Optimists, Pessimists, Pollys and Doomers

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Let me first define what my concept of a optimist is. An optimist is someone with sufficient confidence that he/she predicts relatively positive outcomes no matter how bad the present cirmcumstances are. I know a successful business owner who has headed for the hills due to y2k. He is a doomer in one respect but he has already started two businesses and he's getting excited about all the investment opportunities that he sees from his new perspective.

He is using his y2k preparations to educate his children and he has used y2k to created a closer relationship with his spouse. But he is a doomer in the sense that he is preparing for the worst. He also happens to be the most optimistic person I know. His default mode is to be prepared for the worst and to out-create any adversity whic which he is faced.

I also have a polly in my family. She is not preparing. She always smiling and she believes what she hears on TV and believes the banks. But from my view she is a pessimist. Why? Because she doesn't take control of her future. She shees her future as something others create and she has confidence that her husband, her president, her banker, and all those around her will keep creating the wonderful environment that they have always created for her. She is apathetic about what she can cause by herself. If her environment around her fell apart I am positive she would claim that it won't last long and it will all be back to normal soon.

I see the doomer Big Dog as a optimist in the finest sense of the word. I see Flint as an optimist. I see Sysman as an optimist. Big Dog reminds me to prepare and that has real value to me. Flint reminds us of our faulty logic and we all become stronger. I often don't like what he says becuase he finds fault in my reasoning but he makes me grow and Expand. Sysman is one tough SOB who thinks on his own; someone to respect.

I can tell a pessimist by seeing how hungry they are to be massaged by the opinions of others. They are not only opinion hungry from lack of confidence; they are opinion starved from a lack of their own point of view. They are looking for a right answer when in reality their are hundreds of approaches that are just fine.

For the most part, the folks on this forum are great. You see adversity and you are doing something about it. I feel that many, many of you are optimists despite what others have said about you. Next time you feel offended for being a doomer, remember that if you are taking action and controlling your future then you are an optimist in the best sense of the word.

-- Tomcat (tomcat@cat.com), May 01, 1999


IMHO, if there is, at this late date, anybody that cannot see the train wreck coming, it is time to pray for them.

-- SCOTTY (BLehman202@aol.com), May 01, 1999.


A very interesting way to break the code. You've moved beyond the stuck position that so many have become trapped in. Good for you. A rose by any other name.......well, you know the rest. There is an interested thought I ran across somewhere, "The truth is a lie that has yet to be exposed." Anyone know where *that* came from?

-- Gordon (gpconnolly@aol.com), May 01, 1999.

Very good summary. Another take on this... the pessimist sez it can't be any worse; the optimist sez yes, it can! :-)

-- lgj (ramblings@boydweb.com), May 01, 1999.


First, you erect a strawman; next, you pummel it to death ...

I think I'll define an "optimist" as "anyone who eats at least three servings of rye bread per day and/or has testified to Congress at least once."

No telling where I could go with that one.

Gordon: "the truth is a lie that has yet to be exposed." Be careful, that snake bites BOTH ways. Y2K Doom and Gloom is the lie, it's being exposed as we speak, and you refuse to see it.

... which brings to mind another old saying: "there is none so blind as he who refuses to see." :)

I hereby call for an official flip on the terms "GI" and "DGI." It is the DOOMERS who "Don't Get It" nowdays, not the optimists/pollys/ [whatever label you want to assign to us this week].

-- Stephen M. Poole, CET (smpoole7@bellsouth.net), May 01, 1999.

Tomcat --- this is an excellent post. Thank you, not so much for including me but because it is a fresh way to look at some of the PEOPLE on this board. Not only true of Flint or Sysman, obviously, but so many others that could be named. Even though I will continue to flight Flint at times to the rhetorical death because he is so infuriationg, he is someone I would invite to my bug-out shelter quite happily (as I've posted before).

