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jerryking : pessimism   8

The last days of the middle-class world citizen
October 3, 2019 | Financial Times | Janan Ganesh.
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what I think Janan Ganesh is talking about; the divide between the globally mobile elite and the locally restricted peasantry is getting increasingly stark, and the middle class is being hollowed out.
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'10s  Big_Tech  climate_change  decline  deglobalization  disposable_income  downward_mobility  dystopian_futures  frictions  future  globalization  Janan_Ganesh  lifestyles  middle_class  millennials  pessimism  societal_choices  subtractive  The_One_Percent  thought-provoking  travel 
october 2019 by jerryking
Overcoming adversity: In the footsteps of polar explorer Shackleton
December 22, 2018 | Financial Times | by Sarah Gordon.

In 2013 Tim Jarvis, an adventurer and environmental scientist, re-enacted Sir Ernest Shackleton’s 1916 epic journey, sailing a replica of his boat 1,500km across the Southern Ocean from Antarctica, where Shackleton’s men were stranded for more than a year, to South Georgia island, then climbing over its mountainous interior to the site of the whaling station where Shackleton finally found help.....Mr Jarvis’ team used the same rudimentary equipment, clothing, rations and technology as had been used a century earlier......Jarvis' Shackleton expedition, like the original, hit numerous hurdles:
(1) loss of a sponsor;
(2) a gruelling sea leg of their journey, navigating storms and treacherous currents to reach South Georgia;
(3) three of the six team members had trench foot and some frostbite and were unable to embark on the next phase, the mountain climb across the island.

Jarvis coped by “trying to take a leaf out of Shackleton’s book”, keeping people busy, staying completely focused himself and “not even entertaining” the thought of stopping. He and the other lead climber, former Marine Baz Gray, isolated themselves in order to stop others’ negativity clouding their judgment before tackling the mountains ahead. There were no rows, says Mr Jarvis, but there were tears......“If you feel that at some level the risk and the fear are worth it, you will overcome it.”.....Choosing the right team for a challenge as extreme as this required unorthodox methods. For Mr Jarvis, the best team is about people whose skills complement one another rather than just the best individuals. But he also needed to make sure that team members could really do what they said they could....You don't want “employees”. “When the chips are down, you want someone who feels that they’ve invested a lot in [the expedition] and it’s theirs . . . ”Jarvis believes the expedition taught him how to set a positive example, how to recognise which buttons to press to get people to apply themselves more, and how to deal with “multi-dimensional” challenges, not just physical, but reputational and financial. “On the sea I wasn’t the best sailor. On the land I wasn’t the best climber. All you’ve got is your leadership, your conviction that you can pull it off, your bloody-minded determination to continue.”
adversity  Antartica  Ernest_Shackleton  expeditions  explorers  leadership  multidimensional  negativity_bias  obstacles  pessimism  teams  re-enactments  selection_processes  South_Pole  torchbearers  unorthodox 
december 2018 by jerryking
Robocalypse Now? Central Bankers Argue Whether Automation Will Kill Jobs - The New York Times
By JACK EWING JUNE 28, 2017

artificial intelligence threatens broad categories of jobs previously seen as safe from automation, such as legal assistants, corporate auditors and investment managers. Large groups of people could become obsolete, suffering the same fate as plow horses after the invention of the tractor.

“More and more, we are seeing economists saying, ‘This time could be different,’”......among the economists in Sintra there was plenty of skepticism about whether the Robocalypse is nigh......Robocalypse advocates underestimate the power of scientific advances to beget more scientific advances, said Joel Mokyr, a professor at Northwestern University who studies the history of economics.....Hal Varian, the chief economist at Google — whose self-driving technology may someday make taxi drivers unnecessary — said that the plunging cost of information technology “has virtually eliminated the fixed cost of entering a business.” Companies can rent software and computing power over the internet..... disruptions caused by technology help account for rampant pessimism among working-class and middle-class people across the developed world.
artificial_intelligence  automation  Benjamin_Bernanke  central_banks  David_Autor  developing_countries  economists  fixed_costs  Hal_Varian  job_destruction  job_displacement  job_loss  Joel_Mokyr  pessimism 
june 2017 by jerryking
Why You Will Marry the Wrong Person
MAY 28, 2016 | The New York Times | By ALAIN de BOTTON.

