believe we aren’t suffering that badly yet, so we are somehow “lucky”…. and this means that entertainment that makes us feel a bit better than what others are feeling sells more.
[2012/04/24 15:47]  ArtCrash Exonar: mankind
[2012/04/24 15:47]  Zobeid Zuma: Actually one of the very most depressing SF stories I ever read came out of the optimistic 1970s. It was “The End of the Dream” by Phillip Wylie.
[2012/04/24 15:47]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Art: I would agree with the classics then hehe
[2012/04/24 15:47]  Zobeid Zuma: That one really stuck with me.
[2012/04/24 15:47]  Deb Metaluna: sorry
[2012/04/24 15:47]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: The 1970s were a strange decade in terms of Sci Fi….
[2012/04/24 15:47]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: welcome, Deb!
[2012/04/24 15:47]  ArtCrash Exonar: Even HG Wells was pessimistic
[2012/04/24 15:47]  Zobeid Zuma: The trippy decade! 🙂
[2012/04/24 15:48]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Well, they were a strange decade in terms of everything hehe
[2012/04/24 15:48]  Kimiko Yiyuan: by the way, there are also people that do not read sci fi literature. What about those? Are they more optimistic then? lol
[2012/04/24 15:48]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: No!
[2012/04/24 15:48]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: If it were that simple, we could simply forbid Sci Fi and the natural happiness of the whole world would increase!
[2012/04/24 15:49]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: On the OTHER hand, I might be persuaded that forbidding TV news would increase the overall happiness…. 😉
[2012/04/24 15:49]  Zobeid Zuma: Wylie forecast a horrible world with…. nuclear power plant accidents…. power grid failures…. airliners crashing into skyscrapers…. genetically modified crops wreaking havoc…. polluted air and oceans….
[2012/04/24 15:49]  ArtCrash Exonar: Kimiko, unfortunately every novel that is speculative in nature about the future gets labeled ‘Science Fiction’. This is a tragedy really. Because the high fallutin’ literature types think they are too good for Sci Fi. And that trickles down to the masses….
[2012/04/24 15:49]  Kimiko Yiyuan: Yes, it si probably not that easy, which means that Stephenson really was just stating an opinion with not that much behind it.
[2012/04/24 15:49]  Zobeid Zuma: All leading to a total collapse of the global ecosystem by around 1985 or so. 😛
[2012/04/24 15:51]  Extropia DaSilva: Maybe a delay in the total collapse of the ecosystem only leads to a worse tragedy when it does happen? You know, due to increased population?
[2012/04/24 15:51]  Kimiko Yiyuan: Hm Art. Maybe. But nowadays it probably gets labeled Sci fi to get them sold.
[2012/04/24 15:51]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: I agree, Art. This is the strange thing about sci-fi really. In the 1950s, for example, the “difference” between a neorealist writing sci-fi and one writing historic novels was not great.
[2012/04/24 15:51]  Extropia DaSilva: A ‘neorealist’?
[2012/04/24 15:51]  ArtCrash Exonar: Neal Stephenson is not taken as seriously as an author because he is labeled Sci Fi. Several of his novels are historical fiction. They STILL call those sci fi.
[2012/04/24 15:52]  Zobeid Zuma: The doomsayers have a function, they do warn us about things to watch out for, and problems we need to mitigate.
[2012/04/24 15:52]  Kimiko Yiyuan: They? Who are they? Not me, for sure.
[2012/04/24 15:52]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Portugal’s only literatrure Nobel prize winner used to write sci-fi ibetween 1950-70. When it became clear that he would sooner or later win the Nobel prize, hetried to pretend he never wrote them (and forbids them to be published again — in the mean time, he died hehe)
[2012/04/24 15:52]  Extropia DaSilva: Things could go horribly wrong. I just prefer to think that is a possibility rather than a certainty.
[2012/04/24 15:52]  Zobeid Zuma: Oh, the disrespect toward SF is deeply ingrained. I’m not optimistic that it’ll ever fade. 😦
[2012/04/24 15:53]  ArtCrash Exonar: ‘They’ are the literature critical establishment. The ‘serious’ book reviewers and University adademic critics.