Poole --- Others smarter than me will have to answer you. I'm honestly dumbfounded by your response, especially in the context of this particular thread, which is about as good-spirited and broadly intended about life, not just Y2K, as one can get. Check out that chip on the shoulder, bub, before it crushes you to the ground.

"An optimist is someone with sufficient confidence that he/she predicts relatively positive outcomes no matter how bad the present cirmcumstances are." Yes, exactly. Wickedly evil though man can be to man, this has been proven throughout history. Helps survival chances too, but you can't fake it. Optimism, in the end, comes from a deeply held world view (let's not go there in this thread).

The reason preparation never hurts but only helps optimists is perfectly illustrated by your example above. What has the doomer who headed for the hills "lost"? It's all about gain, isn't it, no matter where Y2K falls on the scale, whether 1 to IFM.

-- BigDog (BigDog@duffer.com), May 01, 1999.

Pollyannaism, optimism, pessimism and doomisms are event specific, and relative to ones changing attitudes. [Not to mention, interactions with ones relatives ... ;-D ]

Just be sure to pay attention to the flips, of the flop, in your life.

Balance in all things ... forums too.


-- Diane J. Squire (sacredspaces@yahoo.com), May 01, 1999.

There are pessimists who will take an umbrella when there is not a cloud in the sky and optimists who will refuse to carry an umbrella even as the storm clouds are rising -- -THEN there are those of a third kind the best among the human specie. The REALISTS...these will carry an umbrella when rain threatens and will not when the weather is fine.

Realism is if you will the only positive state. Optimism and pessimism are both illusions. Realists are tired of the American dream... they seek a realization of the dream the Great American Reality. Until then they will keep making ready and prepare for the only thing needful.


-- Zorro (Z@ZZZ.net), May 01, 1999.

I'd like to talk more about optimism as Tomcat defines it, expanding the discussion to what happens next if Y2K problems turn out to be serious and long lasting. Could the momentum from the changes wrought be Y2K be used to create a better place to live than what we now have? What might happen if one of the worst case scenarios came about. Say, the oil refineries go down and have to be completely rebuilt which could take years--long enough to deplete supplies of any stored petroleum products.

-- Gal Gardner (altamira@ecpi.com), May 01, 1999.

Dang it, I pushed some button or other and my message got sent before I was finished. And now I've run short of time. I'll have to continue this later. But one thing I can say quickly: the businessman who invests in, say, extra food and water purifiers with the intent of selling them for a profit later when there are shortages should be praised as a hero. He or she is allowing people to eat and drink who otherwise would have starved.

-- Gal Gardner (altamira@ecpi.com), May 01, 1999.

Gal Gardener,

That's why I optimistically think a garden and mountain bicycle ... are good things! ;-D

Y2K has completely caused me to re-evaluate how I choose to live ... and create.


-- Diane J. Squire (sacredspaces@yahoo.com), May 01, 1999.

A wonderful post Tomcat....I hope that I am one of those optimists...".oh, hell, why be modest, Taz...you KNOW you are!" And Diane, balance is the key. Hubby and I have the skills and the tools for surviving. We have "been there done that". And right now I am enjoying immensley my life of leisure in Florida. I enjoy my creature comforts like only one who has gone without them can enjoy. All the more reason for me to prepare. I want the least disruption of my current life style that I can possibly have with this y2k. But IF I HAVE TOO, I can pull out all the old skills and tricks and go on with life. But DAMN, I would like to go on in that little red truck!!!


-- Taz (Tassie @aol.com), May 01, 1999.

Good post,Tomcat. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

My opinion is:

BOTH THE DOOMERS and THE POLLYS are wrong. Y2K is not a black or a white issue. It is more like a thousand shades of gray, some very, very dark if they come true.

It really doesn't matter whether Y2K is real or not:

1. If enough people take actions. Recent polls I see suggest about 35% plan to take substantial cash out of the bank PRIOR to 01/01/2000 JUST IN CASE.

