Charlie Stross wrote:
> On Tue, Jan 16, 2001 at 02:28:11PM +0930, Emlyn wrote:
> > > Pure unadulterated optimism, to put it bluntly, is unrealistic -- and
> > > everybody knows it.
> > >
> > > -- Charlie
> > But optimism is only a useful concept in an unclear environment. If it
> > clear that outcomes would be good, there would be no need for optimism;
> > acceptance of a predictable destiny.
> Yeah ...
> You know the Richard Dawkins explanation for religion? His take on why
> religious memes are so widespread is that they confer survival advantages
> from a couple of different angles. Firstly, they reduce the carrier's
> susceptibility to existential angst. Secondly, those that stress
> death ensure a ready supply of warriors who can be sent forth to convert
> the heathens.
> > (Optimism/Pessimism/Other guiding principle) is something that you adopt
> > the face of lack of information;
> So is religious faith.
> (Speaking as a fanatical agnostic, I find blind faith disturbing
> -- whether it's in a future world when we achieve True Communism or
> Libertopia, or whether it's in the Rapture and the establishment of the
> Kingdom of Christ, or whatever. Hence, maybe, my railing against
> excessive optimism ...)
> -- Charlie
All things in moderation, ey? That makes you a moderation extremist :-).
I agree with railing against excessive optimism. I tend to like to balance
it with excessive pessimism; try to take both extreme positions
simultaneously, then synthesise the results. It's a bit confusing, but hey.
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