[2012/04/24 15:53]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Extie: mumbo jumbo… “realism” is a school of literature of the 19th century, while neo-realism tends to approach similar subjects and styles of writing, but pops up in the 20th century after WWII
[2012/04/24 15:53]  Extropia DaSilva: I do not understand why it should be held in such low esteem. It is not as if writing good science fiction is something anybody can do.
[2012/04/24 15:53]  Kimiko Yiyuan: And still it is around and most likely will always be. So why care? Or do you want sci fi writers to make more money, or something? haha
[2012/04/24 15:53]  Zobeid Zuma: Does it matter, ArtC? SF has been disrespected for decades, but it still keeps right on going.
[2012/04/24 15:53]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Oh my. I don’t even know what the topic is today!
[2012/04/24 15:54]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Arde we discussing SF? heheheheheheh
[2012/04/24 15:54]  Kimiko Yiyuan: Exactly Zob.
[2012/04/24 15:54]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: the irony! I used to be president of the local scifi club! lol
[2012/04/24 15:54]  ArtCrash Exonar: I can’t count the number of self proclaimed readers and fans of literature I know that I tried to get to read the Dune books. And not one taker. That says it all.
[2012/04/24 15:54]  Extropia DaSilva: In many ways, sci fi is an extended version of a philosophical thought experiment in which one reasons through what the world would be like if we assume X.
[2012/04/24 15:54]  Zobeid Zuma: We were supposed to be discussing how it’s possible to maintain optimism in the face of harsh reality, or something like that.
[2012/04/24 15:54]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Aah
[2012/04/24 15:54]  Kimiko Yiyuan: Not really Gwyn. Thanks though…so where were wwe? I wrote something about an ecological desater eartler. I have to scroll back.
[2012/04/24 15:55]  Kimiko Yiyuan: wrote = read
[2012/04/24 15:55]  Zobeid Zuma: Zobeid Zuma is a SF fan and has thus far avoided reading Dune. It’s like the Moby Dick of SF. :/
[2012/04/24 15:55]  Extropia DaSilva: I guess being optimistic gives you a reason to go on living. There may be Darwinian pruning weeding out pessimism over the future?
[2012/04/24 15:56]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Aw Dune, the first book, is truly classic: covering religion, politics, power struggles, human drama, everything.
[2012/04/24 15:56]  Extropia DaSilva: That is the problem Gwyn. I can never get past the first book. I keep wanting to return to it.
[2012/04/24 15:56]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Extie: I’d argue that if that were the case, then we would have weeded out the pessimists 🙂
[2012/04/24 15:56]  ArtCrash Exonar: The assumption of the original question here tonight is that Reality sucks. Of course Reality is neutral. Suckiness is ascribed. In general every life has pleasure and pain. Optimism and pessimism. It is neither one or the other.
[2012/04/24 15:57]  Hari Lucky (hari.luckless): sry we have to go
[2012/04/24 15:57]  Hari Lucky (hari.luckless): bye
[2012/04/24 15:57]  Extropia DaSilva: Bye!
[2012/04/24 15:57]  Deb Metaluna: bye bye
[2012/04/24 15:57]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Extie: and why should you? Dune is the only book from F Herbert worth reading
[2012/04/24 15:57]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: There you go, Art. That’s exactly like it.
[2012/04/24 15:57]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: *it
[2012/04/24 15:57]  Extropia DaSilva: Art seems to think otherwise.
[2012/04/24 15:58]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Reality is what it is, nothing more and nothing less. It’s what we make up in our minds about what reality is that makes us feel optimistic or pessimistic.
[2012/04/24 15:58]  Extropia DaSilva: Does entropy ultimately make the future rather bleak? Everything is running down and decaying?
[2012/04/24 15:58]  Zobeid Zuma: No, that’s not what it means at all. 😛
[2012/04/24 15:59]  Zobeid Zuma: Or it might mean that, but not until billions of years from now when all the stars burn out.
