1. Lazy_Otaku271
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    Lazy_Otaku271 New Member

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    Wouldn't you like to know.

    Pessimists Vs. Realists

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Lazy_Otaku271, Mar 12, 2011.

    I'm sure you have all hear the old phrase "I'm not being pessimistic, I'm being realistic." But where is this imaginary line truly drawn? When does looking at a situation take a pessimistic turn rather than a realist turn?

    Personally, I believe that pessimism starts when you start applying Murphy's Law to the situation. Murphy's Law of course states that anything that can go wrong will. Sure, realistically odds are that not everything is going to go right. One or two things are bound to be off in any situation, but when you start calculating for even the most unlikely mistakes than you are taking a pessimistic turn. This is my thought.

    How about the rest of you guys. When do think the line between realistic and pessimistic has been crossed?
     
  2. Cornys
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    Cornys Member

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    It's all about the function of the mind which you cannot see unless you are the thinker. A realisit analizes the situation and, based on that, makes an assumption. A pessimist just automaticaly syas it's going wrong.

    That's how I see it.
     
  3. Pallas
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    Pallas Contributing Member Contributor

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    The pessimist is the realist that just went too far; its a matter of moderation.
     
  4. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    To me, it's like this. A pessimist looks at bad odds and says "I can't win." A realist looks at bad odds and says "I might win. Not likely, but I might." The realist knows that things don't look good, but still fights to win. The pessimist thinks everything is already lost, and concedes defeat.
     
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  5. Pallas
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    Pallas Contributing Member Contributor

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    I will note that being at the other side of the spectrum, as hyper optimistic is also self defeating, unlike the power of positive thinking purists will have one believe.
     
  6. Ellipse
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    Ellipse Contributing Member Contributor

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    Evolution doesn't favor pessimism. If one choice doesn't work, find a better one. :rolleyes:
     
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  7. art
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    art Contributing Member Contributor

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    Does it work quite so simply? Nature respects effective actions. Effective actions are often the result of reflection, brooding and thinking....Pessimists - those who have not succumbed to defeatism - tend do a lot of those things.
     
  8. w176
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    w176 Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think the line to a pessimist is drawn when it becomes an impairment, getting in the way of getting results and doing stuff.
     
  9. nhope
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    nhope Contributing Member Reviewer

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    The optimist claims we live in the best of all possible worlds, and the pessimist fears this is true. -James Branch Cabell
     
  10. chacotaco91
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    chacotaco91 Senior Member

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    I'm very often called a pessimist, and I'm starting to become suspicous of the whole thing. Our whole society is ridiculously over-optimistic in my opinion, probably having something to do with the decline of Christianity and the dawn of "new age" philosophy.

    I feel like things like plague and wars were once considered the accepted rule, the norm. Now were supposed to be all aghast at a car crash or a war, like its such a break from normality.

    I find vastly more comfort and contentment when I'm reminded of things like fate, the power of chance, and the many inherently unhappy things about life.

    However, why so many pessimists are probably depressed this day and age is that were so out of fashion. We're constantly bombarded since day 1 in kindergarden that you can "do anything you want, be anything you want to be if you work hard enough!"

    That with "only the right attitude and Oprah's new self help book and yoga CD you can unlock your inner drive to succeed!"

    That's the problem with the meritocracy of the western world. It tells you that you can be anything. Once you don't become what you dreamed, it gives you no one to blame but yourself.

    Anybody agree that Self-Help books are probably the most depressing out there? It tells you anybody can do it. I'm tired of hearing stories of fat, single guys who lose 50 pounds and become millionaires with some philosophy they made up that involves mediation and a whole grain diet or something. I'm tired of always watching T.V. and having to constantly be told every little lick of information of someone who had extreme success in business/sports/entertainment.

    Look up Alain De botton's lecture on Pessimism, he really sums up the problem with the New Age human potential/self-help movement that is like a plague on our society.
     
  11. Eunoia
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    Eunoia Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think pessimists automatically think negatively about everything. They won't be dissuaded from this, and always assume that the worst will happen without really thinking about it.

    As for realists, I think they weigh out what is most likely to happen, the most probable outcome, and from that they can either be positive or negative about things based on this probability.
     
  12. sidtvicious
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    sidtvicious Contributing Member Contributor

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    “Optimist: Person who travels on nothing from nowhere to happiness” -Twain.
     
  13. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    This sounds like sour grapes. I mean, maybe you can't be anything, but you do have to take responsibility for what you do become. And if you don't like what you've become, you really do have no one to blame but yourself.

    If a self-help book tells me I can be President or the Pope or an astronaut or Mr. Universe, I just don't believe it. But be aware that the self-help book isn't just written for you, it's for everybody. Maybe some reader CAN become President or Mr. Universe.

    But if your expectations are reasonable, you should be able to achieve your goals. It may take a ton of work, but you shouldn't go around trying to blame others for your failure.
     
  14. Pallas
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    Pallas Contributing Member Contributor

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    Actually blaming others seems like a perfectly reasonable reaction to a system of meritocracy. I mean when you are successful you only see one side; you cannot see that person that lost for your gain; of course through no fault of either. It is the a rational reaction to an irrational system.
     
  15. Ellipse
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    Ellipse Contributing Member Contributor

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    Well, I'll use human civilization as an example. Reflection and thinking are not qualities reserved to a pessimist or optimist.

    A pessimist is one who sees only the negative in life. As the saying goes, they know this is the best of all possible worlds, and it is a bad place. Therefore, why strive for anything at all? Why fall in love? Why do anything other than die?

    They are not the ones that dare to make history or achievement victory when all others would fail. They see no reason to.
     
  16. HorusEye
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    HorusEye Contributing Member Contributor

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    When a situation could lead to both good and bad, the pessimist sees only the bad outcome possible or likely, the optimist sees only the good one, and the realist recognizes both, prepares for the bad but hopes for the best.
     
  17. art
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    art Contributing Member Contributor

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    You seem to be ignoring the other side of that coin. Pessimists act too. They are not paralysed by doubt. Pessimism is as much a prompt to action as optimism.

    Consider a scenario where Peter Pessimism and Oliver Optimism share the same rather dismal living circumstances. Oliver thinks things will improve and so stays put; Peter thinks things will get worse so moves on (or up). To characterize pessimists as those who will undertake no new enterprise is to push the definition to an extremity where it ceases to be usable, useful or at all in sympathy with common understanding.
     
  18. Halcyon
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    Halcyon Contributing Member Contributor

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    I personally practise a healthy pessimism. I am confident of my own capabilities, but put little blind faith in the rest of the world. I expect the worst from them, and if it comes to pass, I am prepared, whilst if they actually perform beyond my expectations, then I am happy.

    It's not a negative mindset, merely one that encourages me to do as much as possible for myself, and not rely too heavily on others. :)
     
  19. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    Sometimes the pessimist in the group can be useful because they'll point out potential obstacles that none of the eager-beaver optimists thought of. With these obstacles brought to light, we can figure out how to handle them, and the plan will be stronger in the end. However, I really hate dealing with people who are so stubborn in insisting "we can never win," "it won't happen," "it's gonna suck," etc that they go out of their way to debate anyone who is hopeful about it and make fun of the optimists.
     

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