We all fear marrying the wrong person...Partly, it’s because we have many latent problems that emerge when we try to get close to others (we seem normal only to those who don’t know us very well. In a wiser, more self-aware society, a standard question on any early dinner date would be: “And how are you crazy?”)....The problem is that before marriage, we rarely delve into our complexities. ...Our partners are no more self-aware although we make a stab at trying to understand them....we seek a (false) sense that we’ve done our homework. We haven’t.....What matters in the marriage of feeling--romantic love--is that two people are drawn to each other by an overwhelming instinct and know in their hearts that it is right.....we believe ourselves to be seeking happiness in marriage, it isn’t that simple. What we really seek is familiarity — which may well complicate any plans we might have had for happiness. ...as grown-ups find ourselves rejecting certain candidates for marriage not because they are wrong but because they are too right — too balanced, mature, understanding and reliable — given that in our hearts, such rightness feels foreign. We marry the wrong people because we don’t associate being loved with feeling happy....We make mistakes, too, because we are so lonely. No one can be in an optimal frame of mind to choose a partner when remaining single feels unbearable.....Finally, we marry to make a nice feeling permanent. We imagine that marriage will help us to bottle the joy we felt when the thought of proposing first came to us....We marry to make joyful sensations permanent but fail to see that there is no solid connection between these feelings and the institution of marriage....The good news is that it doesn’t matter if we find we have married the wrong person. We mustn’t abandon him or her, only the founding "romantic love" idea upon which the Western understanding of marriage has been based the last 250 years: that a perfect being exists who can meet all our needs and satisfy our every yearning....swap the Romantic Love view for a tragic (and at points comedic) awareness that every human will frustrate, anger, annoy, madden and disappoint us — and we will (without any malice) do the same to them. There can be no end to our sense of emptiness and incompleteness. But none of this is unusual or grounds for divorce. Choosing whom to commit ourselves to is merely a case of identifying which particular variety of suffering we're willing to sign up for.

This philosophy of pessimism--thinking tragically--offers a solution to a lot of distress and agitation around marriage. It might sound odd, but pessimism relieves the excessive imaginative pressure that our romantic culture places upon marriage. The failure of one particular partner to save us from our grief and melancholy is not an argument against that person and no sign that a union deserves to fail or be upgraded.

The person who is best suited to us is not the person who shares our every taste (he or she doesn’t exist), but the person who can negotiate differences in taste intelligently — the person who is good at disagreement. Rather than some notional idea of perfect complementarity, it is the capacity to tolerate differences with generosity that is the true marker of the “not overly wrong” person.

Romantic Love has been unhelpful to us; it is a harsh philosophy. It has made a lot of what we go through in marriage seem exceptional and appalling. We end up lonely and convinced that our union, with its imperfections, is not “normal.” We should learn to accommodate ourselves to “wrongness,” striving always to adopt a more forgiving, humorous and kindly perspective on its multiple examples in ourselves and in our partners.
Communicating_&_Connecting  conflict_resolution  disagreements  disappointment  expectations  forgiveness  generosity  grace  humour  imperfections  intimacy  marriage  perspectives  pessimism  relationships  romantic_love  serving_others  thinking_tragically 
may 2016 by jerryking
The Age of Bibi
JAN. 1, 2015 | NYT |David Brooks.

Netanyahu sees himself in world historical terms, and admires Theodor Herzl and Winston Churchill — two men who saw dangers ahead of other people....Like Churchill, he is wisest when things are going wrong. He has been a pessimist about the Arab world. As the Arab Spring has deteriorated, as Palestinian democracy led to Hamas, as run of the mill extremists have lost ground to the Islamic State, Bibi’s instincts have basically been proved correct....I asked a couple of smart Israelis what their coming elections are about. They said that the elections are about one thing: What do you think of Netanyahu?...he has been a defensive leader. He seems to understand that, in his country’s situation, the lows are lower than the highs are high. The costs of a mistake are bigger than the benefits of an accomplishment. So he is loath to take risks. He doesn’t do some smart things, like improve life for Palestinians on the West Bank, but he doesn’t do unpredictable dumb things, like prematurely bomb Iran. He talks everything through, and his decisions shift and flip as the discussions evolve.
David_Brooks  Benjamin_Netanyahu  Israel  Mideast_Peace  Winston_Churchill  pessimism  leaders 
january 2015 by jerryking
Overcoming Your Negativity Bias - NYTimes.com
June 14, 2013, 12:44 pm Comment
Overcoming Your Negativity Bias
By TONY SCHWARTZ
Negative thoughts destroy one's concentration....write down everything you feel grateful for in that moment. you'll feel remarkably better, but also far more able to concentrate on the task at hand. .. If you’re a manager or a leader, you carry an extra responsibility. By virtue of your authority, your emotions are disproportionately influential. When you’re feeling worried, frustrated or angry, the people around you are going to pick it up – not least because they’ll be wondering whether they’re the cause. Is there someone on your team who is especially triggering you lately? Take a moment to think about the quality you most appreciate in that person – to remember what it was that drew you to that person in the first place.

Here’s the paradox: The more you’re able to move your attention to what makes you feel good, the more capacity you’ll have to manage whatever was making you feel bad in the first place. Emotions are contagious, for better or worse. It’s your choice.
cognitive_skills  biases  howto  self-criticism  gratitude  emotional_mastery  affirmations  self-defeating  self-doubt  negativity_bias  positive_thinking  pessimism 
june 2013 by jerryking
A radical pessimist's guide to the next 10 years - The Globe and Mail
Douglas Coupland
From Saturday's Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Oct. 08, 2010 6:49PM EDT
Last updated Saturday, Oct. 09, 2010
Douglas_Coupland  future  21st._century  pessimism  trends  rules_of_the_game 
october 2010 by jerryking

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