[2012/04/24 15:59]  Extropia DaSilva: Then why does every physicist I know say that is what it means?
[2012/04/24 15:59]  Zobeid Zuma: Maybe they’re paid to think about what’s going to happen billions of years from now? I’m not, so I don’t.
[2012/04/24 16:00]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: If things were permanent and ever-lasting, you couldn’t change them. Thank God for entropy, because it allows us to change things 🙂
[2012/04/24 16:00]  Extropia DaSilva: yeah, I was talking about the far future when all the energy in the universe has dissipated into a uniform temperature.
[2012/04/24 16:01]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Welllllll…. even “tomorrow” is just a thought about something that doesn’t exist; why worry so much about the “far future” in billions of years, when nobody will be around to watch what happens? 🙂
[2012/04/24 16:01]  ArtCrash Exonar: I have Read the Entire 18 books of the Dune series. And it is the greatest work of speculative sociology ever written in my opinion. It takes as a premise: moraity has no center how can mankind survive given the vast stretches of time and what is continuously present therein….. Dune Takes Place over a span of 30,000 years btw….
[2012/04/24 16:01]  Kimiko Yiyuan: Ok, I see. Everybody thinks the future will be more grim as a whole, but nobody really thinks his or her own future will be affected too much by that. More or less right?
[2012/04/24 16:02]  Zobeid Zuma: I don’t necessarily the future will be more grim. The past is pretty grim.
[2012/04/24 16:02]  ArtCrash Exonar: I think the future will be grim, but mostly because of one thing: Global Warming.
[2012/04/24 16:02]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: *I* don’t think that the future will more grim. It will be only more grim for me, if I I’m a pessimist; but it will be a brighter future for an optimist. Having a choice, which one makes me more happy? Of course I choose to be an optimist 🙂
[2012/04/24 16:02]  Zobeid Zuma: Global warming is totally overblown.
[2012/04/24 16:02]  Extropia DaSilva: I bet most of us present have better lives compared to distant ancestors.
[2012/04/24 16:02]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Or even close ones!
[2012/04/24 16:03]  Zobeid Zuma: The biggest problem with global warming is that it’s distracting from more serious problems.
[2012/04/24 16:03]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Less work, mopre fun, more food, more Playstations…
[2012/04/24 16:03]  Kimiko Yiyuan: And not so distant ones. And also better than a lot of people currently alive.
[2012/04/24 16:03]  ArtCrash Exonar: Zobeid, you would like to believe that because it is comforting… However, 20,000 scientists can prove otherwise to anyone who wants to look at the evidence.
[2012/04/24 16:03]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Uh-oh, Zo, you’re asking for trouble… 😉
[2012/04/24 16:03]  Zobeid Zuma: I haven’t seen that, ArtC.
[2012/04/24 16:03]  ArtCrash Exonar: have you looked?
[2012/04/24 16:03]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: *sigh*
[2012/04/24 16:03]  ArtCrash Exonar: haha
[2012/04/24 16:04]  Extropia DaSilva: Art I suspect nobody here is qualified, nor has the time, to confirm or deny climate change.
[2012/04/24 16:04]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: OOoh. What an unscientific approach, Extie ㋡ /sarcasm off
[2012/04/24 16:04]  ArtCrash Exonar: When we fail to ‘believe’ in science anymore. That is truly sad. It means we don’t respect logic.
[2012/04/24 16:04]  Zobeid Zuma: I’ve actually seen what seems, to me, like some unexpected outbreaks of optimism.
[2012/04/24 16:04]  Extropia DaSilva: I am satisfied that the scientific community as a whole supports the theory.
[2012/04/24 16:04]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: No wait. I’m NOT ggoing to be dragged into this!
[2012/04/24 16:05]  Extropia DaSilva: Oh? Such as, Zo?
