Friday, October 28, 2011

Optimism & Pessimism

In response to my depressing polar bears blog, I was given the question: "About what am I optimistic and pessimistic?" (inspired by a Marginal Revolution article). Question's a good one.

To frame the discussion, optimism is “a disposition or tendency to look on the more favourable side of events or conditions and to expect the most favourable outcome”. Pessimism is “the tendency to see, anticipate, or emphasize only bad or undesirable outcomes”.

1. As I expressed before, I am pessimistic about climate change. However, I am optimistic about the increased awareness of environmental issues and green living –such as the 100-mile diet, eco-transport, eco-audits etc. The cynic in me says it may be too little too late, but it is a positive development nonetheless.

2. I am pessimistic about current trends in criminal justice legislation in Canada. But I am optimistic that reason will prevail in the long term. Additionally, I am optimistic about increased global awareness of human rights and believe such awareness and mobilization will be a key factor in turning the tide in our approach to offenders and crime.

3. I am optimistic about science and research developments with regards to medical technology. Where I have concerns is with regards to how well our ethics keep pace with developments and the impacts of medical developments on human relationships (i.e. the implications of enabling a woman to give birth to sextuplets or of extending human life without being able to ensure quality of life).

4. I am optimistic about my daughter’s future. She has the world before her. That said, as for any parent, there are plenty of fears and concerns.

5. Despite bumps and detours in the road, I am optimistic that my career will advance, in some shape or form. I am also striving to be an optimist that I will become a published writer.

6. I am pessimistic about Canadian politics but encouraged by current grassroots mobilizations (i.e. Occupy Wall Street).

7. I am pessimistic about increasing media consumption – especially passive, uncritical consumption. I’m also pessimistic about the increase in time spent on media consumption as compared to the decrease amount of time spent on face-to-face conversations, outdoor activities, etc.

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