Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Interesting, but indeed fuzzy. Though I agree we have a basic personality, call it a temperament, in which the optimism/pessimism spectrum is a major component, I feel people who come here know themselves enough to situate their natural bent and compensate for it.

I think a lot of people on this site are constitutionally unhappy or pessimistic. That is not necessarily a bad thing when it comes to analysis (see below) but it is a problem when it comes to action. Often success requires an unreasonable degree of optimism and self-confidence, and the ability to sustain it for long periods of time.

Success is perhaps easier to achieve with an unreasonable degree of optimism and self-confidence, and the ability to sustain it for long periods of time, (Sarkozy won), but it doesn't make success inevitable (Royal lost).

And I don't think the down feelings are entirely constitutional. There's an explanation there that you rightly relate to the myth of individual success in the rat race (ie the overconfident rats are getting screwed by the fat cats - overconfidence doesn't necessarily win 2). Circumstances matter too. Internet may be a new means of communication that allows for encounters and networking that surprise and delight us, it doesn't change the fact that we are atoms, one (or two) people on a terminal with a real life to live and often a fight to do that. The kind of task we see ahead is huge. It certainly calls for optimism (if you're really a pessimist, why bother?), and a degree of self-confidence is a sine qua non (can't do anything without it), but how much more optimism and confidence would we have if we had all the time we needed and the technical and financial means to work together (meaning more physical meeting and collaboration)! Whereas in fact we're each in her/is small corner, and what needs to be understood and thought is so colossal we get despondent.

What will come, will come because we care about it and it occupies our thoughts. It will come by bursts, appearing spontaneously rather than by conscious effort (though that doesn't mean there are no conscious efforts to be made!). There will be plateaus, deserts to plod through, but there'll be leafy oases.

So I wax lyrical. Pessimist, me?

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri May 25th, 2007 at 07:22:22 AM EST
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