[2012/04/24 16:05]  Kimiko Yiyuan: Lets play some tarot in the meantime Gwyn. Take a look at our future. haha
[2012/04/24 16:05]  Extropia DaSilva: (Sure you can find ‘scientists’ who disagree but that is true of every theory)
[2012/04/24 16:05]  Zobeid Zuma: Well, we’ve started making electric cars again, after writing them off as a failed technology in the 1990s.
[2012/04/24 16:06]  Zobeid Zuma: We’ve got multiple companies doing interesting things in space flight now, despite NASA’s multi-decade botch of the whole works.
[2012/04/24 16:06]  Extropia DaSilva: Oh..Did you know a solar powered ship is soon to achieve the first circumnavigation of the globe?
[2012/04/24 16:06]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Gwyneth Llewelyn thinks optimistic thoughts. Lomborg, lomborg, cool it, cool it….
[2012/04/24 16:06]  ArtCrash Exonar: There are no longer ANY scientists that have published in peer reviewed journals opposing climate change. Those days have passed.
[2012/04/24 16:06]  Kimiko Yiyuan: Yes, lets think away the climate change. haha
[2012/04/24 16:07]  Kimiko Yiyuan: Kimiko Yiyuan falls in with gwyn
[2012/04/24 16:07]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: A pity it’s not so easy 🙂
[2012/04/24 16:07]  Extropia DaSilva: (Yeah but that could be Kuhnian paradigm-type stuff, Art)
[2012/04/24 16:07]  Kimiko Yiyuan: Oh no no. Suoer easy. If I just be optimistic, all will be ok. heh
[2012/04/24 16:07]  ArtCrash Exonar: It could be the flying spaghetti monster too, Extie
[2012/04/24 16:08]  ArtCrash Exonar: OK, I’ll shut up hahaha
[2012/04/24 16:08]  ArtCrash Exonar: back to the question at hand
[2012/04/24 16:08]  ArtCrash Exonar: Why are we optimistic?
[2012/04/24 16:08]  Extropia DaSilva: (Like cosmology. No matter how well your theory matches reality, if it disagrees with the Big Bang theory you have no hope, because its supporters control all the papers and funding).
[2012/04/24 16:08]  ArtCrash Exonar: I think as I mentioned before that it is built into us to be optomistic and to forget pain, evolutionarily.
[2012/04/24 16:09]  Extropia DaSilva: ARE we optimistic?
[2012/04/24 16:09]  Zobeid Zuma: Americans historically have been optimistic, although that seems to have declined a lot recently.
[2012/04/24 16:09]  Extropia DaSilva: How about..to be pessimistic is to KNOW without doubt how the future will turn out. And nobody actually knows.
[2012/04/24 16:09]  Kimiko Yiyuan: Hands up who is optimistic about his/her own future!
[2012/04/24 16:10]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Nah Extie 🙂
[2012/04/24 16:10]  Extropia DaSilva: ME!
[2012/04/24 16:10]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: I’m always optimistic 🙂
[2012/04/24 16:10]  ArtCrash Exonar: I think in general people are optomistic about their immediate upcoming future lives to some degree. Like they don’t think they are going to die any minute, even though they might. They look forward instead to the next small pleasures.
[2012/04/24 16:10]  Kimiko Yiyuan: ME!
[2012/04/24 16:10]  Extropia DaSilva: yay, Gwyn!
[2012/04/24 16:10]  Zobeid Zuma: I’m guardedly optimistic.
[2012/04/24 16:10]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: I agree, Art!
[2012/04/24 16:10]  ArtCrash Exonar: optimistic… haha I keep spelling it wrong
[2012/04/24 16:10]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Well, my personal theory is that pessimism is non-functional.
[2012/04/24 16:10]  Kimiko Yiyuan: And now hands up who is otimistic about the general future like in world, society etc…
[2012/04/24 16:11]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Being guardedly optimistic, yes, that’s a good way to be.
[2012/04/24 16:11]  Kimiko Yiyuan: optimistic
[2012/04/24 16:11]  Extropia DaSilva: I have this theory that every person knows he or she must die at some point in the future but does not really BELIEVE it.
