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BS: Pessimist vs Optimist

beardedbruce 26 Jun 05 - 02:00 AM
Joe Offer 26 Jun 05 - 02:15 AM
Liz the Squeak 26 Jun 05 - 02:36 AM
Ebbie 26 Jun 05 - 03:22 AM
Barry Finn 26 Jun 05 - 03:23 AM
Liz the Squeak 26 Jun 05 - 03:27 AM
beardedbruce 26 Jun 05 - 04:01 AM
Joe Offer 26 Jun 05 - 04:11 AM
Ebbie 26 Jun 05 - 04:31 AM
John Hardly 26 Jun 05 - 06:26 AM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 26 Jun 05 - 06:28 AM
Le Scaramouche 26 Jun 05 - 06:57 AM
Alice 26 Jun 05 - 09:44 AM
Alice 26 Jun 05 - 10:16 AM
GUEST,Joe_F 26 Jun 05 - 10:31 AM
Amos 26 Jun 05 - 10:44 AM
akenaton 26 Jun 05 - 11:55 AM
GUEST,Art Thieme 26 Jun 05 - 12:25 PM
Amos 26 Jun 05 - 12:35 PM
gnu 26 Jun 05 - 12:40 PM
CarolC 26 Jun 05 - 12:47 PM
DougR 26 Jun 05 - 02:11 PM
CarolC 26 Jun 05 - 02:16 PM
Liz the Squeak 26 Jun 05 - 02:25 PM
Nigel Parsons 26 Jun 05 - 02:26 PM
Ebbie 26 Jun 05 - 02:51 PM
gnu 26 Jun 05 - 02:59 PM
John Hardly 26 Jun 05 - 03:02 PM
sixtieschick 26 Jun 05 - 04:44 PM
Le Scaramouche 26 Jun 05 - 04:48 PM
beardedbruce 26 Jun 05 - 05:10 PM
gnu 26 Jun 05 - 05:31 PM
Joe Offer 26 Jun 05 - 05:52 PM
Azizi 26 Jun 05 - 07:57 PM
beardedbruce 26 Jun 05 - 08:09 PM
beardedbruce 26 Jun 05 - 08:24 PM
sixtieschick 26 Jun 05 - 08:31 PM
Ebbie 26 Jun 05 - 10:12 PM
beardedbruce 26 Jun 05 - 10:22 PM
akenaton 27 Jun 05 - 03:20 AM
CarolC 27 Jun 05 - 11:38 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 27 Jun 05 - 12:20 PM
beardedbruce 27 Jun 05 - 01:50 PM
beardedbruce 27 Jun 05 - 02:29 PM
beardedbruce 27 Jun 05 - 02:33 PM
jacqui.c 27 Jun 05 - 02:42 PM
Ebbie 27 Jun 05 - 03:42 PM
CarolC 27 Jun 05 - 03:47 PM
beardedbruce 27 Jun 05 - 03:55 PM
CarolC 27 Jun 05 - 04:00 PM
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Subject: BS: Pessimist vs Optimist
From: beardedbruce
Date: 26 Jun 05 - 02:00 AM

another point of discussion:

A pessimist is someone who expects the worst, and can only be pleasantly surprised when wrong.

An optimist is someone who expects the best, and can only be disappointed when wrong.



So, why are pessimists always seen as unhappy, and optimists as happy? The reverse would seem more logical


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Subject: RE: BS: Pessimist vs Optimist
From: Joe Offer
Date: 26 Jun 05 - 02:15 AM

Perhaps your definition is too limited, Bruce. If a pessimist and an optimist witness the same event, the optimist will see the good aspects of the event as more significant, and will tend to downplay or ignore the negative aspects. The negative aspects catch the attention of the pessimist, and don't allow him to see the good side. An optimist tends to see the possibilities a situation presents, and a pessimist sees the impossibilities.

So, it it a philosophy, body chemistry, or what, that makes the difference between pessimists and optimists?

Are Republicans pessimists and Democrats optimists? Do optimists tend to trust people more than pessimists do?