2. Many corporations are building inventory JUST IN CASE.

3. There is an anti-trust suit against several BIG Wall Street (allegedly Goldman Sachs is a major defendent in the suit) - the suit claims that the BIG money has been manipulating Gold prices by borrowing gold and selling gold short which keeps the prices down and generates revenue for the shorts to use to cover other derivative sales. This suit has the attention of Congress - Senator Jim Paxton is holding meetings to investigate. If TRUE, gold shorts will have to be covered in near future.

4. US and Global entities (corporate and government) are spending Billions. The exact amount may be open to analysis and debate, but the sum being spent will have little to negative impact on corporate profitability or improved govt services.


The reason I disagree with TEOFTWAWKI are:

1. We should get something for the Billions spent. I hope and pray it is not all for waste.

2. Mankind will not forget how to build new plant and equipment. My local power company has a new coal fired generator under construction with a scheduled completion date of June 2000.

3. The mega megers taking place today should have a long term benefit by creating a surviving company. Perhaps 1+1 will be less than 2 BUT I am confident it will be greater than 0.

The reasons I disagree with the Pollys are:

Even without Y2K I believe we are in for a ROUGH ride and prident PREPARATIONS are warranted.

Just my two cents. ;-)

-- Bill P (porterwn@one.net), May 01, 1999.


How about, "In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is King!" Actually, you are right. These swords cut both ways. Sometimes I think we get down to the level of kids games, yelling at each other, "you're stupid, no you're stupid." It happens all the time in many areas of intense opinion. Y2k is only the latest and greatest example. BTW, I was happy to see you have made a decision to both get out of the apartment and buy a generator. I hear that a bunch of electric power management folks are doing the same thing! ;-)

-- Gordon (gpconnolly@aol.com), May 01, 1999.

Gordon, thanks for your remarks about breaking the code associated with our own fixed ideas. I feel that this is the essence of this forum. Yes, it is great to read something that mimics our reality but it is stimulating as hell to grow from someone who gives you a new point of view.

Cannus Maximus. Yes, it is all about gain. I bet if a pole was taken of the regulars here it would reveal the fact that Y2k has truley enhanced their survival potential. That is winning in my book.

Diane, thanks for the balance you bring to this forum.

Gal, your idea is great and probably deserves and independent thread. You are an example of what I spoke about. As soon as you look at possible rough times ahead you are immediately looking at how life could be enhanced.

Taz, you are one of those folks with the confidence that will get you through anything. You are tough and an inspiration.

If one re-reads the last part of Bill's post you can see the positive that he sees despite the negative with which he is confronted. Damn great group!

I would like to close by saying that I have both sides, optimism and pessimism, built into my psyc. Somehow, when I read the posts here I feel more optimistic and less pessimistic. I then prepare more and grow. It is beyond me how others can call us doomers. But, lets accept the label and keep on helping oneanother grow, prepare and prosper no matter what the future holds!

-- Tomcat (tomcat@cat.com), May 02, 1999.


Well said! If there is one thing I do feel certain about regarding Y2k it is that an attitude of pulling together and helping each other will be the difference. It was spotted early on, that trying to go it alone, hide out, just will not be the answer after the first few days/weeks. Even Cory's infamous Dragon Ranch is being set up as a *ranch* that will house others and bring their skills together.

-- Gordon (gpconnolly@aol.com), May 02, 1999.


In thinking about what I just said above regarding bringing our talents together, perhaps another way to say it is, *pooling* our abilities/assets. Pool? Poole? Stephen, you aren't by any chance planning on getting out of that apartment and moving to the Dragon Ranch, are you? And bringing your own generator would be your initial contribution? If that's the case, you would be well advised to make your peace with Cory, because while he isn't the CEO at Dragon Ranch, I suspect he will be on the *board* and voting on new members! ;-)

-- Gordon (gpconnolly@aol.com), May 02, 1999.

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