[2012/04/24 16:11]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: I’m optimistica bout that as well, Kimi. I think that the problem with the current Western society is that we were spoilt by an unusually good decade in the 1990s, and expected it to last “forever”.
[2012/04/24 16:11]  Kimiko Yiyuan: Nobody?
[2012/04/24 16:11]  Zobeid Zuma: I see the future worldwide as totally a toss-up. It could go well, it could go bad. It could just muddle along for a while….
[2012/04/24 16:12]  Kimiko Yiyuan: Oh, ok Gwyn!!
[2012/04/24 16:12]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Extie: your theory is pretty much sustained by millenia of philosophy 🙂
[2012/04/24 16:12]  ArtCrash Exonar: They believe it, but they put it in the category of ‘Dwelling on death is pointless’ so why bother.
[2012/04/24 16:12]  Extropia DaSilva: Ah, maybe that is it, Art.
[2012/04/24 16:12]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Zo: I claim it was always like that 😉
[2012/04/24 16:12]  Extropia DaSilva: …I am optimistic about the future in general, Kimiko.
[2012/04/24 16:13]  Zobeid Zuma: We’ve got some definite challenges ahead.
[2012/04/24 16:13]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Art & Extie: I would say it’s not totally pointless; if properly done, it leads to redefining priorities, mostly by not taking things too seriously.
[2012/04/24 16:13]  Extropia DaSilva: I mean, I do not KNOW things will improve but I do believe it possible that they may.
[2012/04/24 16:13]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: What “things” need improving? 🙂
[2012/04/24 16:14]  Extropia DaSilva: Well..cleaner ways of producing energy…ridding people of the curse of jobs….
[2012/04/24 16:14]  ArtCrash Exonar: I read somewhere in the last year some scientific findings about happiness in one’s personal life. And surprisingly it wasn’t directly related to wealth. After basic survival levels are taken into account. People with the least goods turned out to be some of the happiest people….. People were happier in the Bombay slums than they are in London for example.
[2012/04/24 16:15]  Zobeid Zuma: I’ve seen something similar to that.
[2012/04/24 16:15]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Art: I’m not surprised at all hehe
[2012/04/24 16:15]  Kimiko Yiyuan: Curse of jobs. lol I would formulate that differently. Maybe free them from the curse of making a living by earning money. Or something like that. Jobs in general are not a bad thingt.
[2012/04/24 16:15]  Extropia DaSilva: See I read the opposite. Money does not necessarily buy happiness but poverty invariably purchases misery.
[2012/04/24 16:16]  ℂᵒᵒᵏⁱᵉ (cookiemouse): ℂᵒᵒᵏⁱᵉ sneaks up from down b’lo
[2012/04/24 16:16]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Kimi: you can ‘free’ yourself from that ‘curse’ if you’re prepared to accept the consequences 🙂
[2012/04/24 16:16]  Extropia DaSilva: Oh, hello!
[2012/04/24 16:16]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Extie: oh yes. Fortunately, happiness doesn’t depend on either wealth or poverty 😉
[2012/04/24 16:16]  Zobeid Zuma: That could be taken as an indictment of our consumer culture, where we keep producing and buying more and more “stuff” that fails to make us happy.
[2012/04/24 16:16]  Extropia DaSilva: A job IS making a living by earning money. Any activity done for pleasure is a hobby.
[2012/04/24 16:17]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: I like that definition, Extie!
[2012/04/24 16:17]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Which makes me a good hobbyist 🙂
[2012/04/24 16:17]  Zobeid Zuma: However….. Happiness may not be a good measure of a society’s success. It’s nice, but not the greatest goal to strive for.
[2012/04/24 16:17]  Kimiko Yiyuan: Sure. I can also shoot myself if i am prepared to face the consequences as well. Whatever that might be.
[2012/04/24 16:17]  Amber Marie Smith (rebekahsmith): cookie!
[2012/04/24 16:17]  Amber Marie Smith (rebekahsmith): XD
[2012/04/24 16:17]  Extropia DaSilva: I think one theory is that you are happiest if everyone around you is at the same economic level but if there is a disparity that makes you unhappy.