-Joe Offer, insufferable optimist-


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Subject: RE: BS: Pessimist vs Optimist
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 26 Jun 05 - 02:36 AM

I'm an optimistic pessimist. I'm always hoping things will improve but am not surprised when they don't.

To me the glass is neither half full, nor half empty. To me the glass is simply someone elses' beer.

LTS


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Subject: RE: BS: Pessimist vs Optimist
From: Ebbie
Date: 26 Jun 05 - 03:22 AM

LOL, LtS.


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Subject: RE: BS: Pessimist vs Optimist
From: Barry Finn
Date: 26 Jun 05 - 03:23 AM

I guess that must make me pathologically affirmative. Yes, the world will survive those pesky republicans; it would've been nice if they could've joined the rest of us. Oh well, I guess it's all for the better.
Barry


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Subject: RE: BS: Pessimist vs Optimist
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 26 Jun 05 - 03:27 AM

Thanks Ebbie - it's the trials and tribulations of being a responsible driver.....

LTS


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Subject: RE: BS: Pessimist vs Optimist
From: beardedbruce
Date: 26 Jun 05 - 04:01 AM

Joe,

"So, other than that, how was the play Mrs. Lincoln?"

Actually, I believe that people are optimistic or pessimistic as a result of what they have encountered in their lives. Those who have the breaks, or do not have problems thrust on them will expect to go along in that way, being optimistic. Those who have things occur which impact their lives will have a tendency to think more on the possible negative aspects.


Just my opinion. And I think this is a general tendancy, NOT an absolute rule.


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Subject: RE: BS: Pessimist vs Optimist
From: Joe Offer
Date: 26 Jun 05 - 04:11 AM

I think you have a point, Bruce. We humans are fragile creatures. Trauma can have all sorts of hidden effects on a person. People who are victims of crimes, tend to lose trust and confidence. That makes it so much harder for them to function in this world. Surviving trauma CAN make us stronger, but it can also make us lose our goodness and innocence. I think we need to be careful not to let that happen to ourselves. If we wallow in negativity, we become paralyzed.

Hey, Liz, can I buy you a beer?

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: BS: Pessimist vs Optimist
From: Ebbie
Date: 26 Jun 05 - 04:31 AM

Wait, you guys. It's not only older people who are pessimistic or the reverse. I'm sure we have all seen young children who seemingly arrived in this world in a worried state of mind. I remember one girl- by the time she was six she looked and acted like she had the weight and responsibility of the world on her back. (She is now 17 and seems to have lightened up a good bit.)

Buy Liz the drink, Joe, and deposit her at her door. Enjoy, Liz.


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Subject: RE: BS: Pessimist vs Optimist
From: John Hardly
Date: 26 Jun 05 - 06:26 AM

I wish I could find it. Earlier this year I heard a discussion about a study that was done recently. (how one would scientifically study the issue is another question, but....)

Anyway -- the pessimist and the optimist are both right (according to the study).

The pessimist, always expecting the worst, would, given common sense and odds, be right in their fears no more often that the optimist, BUT -- they tend to only remember those events that bolster their predispostiton to expect the worst...


...while the optimist has the same predisposition to remember the good more than the bad -- and a better ability to "GET OVER IT" when the bad does come -- but, says the study -- expecting the best, expecting the good breaks, is part of the ability to take advantage of the breaks and make positivity self-fulfilling.

The pessimist's own fears cause them to ignore (sometimes even the most obvious) opportunities for success.


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Subject: RE: BS: Pessimist vs Optimist
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 26 Jun 05 - 06:28 AM

Well folks, I'm an optimist who has no reason to be so. Life still kicks me in the teeth at regular intervals, but I reckon I enjoy it more this way.

BTW If you have to borrow money, always borrow from pessimists. They don't expect to get it back. (grins)

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Pessimist vs Optimist
From: Le Scaramouche
Date: 26 Jun 05 - 06:57 AM

The pessimist says things can't get any worse. The optimist says, just wait, I'm sure they will!
Now, do we have any pesso-optimists in the house?


