Tag Archives | Optimism

The Gods are Dicks (or maybe not), Or: What the Super Bowl Can Teach Us About the Joys of Pessimism

Well, that’s it. It’s all over now. The end of another American football season. Can’t say it was consequential in any meaningful way, but amongst serious thinkers, such diversions are often times woefully underappreciated (while being simultaneously overappreciated by the masses). Oh, sure, they’re ok with “art”–usually of the boring, pretentious, sterile, ultimately of the unchallenged and unchallenging caliber–but serious thinkers are almost invariably dismissive of art in motion. Living Art. Nee: athletic achievement. Athletes, at their best, are spontaneously acting out, on impromptu stages, many of the myths, legends, heroic and tragic archetypes that most artists only think they’re channelling. “Poetry in motion” may be a cliche, but it is so for a good reason. Athletic achievement at its best is very Zen. It’s like a good haiku, or a koan. Fifteen hundred years ago, when a monk asked Zhao Zhou if a dog had Buddha nature, Zhao Zhou replied–legendarily–with “Mu.” (Literally “no,” or “without,” but meaning so much more in the context in which the question was asked.… Read the rest

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Do Depressed People Simply Suffer From An Accurate View Of Reality?

Wikipedia on depressive realism, the theory that those with depression are free from the “optimism bias” that skews most people’s perception of the world:

Depressive realism is the proposition that people with depression actually have a more accurate perception of reality, specifically that they are less affected by positive illusions of illusory superiority and optimism bias.

Studies by psychologists Alloy and Abramson (1979) and Dobson and Franche (1989) suggested that depressed people appear to have a more realistic perception of their importance, reputation, locus of control, and abilities than those who are not depressed.

Depressed people may be less likely to have inflated self-images and see the world through “rose-colored glasses” thanks to cognitive dissonance elimination and a variety of other defense mechanisms that allow [individuals] to ignore or otherwise look beyond the harsh realities of life.

This does not necessarily imply that a specific happy person is delusional nor deny that some depressed individuals may be unrealistically negative.

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