[2012/04/24 16:17]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: What a pity you think like that, Zo!
[2012/04/24 16:18]  Extropia DaSilva: Hello Amber.
[2012/04/24 16:18]  Zobeid Zuma: Whaaat?
[2012/04/24 16:18]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: I completely disagree (respectfully so). I think all societies should have as a focus making more people happy. Now the question is HOW to do it.
[2012/04/24 16:18]  Extropia DaSilva: Utilitarians might disagree with you, Zo.
[2012/04/24 16:18]  ArtCrash Exonar: I think I’ve pushed this book here before, but I find it fascinating. http://www.amazon.com/The-Paradox-Choice-More-Less/dp/0060005688 The conclusion of the book is that too much choice causes unhappiness. And people with little choice appreciate what they have and are more satisfied with life.
[2012/04/24 16:19]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: I’m jot an utilitarian and I don’t agree with Zo, either… what’s the point of being unhappy?
[2012/04/24 16:19]  Amber Marie Smith (rebekahsmith): Amber Marie Smith whispers to cookie: ” whatcha doin here?”
[2012/04/24 16:19]  ArtCrash Exonar: The current libertarian paradise in the world is Somalia. There you have no law, no government and everyone is on their own. The result? Chaos and the survival of the fittest.
[2012/04/24 16:19]  Zobeid Zuma: Most stone age hunter-gatherers were, reputedly, very happy. Should we go back to that?
[2012/04/24 16:20]  Kimiko Yiyuan: No no Extropia. It is not all about pleasure here, earning there. The question is about the meaning of life. And work, in whatever form is a big part of it. If you like your job, see sense/ meaning in it, think it is important what you do, then you certainly do not think about your job being a curse. If you think you do some meaningless nonesense though… well.
[2012/04/24 16:20]  Extropia DaSilva: They were supported by nanotechnology, Zo.
[2012/04/24 16:20]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Zo: since we don’t have historical documents reporting on the happiness of stone age hunter-gatherers, I decline to comment 🙂
[2012/04/24 16:20]  ArtCrash Exonar: Hunter gatherer societies break down after the population rises above 200 or so it turns out.
[2012/04/24 16:20]  Extropia DaSilva: Just like tribes in the rainforests are.
[2012/04/24 16:20]  Zobeid Zuma: Aside from the fact that the world couldn’t support many hunter-gatherers, and the vast majority of the population would have to die…I still don’t think we want to go back to that. We’ve been there, done that.
[2012/04/24 16:20]  Extropia DaSilva: I disagree.
[2012/04/24 16:21]  Kimiko Yiyuan: Yeah. lets ship al the Libertarian egoists to Somalia. Good idea.
[2012/04/24 16:21]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: That’s the point, Reverting to hunter-gatherers will NOT make us MORE happy.
[2012/04/24 16:21]  ArtCrash Exonar: ha ha Kimiko
[2012/04/24 16:21]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Kimi: harsh words, but very truthful ones!
[2012/04/24 16:21]  Zobeid Zuma: You mean anarchists, don’t you? Not libertarians. 😛
[2012/04/24 16:22]  Extropia DaSilva: I think it would be immensly satisfaying to have work directly related to the survival and wellbeing of you and yours, unlike modern work which is often several steps removed from anything anyone really needs.
[2012/04/24 16:22]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Well, we have a choice.
[2012/04/24 16:22]  ArtCrash Exonar: The history of mankind is the history of attempts to govern large populations, once there become specialits.
[2012/04/24 16:22]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: We all live in democratic countries, I think, where we have the freedom to choose whatever job we wish 🙂
[2012/04/24 16:22]  Extropia DaSilva: Hunter-Gatherers have work like that.
[2012/04/24 16:23]  Extropia DaSilva: If it were possible to live like that with al the benefits like modern medicine, I think many would opt in.
[2012/04/24 16:23]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Well….