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Subject: RE: BS: Pessimist vs Optimist
From: Alice
Date: 26 Jun 05 - 09:44 AM

I used to date an economist who did his doctorate dissertation on optimism - he studied entrepreneurship and how optimism and resiliency are part of the make up of entrepreneurs who persevere until they succeed. He described himself as a cheerful pessimist (he has aspergers, so he was a complicated personality to understand). He designed personality tests and other such things, so I was often given tests, like on the first Valentines Day when we were dating, for him to find out things about me. Looking back, I think because he had aspergers, tests were his best way to understand people, being unable to read their body language or tone of voice.

I am an optimist, plodding forward toward aspirations in spite of obstacles like physical abuse, depression, poverty, rejection, isolation and illness. I think part of my ability to be an optimist is that even though life has handed me much pain and sadness, I don't dwell on it because it would be too hard to survive if I did.

Alice


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Subject: RE: BS: Pessimist vs Optimist
From: Alice
Date: 26 Jun 05 - 10:16 AM

Here is a link to a site that does personality tests online. Scroll to the bottom.... question... Do you sing while taking showers? (Old mudcat joke on how we learn lyrics - I print them on thermal fax paper and tape them to the walls of my shower).

http://www.personalitytest.net/

Alice


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Subject: RE: BS: Pessimist vs Optimist
From: GUEST,Joe_F
Date: 26 Jun 05 - 10:31 AM

Optimist: "This is the best of all possible worlds." Pessimist: "I'm afraid you're right."

That joke puns on philosophical and the popular meaning of "optimist". The former meaning, exemplified by Spinoza & Leibniz, is someone who believes that in some sense God made the world as good as possible. It has elicited various sarcastic replies, including "You wouldn't know it to look at it", "And everything in it is a necessary evil", and Voltaire's _Candide_, _passim_.

--- Joe Fineman    joe_f@verizon.net

||: Murder is properly an invasion of privacy. :||


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Subject: RE: BS: Pessimist vs Optimist
From: Amos
Date: 26 Jun 05 - 10:44 AM

The pessimist carries a bad-news filter around. He is not disappointed because he gets what he looks for. We optimists have some confidence in the future and we see the positive offsets as well as the klunky and sad bits of the timestream. Oneo f the reasons (for me anyway) is that we know (believe) that the bulk of human future is generated by humans and we have some confidence about the statistical impact of human self-interest.

Human self-interest has brought about plumbing, transport, and the very Internet we are using to exchange these ideas. Although frequently aberrated and distorted, in a large sample over time it tends to shows its better colors.

See what I mean?

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Pessimist vs Optimist
From: akenaton
Date: 26 Jun 05 - 11:55 AM

Amos...Do you include global Capitalism in that analysis?

Plumbing, transport and the internet if you think about them in any depth ,have very large disadvantages, mainly for the planet.

There is absolutely nothing in human history which gives me any grounds for optimism, yet here I sit, the happiest man on Mudcat.

So there you are, what may seem disaster in the short term can turn out to be a blessing in the long.......Ake


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Subject: RE: BS: Pessimist vs Optimist
From: GUEST,Art Thieme
Date: 26 Jun 05 - 12:25 PM

Two kids, an optimist and a pessimist, have a job to do----shovelling a mountain of horse shit. The optimiust is happily shovelling and singing while he works. The pessimist looks at the huge pile and says, "This is the filthiest job I've ever seen. The stench is terrible. We could catch all kinds of disease from doing this. How can you be so happy???" The other kid answers, "With all this horse shit, there's bound to be a pony close by."

Personally, I'm a pessimist---but I live for the high points in my life. I strive to make my life, and the lives of those in my proximity, something better than it might've been otherwise. --- Still, I recommend to all the book by Allen Watts called The Wisdom Of Insecurity.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: BS: Pessimist vs Optimist
From: Amos
Date: 26 Jun 05 - 12:35 PM

There is absolutely nothing in human history which gives me any grounds for optimism

Spoken like a dyed-in-the-wool pessimist, ake.

100 years ago your life expectancy would have been around 60 instead of around 80. Your ability to communicate readily with others of your kind would have numbered in the tens, with a lag of hours or days; today you speak to hundreds in milliseconds.

