eXTReMe Tracker WARNING: The opinions expressed and linked to in this blog are not necessarily mine (anymore).

My ideas are constantly changing as I learn. Sometimes they even change midway through writing a post.

Saturday, April 8


Optimism or pessimism shouldn't properly be tied to specific views about economics or psychology. Some reasons for optimism are (1) fallibility - a person's understanding is likely extremely incomplete or wrong, so at any moment more information may help uncover a new good solution (2) creativity - this might be essentiall the same as coming up with new information or a more complete understanding, but I'm thinking of it as looking at the situation from a different perspective completely. One might be looking at the same information with a different hypothesis/theory (3) pessimism might keep one from trying to find or recognizing a solution.

I suppose the last might not be a reason for optimism so much as a reason to remain open to being wrong about pessimism if it were just a matter of recognizing a solution. It's been my experience, though, that my chances of finding a good solution is highly dependent on whether I really look for one. A weird other factor is that I tend to think of a good solution after I've finally fully accepted my bad solution and it worked "ok" but not as well as I would have liked. I suspect that I start out thinking a problem can't be solved and the immediacy of the problem is occupying my mind. Even a bad solution eases stress and frees up my mind enough to really explore those other possibilities, and I'm just stubborn enough to keep looking even after the problem is (badly) solved. It can be frustrating, but luckily the solutions often turn out to be reusable for other situations.

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