[2012/04/24 16:23]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: I do know personally a lot of people who did, indeed, switch their jobs to be more directly related with the wellbeing of others.
[2012/04/24 16:24]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: They made their choice.,
[2012/04/24 16:24]  Kimiko Yiyuan: Ah, hm. I think I would still try to be a farmer instead. Hunting and gathering all day….I don’t know. haha
[2012/04/24 16:24]  ArtCrash Exonar: I still like my idea that is the Body and its drives that causes general optimism. We seek pleasure and freedom from pain. We deeply understand that is possible
[2012/04/24 16:24]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Of course it meant less Playstations, less Hermès bags, and no vacations… but that’s ok, they soon figured out they don’t really *need* that.
[2012/04/24 16:24]  Extropia DaSilva: My sister hunts and gathers clothes and other accessories from the SL stores;)
[2012/04/24 16:24]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Yep, Art, but it’s not in the Body 😉
[2012/04/24 16:25]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: lol Extie!
[2012/04/24 16:25]  Kimiko Yiyuan: Yes. And no more SL either. And nobody would really miss it.
[2012/04/24 16:25]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: hehe yes
[2012/04/24 16:25]  Extropia DaSilva: I would!
[2012/04/24 16:25]  Kimiko Yiyuan: I knew that extropia would say that. heh
[2012/04/24 16:25]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: You could still download OpenSim and use it, Extie 😉 hehe
[2012/04/24 16:25]  Extropia DaSilva: This is my home!
[2012/04/24 16:25]  ℂᵒᵒᵏⁱᵉ (cookiemouse): ℂᵒᵒᵏⁱᵉ would definately miss it….
[2012/04/24 16:25]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: So, well, it’s about having a choice
[2012/04/24 16:25]  ArtCrash Exonar: Here is a related question. It seems to us that most animals are optimistic, as they behave that way. Do animals expect the best?
[2012/04/24 16:26]  Extropia DaSilva: …yeah I guess so. But I would still miss all this.
[2012/04/24 16:26]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: So hard to say, But they definitely suffer a lot all the time.
[2012/04/24 16:26]  ℂᵒᵒᵏⁱᵉ (cookiemouse): ℂᵒᵒᵏⁱᵉ watches a lady down on the ground floor trying to rez a house…..face paws at this
[2012/04/24 16:26]  ArtCrash Exonar: Even the most suffering pets of my experience respond with great joy to petting.
[2012/04/24 16:26]  Kimiko Yiyuan: But honestly Extropia, and Cookie…I don’t think so. Maybe a bit at first, but soon you would be pretty occupied with hunting and gathering enough to make your day.
[2012/04/24 16:27]  Extropia DaSilva: Not always. Some animals like zoo animals not propperly looked after adopt manerisms that look for all the world like abject despair.
[2012/04/24 16:27]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: This just came to my mind mmmh,… an optimist is someone who is aware that a choice is always possible. Pessimists tend to believe there is no choice: all is constrained externally.
[2012/04/24 16:27]  ℂᵒᵒᵏⁱᵉ (cookiemouse): unfortunately i live on social security..all my stuff is gathered for me . and delivered =p
[2012/04/24 16:27]  ArtCrash Exonar: The exception does not negate the rule….. heh
[2012/04/24 16:27]  ℂᵒᵒᵏⁱᵉ (cookiemouse): thus..i have NOTHING at all to do all day
[2012/04/24 16:27]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: see, Cookie, for some that would be Paradise.
[2012/04/24 16:27]  Extropia DaSilva: No, because if by SL you mean online worlds in the Web in general, well that is the only space I exist in.
[2012/04/24 16:28]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: For you, if I read your words correctly, it’s a torture
[2012/04/24 16:28]  ℂᵒᵒᵏⁱᵉ (cookiemouse): well.. lol…
[2012/04/24 16:28]  Kimiko Yiyuan: Or maybe a Pessimist is someone who just thinks he or she will always make the worng choices.
[2012/04/24 16:28]  ℂᵒᵒᵏⁱᵉ (cookiemouse): it can be torture..