Your loved ones are going to live longer, communicate more and learn more in this lifetime than any generation before them.

You will see sights from the Hubble imagery transmissions that the wisest man in pre-Columbian Europe could only fantasize about.

You can be saved in minutes or days from things that would have killed your great-great-grandfather.

You have access to encyclopedic collections of insights and images and math and experience in every field of human endeavour, at your fingertips -- the kind of knowledge ancient scholars sacrificed their whole lives to find, and gathered only a tiny fraction thereof.

I submit that even balanced against the serious issues of global warming and environmental impact, we have PLENTY to be hopeful about.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Pessimist vs Optimist
From: gnu
Date: 26 Jun 05 - 12:40 PM

Plumbing? Without plumbing you'd be knee deep in it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Pessimist vs Optimist
From: CarolC
Date: 26 Jun 05 - 12:47 PM

Another side of optimism (or maybe optimistic pragmatism?)...

I see purpose in everything that happens and everything that exists. So if something happens or if something exists that I, personally, don't find pleasing, I look for the purpose in it. It's much easier (less difficult?) to cope with unpleasant (and even grueling) experiences when one can find their purpose and see them, ultimately, as being a step in a positive direction.


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Subject: RE: BS: Pessimist vs Optimist
From: DougR
Date: 26 Jun 05 - 02:11 PM

Interesting. So many folks that have described themselves on this thread as optimists that appear to me to be pessimists. They have posted an awful lot of "sky is falling" prose over the past four or five years.

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: Pessimist vs Optimist
From: CarolC
Date: 26 Jun 05 - 02:16 PM

I think you've got it backwards, DougR. I think many of them believe that things can be made better than they are, and so they point out what is wrong so it can be corrected. That is a form of optimism.


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Subject: RE: BS: Pessimist vs Optimist
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 26 Jun 05 - 02:25 PM

Seems I'm mistaken about myself!! Took the test and look what I came out as!!!


ESFP: "Entertainer". Radiates attractive warmth and optimism. Smooth, witty, charming, clever. Fun to be with. Very generous. They make good performers, they like public relations, and they love the phone. 13% of the total population


I may start cheering up now!

LTS


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Subject: RE: BS: Pessimist vs Optimist
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 26 Jun 05 - 02:26 PM

A pessimist is someone who, when he smells flowers, looks for a funeral!

Nigel


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Subject: RE: BS: Pessimist vs Optimist
From: Ebbie
Date: 26 Jun 05 - 02:51 PM

"Interesting. So many folks that have described themselves on this thread as optimists that appear to me to be pessimists. They have posted an awful lot of "sky is falling" prose over the past four or five years." DougR

Perhaps that should make you stop and realize that the danger from the "past four or five years" is a real one?

Would you describe yourself as an optimist, Doug? Or do you use a different term for "determinedly closed eyes"?


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Subject: RE: BS: Pessimist vs Optimist
From: gnu
Date: 26 Jun 05 - 02:59 PM

I am a skoptimist... a skeptical optimist. I like to keep my chin up, a smile on my face, believe there is some good in everyone and everything, with some exceptions, and go about in the world with a positive attitude. But, I look down every now and then to make sure nobody is stealing my cookies. And, of course, I check my fly often.


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Subject: RE: BS: Pessimist vs Optimist
From: John Hardly
Date: 26 Jun 05 - 03:02 PM

Pessimist or optimist, I hope I NEVER get to the point where my first response to ANY question asked on this forum is filtered through a "how-does-this-relate-to-politics" filter.

With good friends I could probably discuss the issue at hand (optimism/pessimism) for a good hour and never once talk about how it relates to tagging it negetively onto one or the other of political parties.


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Subject: RE: BS: Pessimist vs Optimist
From: sixtieschick
Date: 26 Jun 05 - 04:44 PM

I'm currently reading "The Opposite of Fate: Memories of a Writing Life" by Amy Tan. Her mother took the cake for pessimism. Some of the choice wisdom she passed on to her daughter (as quoted by Tan, Chinese inflection and all):

Her Mother's version of "Look both ways before crossing the street:" "YOU DON'T LOOK YOU GET SMASH FLAT LIKE SAND DAB."

