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Posts tagged "Pessimism"

It Could Be Worse: The False Gospel of Optimism (and Pessimism) – Carrie Willard

In this talk from our annual conference in New York City, Carrie Willard discusses the pitfalls of wearing rose-colored glasses when life gets hard. Topics include pleasantly surprised pessimists, the tyranny of positive thinking, Psalm 89, and Steel Magnolias. Has to be the most delightful talk out there about worst-case scenarios:

It Could Be Worse: The False Gospel of Optimism (and Pessimism) – Carrie Willard from Mockingbird on Vimeo.

For Those We Love, A Healthy Dose of Pessimism

Alain de Botton explains why we are cruelest to the ones we are closest to. Most of it has to do with the fact that we have such devastatingly high expectations for them to meet our devastatingly deep neediness. A section on “Pessimism” from The School of Life’s book, Relationships.  No one can disappoint and upset […]

Another Week Ends: Gucci Addictions, Narcissism Epidemics, DFW, Phone vs. Heart, PZ on Drones (on CNN), R. Crumb, Tale of Two Suedes, and Kung Fu Grandpa

1. The author of the original Friday Night Lights, Buzz Bissinger, dropped as offbeat and not-quite-repentant a tale of addiction on GQ this month as I have ever come across. A convergence of shopping and sex addiction rooted in Law-induced despair (never being able to measure up to initial success) and plain old powerlessness, the […]

When Schopenhauer Met Osteen

What can I say? We try our best to avoid easy targets (or “targets” period) on here, but Book Forum’s recent “Hope Against Schope”, in which Kerry Howley imagines a dialogue between prosperity posterboy Joel Osteen and 19th century German pessimist extraordinaire Arthur Schopenhauer, was just too inspired/hilarious to resist, especially in light of John […]

Another Week Ends: Recovering Francis, Present Shock, Silicon Valley Solutionists vs Pessimistic Germans, Internal Gutters, The Pull, iPhone Police and Steve Brown

1. Not knowing much (at all) about Pope Francis, maybe you were as pleasantly surprised as I was to read David Brooks’ irenic column about “How Movements Recover”, in which he articulated a philosophy and approach quite near and dear to this mocking-heart: Augustine [of Hippo], as his magisterial biographer Peter Brown puts it, “was […]

Imagine No Religion: Wait. Scratch That. Imagine a Secular Religion

Swiss writer/thinker Alain de Botton has been making the rounds with his new book Religion for Atheists: A Non-believer’s Guide to the Uses of Religion in which he revisits the French Revolution attempt to create a ‘secular religion.’ Meaning, he rejects the New Atheist tendency to dismiss religion altogether, instead choosing to highlight a few […]

To School Oneself in the Art of Loving

Brilliant! A preview of his recent book, The Uses of Pessimism: And the Danger of False Hope, finds philosopher Roger Scruton defending negative thinking. He makes the connection that we are most interested in, namely, that a “pessimistic” view of human potential is a necessity if one is to love another person, that even if […]