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Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by coolikedat99, Nov 20, 2017.
I probably am.
I love the posts so far on here and I've actually learned a lot about these terms. It's crazy how many great thinkers we have on TDPRI.
To clarify what I was asking in the original post, I'm not necessarily asking if everyone thinks they are a realist. I concluded that most people will think they are a realist. It's human nature.
I was mostly asking if there is a reliable and (somewhat) unbiased way to find out if you are optimistic, pessimistic, or realistic (assuming that everyone falls on a spectrum between each of these descriptions).
Of course, there are some great posts that have noted that a realistic perspective of life will look different for different individuals. Therefore, realism itself is dependent on external phenomena and experience.
That was a great insight that I hadn't really considered.
I now am starting to question what these terms all really even mean and if it is even worth it to split hairs about definitions pertaining to something as complex as one's perception of life.
Maybe that's where the real discussion lies.
After reading all of this I have figured out what I am and what I am is tired. Real, ideal, euphoric, depressed, optimistic, cynical, what am I, what are you? I know this, everyone is fallible and that makes everyone wrong sometime. So who can trust whether anyone is currently correct about their assessment of themselves or anyone else for that matter.
This entire statement is fallible and should not be trusted.
Sir...this is the Bad Dog. Hairsplitting is a much bigger virtue than enlightenment...
I actually think about this topic a lot. My boss is (IMO) hopelessly optimistic - i.e. he constantly underestimates the amount of time and work a project will take and at the end, we never measure up to his expectations. I try to point this out sometimes, and cite some facts and figures based on previous work we've done, in order to be a "reality check" for him. But guess what I come off as? A pessimist. On the flip side, he is very adaptable to change and I am not... when things don't work as well as he had anticipated, he makes more time, and changes the project deliverables. It drives me up a wall, but I have to admit he gets it done. I think many successful managers and business owners are like this.
The most reliable and unbiased way to find out if your expectations match up with the reality of the situation is to take measurements and find out how your predictions match up with the measurements. Did you throw it farther or shorter than you thought? Finish the work ahead of time, much later, or about where you predicted?
If you really want to get deep and do some philosophy, read the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy article on Metaphysical Realism and see if you can find the hidden circular logic in your statement.
It also occurs to me that maybe this is a good thread to point out that the phrase "Keeping it real" is one of the most meaningless grouping of words I've ever heard...
They both require thinking.
"The exception that proves the rule"
Unless you are the one saying it!
What do you mean by "other universes"?
Do I exist in another universe more than I exist in this one?
Right, who has the popcorn?
I just skimmed through the first few sections and it's already got the old gears spinning. Also, that wasn't intended to be my own statement, I was just trying to sum up what some other posts had said. Though I hadn't seen it articulated until reading some of that article just now, I guess I've always subscribed to the metaphysical realism school of thought where what actually exists is independent of our own understanding of it.
The trouble with that in this discussion, however, is that all of these terms (optimist, pessimist, etc.) have definitions that are highly dependent upon individuals' perception of themselves and other people within the context of language. If there was a way to objectively measure one's perception of the world against what the world actually is, I think metaphysical realism would answer the question perfectly. I do not think such a way actually exists, however, so we have to lean on relative and biased judgement which is even further obfuscated by language use.
Even greater than this, is there even a way to decipher what is objectively and undeniably real, or can we simply be guided by careful measurement and consideration?
This is really getting deep and confounding (thanks for the link btw, I'll need to do some heavy reading on that site, it looks like a great resource).
I actually have a degree in philosophy, which qualifies me for absolutely zilch. However, it did train me to simultaneously split hairs like a crazed pedantic while also holding the most unrealistic views imaginable.
At heart, I'm a horribly depressed nihilist who firmly believes that nothing really matters and we're all doomed to suffer a pointless short existence of lies and illusions.
On top of that is a social realist who recognizes that we must all act as if these shared lies and illusions are real, and even trick ourselves into believing them, simply to interact in a healthy and positive fashion with our fellow sufferers.
And on top of THAT, I'm a relatively jolly and optimistic-seeming guy, determined to enjoy the absurdity of it all and preferring to leave people smiling if possible. My historical idols are the musicians on the Titanic.
What you feel about things, or how you classify them has little to do with anything. The sun comes up, the sun goes down. That is about all you can predict with any degree of accurateness. A pigmy in the wilds of Rwanda looking up at a jet flying over probably thinks something about it, but it has little effect on the passengers in the plane. In short things just are. My dear old momma used to tell me when I wished for something, "wish in one hand and spit in the other, see which one gets full the fastest." What we desire, or think is more controlled by luck, or the forces of fortune than any spin we might put on it.
If you're still paying for the degree, sure I can see why you'd feel that way!
Saw a show on the H&G channel that my wife was watching about people buying houses. The woman was looking for something within their means, the guy was looking for something that would show people "they had arrived." I hope not for the buyer, but often people who buy to show they've arrived, generally draw a bigger audience when they depart: IN A U-HAUL.
See! I told you it probably requires thinking!
Oh sure, I coulda thought of that!
I was writing stuff on here, and thinking, man I'd like to have a snack. Then out of no where, my wife plops a plate of snacks on my desk, with another plate of cheese sliced up in tiny bits for Toto and Bella. I looked at Toto and asked did you wish for this? He quickly replied, shut up and gimme some cheese ese. Hmm, I wonder, uh, what do I wonder? I wonder if this is gonna be enough of a snack, munch, munch, munch, the answer will be forthcoming.