Sex education: "DON'T EVER LET BOY KISS YOU. YOU DO, YOU CAN'T STOP. THEN YOU HAVE BABY. YOU PUT BABY IN GARBAGE CAN. POLICE FIND YOU, PUT YOU IN JAIL, THEN YOU LIFE OVER, BETTER JUST KILL YOURSELF."

When her father caught a rat in a trap: '''SEE,' my mother had soothed, 'NOW YOU NO LONGER BE SCARED WHAT WILL EAT YOU.'"

When a playmate died of cancer: "THIS WHAT HAPPEN WHEN YOU DON'T LISTEN TO MOTHER."


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Subject: RE: BS: Pessimist vs Optimist
From: Le Scaramouche
Date: 26 Jun 05 - 04:48 PM

A skoptimist is a bit like a pesso-optimist.


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Subject: RE: BS: Pessimist vs Optimist
From: beardedbruce
Date: 26 Jun 05 - 05:10 PM

Amos,

"100 years ago your life expectancy would have been around 60 instead of around 80. Your ability to communicate readily with others of your kind would have numbered in the tens, with a lag of hours or days; today you speak to hundreds in milliseconds. "


100 years ago- 1905

The telephone and movie had both been around for a generation or so.

A standard high school education would have included Latin, Greek, and a lot more of the social sciences than today.

I am not at all sure that anyone is listening to anyone else today, no matter how many you can "speak" to.

There are a number of people who feel that the perion 1905 to 1914 was the high point of Western culture. Think about what we have been through since then, and ask yourself if we are any better off.

Yes, we have a higher level of technology- but I seem to recall a lot of noise from the 60's on about how this is NOT such a good thing. Can you offset the environmental damage and lower quality of life by just a longer "average" lifespan, much of which is just due to a lower rate of infant mortality, and not a longer life?


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Subject: RE: BS: Pessimist vs Optimist
From: gnu
Date: 26 Jun 05 - 05:31 PM

No, more like a piss-offtomist. At work, I have to move men, money, machinery and time. Every day, it's : If you are just going to whine, piss off, get the fuck out of the way, and let me do it, becasue this job can be done and all you are doing is slowing things down. Same in life away from work.


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Subject: RE: BS: Pessimist vs Optimist
From: Joe Offer
Date: 26 Jun 05 - 05:52 PM

Mea culpa, John Hardly...
-Joe Democrat-


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Subject: RE: BS: Pessimist vs Optimist
From: Azizi
Date: 26 Jun 05 - 07:57 PM

"There are a number of people who feel that the period 1905 to 1914 was the high point of Western culture. Think about what we have been through since then, and ask yourself if we are any better off."

With regard to race relations/protections of the rights of persons of color-YES!!!

Though we have much work to do before we reach what I consider the worthy goal of living in a world where one's race and ethnicity is given no positive or negative valuation and there is no institutionalized racism.


Azizi Powell


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Subject: RE: BS: Pessimist vs Optimist
From: beardedbruce
Date: 26 Jun 05 - 08:09 PM

Azizi,

I will certainly concede that point.

But, the average person in 1910 would have had a higher rate of literacy, and not seen the horrors of WWI, the genocide of the Armenians, The Russian Revolution and the killing of tens of millions by Stalin in the thirties, the war against Franco, WWII and its slaughter of Jews, gypsies, and others, and the more recent genocides such as Cambodia, Rwanda, Uganda, and Sudan. As a whole, I would rather NOT be aware of the depths to which man can go. Looking at history, I cannot take an optimistic view that groups who say they hate me enough to want my death are going to just leave me alone- Who in 1910 would have had that opinion?


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Subject: RE: BS: Pessimist vs Optimist
From: beardedbruce
Date: 26 Jun 05 - 08:24 PM

1905-1914 was NOT a perfect time. Had I lived then, I would be dead now. BUT, there was an optimism for the future that I do not believe exists today.


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Subject: RE: BS: Pessimist vs Optimist
From: sixtieschick
Date: 26 Jun 05 - 08:31 PM

1905-1914: Corsets! Ouch!


