Re: Psychadelic and other Garbage on Extropians
Wed, 23 Jul 1997 02:42:11 -0400 (EDT) (Max More) writes:

>At 05:28 PM 7/22/97 -0500, Forrest wrote:
>>later, Curt Adams wrote:
>>>I agree the drek content has gone way up. I think some of this comes
>>>the Extropian commitment to dynamic "optimism".
>>> A positive attitude towards problems is handy; but it's very possible
>>>to be too enthusiastic about ideas or possibilities and ignore reality.
>Forrest: Have you read my Dynamic Optimism essay? Your comments suggest
>that you haven't. The whole *point* of D.O. as distinguished from other
>forms of optimism is its critical attitude. Being dynamically optimistic is
>incompatible with ignoring reality. Critical thinking has always formed a
>core part of being extropian.

Forrest used an unconventional quoting system; I actually wrote the section
you're replying to. No I haven't read the essay. We're all agreeing on being
positive and realistic, and on what we'd *like* "optimism" to mean.

>Once you understand the difference between dynamic optimism and wishful
>thinking, do you still disagree with D.O.? If so, what exactly do you
>disagree with?

The terminology. "Optimism" does have something of a Polyanna connotation
(not to say that optimists are necessarily either Polyanna types or
unrealistic). Qualifying optimism with "Dynamic" doesn't make me think "oh,
that's the levelheaded realistic type", nor would I think it would make
anybody else who hasn't read the essay think that.

When I read "dynamic optimism", I think of my last CEO, who always believed
the company would start making pots of money "next year" (it still hasn't).
His optimism (here in the wishful thinking sense) certainly dynamically
adjusted to the vicissitudes of reality. ;-)