[2012/04/24 16:28]  ℂᵒᵒᵏⁱᵉ (cookiemouse): i have like.. 0 money to do anything else but ‘live’..
[2012/04/24 16:28]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Art: if you meant that pets suffer and have moments of happiness, no more and no less than humans, I would certainly agree with you
[2012/04/24 16:29]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: What would that “anything else” be in your case, cookie?
[2012/04/24 16:29]  Kimiko Yiyuan: Ok Extropia…I am in no mood to talk about THAT again. lol Thanks.
[2012/04/24 16:29]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Kimi: yes, that’s also a way to put it
[2012/04/24 16:29]  ArtCrash Exonar: I think that if you observe dogs, they always think that there are good things coming. Isn’t that the definition of optimism?
[2012/04/24 16:29]  ℂᵒᵒᵏⁱᵉ (cookiemouse): d’know.. anything else being gas for the car to go anywhere…
[2012/04/24 16:29]  Kimiko Yiyuan: I have no idea what dogs think.
[2012/04/24 16:30]  ℂᵒᵒᵏⁱᵉ (cookiemouse): stuck prettymuch in the house
[2012/04/24 16:30]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: They don’t “always” think that, Art. For example, they “think” they could have more and more food, or beingh petted all the time, would make them even more happy, but that doesn’t happen: their owners give them limited food and just the right amount of petting 😉
[2012/04/24 16:30]  Extropia DaSilva: well it is true. Well OK I also exist in certain people’s imagination but the Web is what enables all those instances of me to evolve similarly in the unfolding future.
[2012/04/24 16:30]  Extropia DaSilva: OO look we filled out hour…
[2012/04/24 16:30]  Extropia DaSilva: OK summing up time…
[2012/04/24 16:30]  ArtCrash Exonar: Do things in the imagination exist?
[2012/04/24 16:31]  Kimiko Yiyuan: Shush Ex!! lol Yeah, better sum up time.
[2012/04/24 16:31]  Extropia DaSilva: so we retain optimism by…
[2012/04/24 16:31]  ℂᵒᵒᵏⁱᵉ (cookiemouse): ℂᵒᵒᵏⁱᵉ didnt mean to interrupt..or disrupt conversation-time….
[2012/04/24 16:31]  Extropia DaSilva: Yes, Art they do.
[2012/04/24 16:31]  Kimiko Yiyuan: Not at all Cookie. 🙂
[2012/04/24 16:31]  ArtCrash Exonar: Wow, having sex with movie stars is REAL! who hooooooo!
[2012/04/24 16:31]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: You see, cookie, you’re a good example, thanks to your unfortunate situation. For millions of people, being able to live in a house, having nothing to do and no incentive to go out, and being able to login to SL, would constitute the ultimate experience of joy and happiness. For you, it’s a terrible situation. My point is thathappiness doesn’t really depend on what you do or what you have, but how you perceive things.
[2012/04/24 16:31]  Kimiko Yiyuan: Pardon?
[2012/04/24 16:31]  ArtCrash Exonar: haha
[2012/04/24 16:32]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Art: they do, for the ones that imagine them 🙂
[2012/04/24 16:32]  ℂᵒᵒᵏⁱᵉ (cookiemouse): hehe an many ways it is the a joy..but in others its a royal pain in the p’toot
[2012/04/24 16:32]  Extropia DaSilva: You did not ask if it was real, you asked if it exists.
[2012/04/24 16:33]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: I’m not belittling your situation, cookie! Just saying that it all depends on how we perceive things.
[2012/04/24 16:33]  ℂᵒᵒᵏⁱᵉ (cookiemouse): mhm!
[2012/04/24 16:33]  ℂᵒᵒᵏⁱᵉ (cookiemouse): ooh i know
[2012/04/24 16:33]  ArtCrash Exonar: I am totally onboard with Gwyn, that happiness and optimism are artifacts of point of view.
[2012/04/24 16:33]  Extropia DaSilva: OK my time is up…
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