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Subject: RE: BS: Pessimist vs Optimist
From: Ebbie
Date: 26 Jun 05 - 10:12 PM

"But, the average person in 1910 would have had a higher rate of literacy," BB

How does one person have a "higher rate" of literacy? If you mean there was a higher percentage of literacy in America in 1910 than there is now, the sentence makes better sense to me- but I question it. Is it true?


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Subject: RE: BS: Pessimist vs Optimist
From: beardedbruce
Date: 26 Jun 05 - 10:22 PM

I have to stand corrected. My prior source was not accurate... at least for the US.


http://www.census.gov/population/socdemo/education/p23-08.pdf


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Subject: RE: BS: Pessimist vs Optimist
From: akenaton
Date: 27 Jun 05 - 03:20 AM

Optimism doesn't make people happy.


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Subject: RE: BS: Pessimist vs Optimist
From: CarolC
Date: 27 Jun 05 - 11:38 AM

and not seen the horrors of WWI, the genocide of the Armenians, The Russian Revolution and the killing of tens of millions by Stalin in the thirties, the war against Franco, WWII and its slaughter of Jews, gypsies, and others, and the more recent genocides such as Cambodia, Rwanda, Uganda, and Sudan.

They would have seen the genocide and captivity of the indigenous peoples of what is now the United States, and many of them would also seen slavery in the "land of the free and home of the brave". And in the south, the "average" person who had been alive during slavery would have been a slave in their early life, since there were more slaves than free people in that part of the country.


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Subject: RE: BS: Pessimist vs Optimist
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 27 Jun 05 - 12:20 PM

A couple of comments. I had a friend for several years who was one of the worst pessimists I ever met. Her reasoning was that if she always prepared for the worst, then she'd be ready when it came. That seemed like a ridiculous attitude to me. First of all as I pointed out, 99% of the time when she was preparing for the worst, it didn't happen. The whole concept of "preparing" for the worst is somehow self-delusional to me, as well. She mostly dreaded the worst, and braced herself for it. In her eyes, I guess that was "preparing" for the worst. And how do you "prepare" for getting cancer, or having your baby or a parent die? In the meantime, my friend was depressed most of the time, because she was always anticipating the worst. I felt real compassion for her, and tried to encourage her, but she was dead set in her ways.

Maybe the best of choices is to be a realist. I think of that as someone who understands that good things happen to bad people, just as bad things happen to good people. And that a lot of times, things turn out better than we hoped for, just as sometimes they turn out far worse.

A remarkable book I'd strongly recommend, examines the underlying reasons why some people can find hope and meaning in circumstances that destroy others. It's Man's Search For Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl. Frankl brought a whole new approach to psychotherapy, now known as Logotherapy. At the core of his theory is the belief that man's primary motivational force is the search for meaning. He based much of his theory on observations made in a concentration camp during the holocaust. If you haven't read it, it's well worth the read.

Jerry (a realistic.. I like to think.. optomist)


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Subject: RE: BS: Pessimist vs Optimist
From: beardedbruce
Date: 27 Jun 05 - 01:50 PM

CarolC,

"And in the south, the "average" person who had been alive during slavery would have been a slave in their early life, since there were more slaves than free people in that part of the country. "

Not true. see 1850 census- ONLY Miss and S. Carolina had larger slave than free populations, and not by that many. Same in the 1860 census.


http://fisher.lib.virginia.edu/collections/stats/histcensus/


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Subject: RE: BS: Pessimist vs Optimist
From: beardedbruce
Date: 27 Jun 05 - 02:29 PM

1850- Slaves        Total Pop.                1860- Slaves        Total Pop.


