A friend of mine recently turned me on to a great book: We Are Doomed – Reclaiming Conservative Pessimism by John Derbyshire. I am totally in sync with this guy. I like the use of phrases like “idiot optimism” and “tragic consequences always follow unbridled optimism”.
Let’s encourage more people to be homeowners by eliminating down payments and creating interest only loans! What could go wrong? Housing prices ALWAYS rise!
I’ve received a couple of requests to republish only one post in all these years – the post on realistic thinking. I think pessimism is properly called realism. I think many pessimistic people are generally happy, as long as their pessimism doesn’t slide to depression or obsessive worrying (which I admit I can slide to if not vigilant). I expect things to get goofed up, so when they don’t, or if they don’t screw up to the extent I expect, I’m pretty happy with the result.
His book is largely political, but his philosophy of realistic thinking instead of “sticking-your-head-in-the-sand” optimism applies to many areas in life.