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aries1988 : optimism   4

Reflections from Spain - Econlib

The quickest way to explain Spain to an American: Spain is the California of Europe.  I grew up in Los Angeles, and often found myself looking around and thinking, “This could easily be California.”  The parallel is most obvious for geography – the deserts, the mountains, the coasts.  But it’s also true architecturally; the typical building in Madrid looks like it was built in California in 1975.  And at least in summer, the climates of Spain and California match closely.  Spain’s left-wing politics would also resonate with Californians, but Spain doesn’t seem very leftist by European standards.  Indeed, Spaniards often told me that their parents remain staunch Franco supporters.
espagna  europe  economy  immigration  opinion  travel  optimism  spanish 
4 weeks ago by aries1988
Steven Pinker: The Disconnect Between Pessimism and Optimism | Time

It’s not that people are naturally glum. On the contrary, they tend to see their lives through rosetinted glasses: they say they are happy, their schools are good, their neighborhoods are safe and that they are less likely than the average person to become the victim of an accident, a disease, a layoff or crime.

But when people are asked about their countries, they switch from Pollyanna to Eeyore: everyone else is miserable, they insist, and the world is going to hell in a handcart.

Most positive developments are not camera-friendly, and they aren’t built in a day. You never see a headline about a country that is not at war, or a city that has not been attacked by terrorists–or the fact that since yesterday, 180,000 people have escaped extreme poverty.

A quantitative mind-set, despite its nerdy aura, is not just a smarter way to understand the world but the morally enlightened one. It treats every human life as equal, rather than privileging the people who are closest to us or most photogenic. And it holds out the hope that we might identify the causes of our problems and thereby implement the measures that are most likely to solve them.
optimism  pessimism  history  mindset  enlightenment  perception  society  mentality  people  idea  development 
february 2018 by aries1988
Hans Rosling, physician and statistician, 1948-2017

Rosling, who has died aged 68, was the closest thing statisticians had to a rock star. His most famous talk, 2006’s The Best Stats You’ve Ever Seen, has been watched online more than 11m times. Its ambitious scope and sweeping narrative epitomised Rosling’s ability to rise above the ebb and flow of current affairs and see generational trends.

It led him to conclude that on most measures of human progress — the impact of climate change being a notable exception — most countries were improving rapidly.

Public perceptions had not kept up with the pace of economic and demographic development and much of the media was hobbled by its adherence to false balance, he said. The world is discussed in terms of feelings and ideologies rather than as an area of knowledge, he once told the Financial Times.
leader  statistics  communication  science  world  data  debate  politics  ideology  optimism  explained  population 
december 2017 by aries1988
Your Optimism Bias: One of the Best and Worst Tricks Your Brain Plays on You
By nature, we're optimistic. We think we're better than most people at virtually everything we do. We believe we'll beat the odds of getting cancer even when we smoke a pack of cigarettes a week. This is the result of our optimism bias, and it both helps us succeed and make some of the dumbest decisions of our lives. Here's how it works, and how you can make it work for you. More »
http://www.instapaper.com/read/288777571
optimism  fail  human  brain  bias 
may 2012 by aries1988

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