Alabama        342,844                771,623                        435,080                984,201
Arkansas        47,100                209,897                        111,115                435,450
Delaware        2,290                91,532                        1,798                112,216
Florida                39,310                87,445                        61,745                140,424
Georgia                381,682                906,185                        462,198                1,057,286                
Kentucky        210,981                982,405                        225,483                1,155,684
Louisiana        244,809                517,762                        331,726                708,002
Maryland        90,368                583,034                        87,189                687,049
Mississippi        309,878                606,526                        436,631                791,305
Missouri                87,422                682,044                        114,931                1,182,012
New Jersey        236                489,555                        18                672,035
North Carolina        288,548                869,039                        331,059                992,622
South Carolina        384,984                668,507                        402,406                703,708
Tennessee        239,459                1,002,717                275,719                1,109,801
Texas                58,161                212,592                        182,566                604,215
Virginia                472,528                1.421,661                490,865                1,596,318
Kansas                                                        2                107,206
Nebraska                                                15                28,841


US as a whole        3,200,600        23,054,152


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Subject: RE: BS: Pessimist vs Optimist
From: beardedbruce
Date: 27 Jun 05 - 02:33 PM

oops- sorry about the tabs. The number of slaves listed above is far too many- but no good can come of using inaccurate statements when the true values are so easy to get on-line from reputable sources.


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Subject: RE: BS: Pessimist vs Optimist
From: jacqui.c
Date: 27 Jun 05 - 02:42 PM

Thread drift!:0)

Back to the subject of the thread. I can't agree that our wxperiences are what forms our outlook. I had an uncomfortable childhood and quite a lot of things which could be seen as rather disastrous since then but Kendall calls me Pollyana bexause I tend toward trying to find the positive in every situation. That's not something I am aware that I'm doing, it just comes naturally. I like to think that I am aware of the problems that might arise but choose not to dwell on them to the exclusion of all else. Life's too bloody short for that.

Maybe it had to do with the fact that my mother was one of the worst pessimists imaginable. When being taken on an all expenses paid holiday by a friend she complained that she would have to find spending money!


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Subject: RE: BS: Pessimist vs Optimist
From: Ebbie
Date: 27 Jun 05 - 03:42 PM

Put this on the wrong thread. I'll repeat myself here:

I like noting that optimist and to optimize have the same root. Optimize- to make it the best it can be.

What does the word 'pessiMIST' come from? Raining on one's parade? *G*


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Subject: RE: BS: Pessimist vs Optimist
From: CarolC
Date: 27 Jun 05 - 03:47 PM

Were the slaves in the census at that time being counted each as one full human, or did 1 slave = 3/4 (or whatever fraction they used) of a full human?

From your link, beardedbruce, 1860 census, counting only the states that can pretty indesputedly be counted as "the South"...

Free -
Slave -

Alabama - 529,121
Alabama - 435,080

Florida - 78,679
Florida - 61,745

Georgia - 595,088
Georgia - 462,198

Louisiana - 376,276
Louisiana - 331,726

Mississippi - 354,674
Mississippi - 436,631

North Carolina - 661,563
North Carolina - 331,059

South Carolina - 301,302
South Caronina - 402,406

Virginia - 1,105,453
Virginia - 490,865

If we assume that in this census 1 slave = 1 full human being, then you are correct on the numbers. But the 1860 census shows that out of a total population of 7,568,454 in the states listed above, 3,566,298 were slaves. That means that the slaves numberd only 217,929 less than half of the total population. I think, considering the numbers, we can say that the slaves in the south could very definitely be put in the category of "average" in terms of how many people were having what kinds of experiences during that time period. And of course, if they were not each being counted as a full human, it's very possible that the number of slaves did indeed exceed the numbers of free people.


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Subject: RE: BS: Pessimist vs Optimist
From: beardedbruce
Date: 27 Jun 05 - 03:55 PM

You ignore Arkansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Tennesee and Texas. I think you will find they are part of the indesputable South, even if you do want to ignore Maryland as too far north. I looked at the individual states for my numbers.

And if they were each being counted as more than a full human, they would be even more a minority. If you have evidence that the census used the fractional person count, I would like to see it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Pessimist vs Optimist
From: CarolC
Date: 27 Jun 05 - 04:00 PM

I think if you ask the people in states you've listed, most of them will tell you that they are not a part of the South, with the possible exception of Tennessee.

There was a law for some period of time that made a slave only a fraction of a human. I don't remember where and when or how much. I'll have to look it up.


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