Two things. 1. The “great” distinction between pessimism and realism? Perhaps not nearly so great as Ms. Warren thinks. Isn’t it simply this- That a realist is nothing but a pessimist with the added twist of arrogance? My view may be grim, but I’m right about it. Out of those two, I’ll take good-old garden variety pessimism any day of the week. 2. We all seriously need to resist the inclination to 'uniquely parrot' ideas. Have we all heard Ms. Warren's idea before? Of course we have. It’s a fine thought. And agreeing or disagreeing with ideas is what we do. But there is a danger, in taking an idea, any
idea, and aping it with an intention to deceive. By expressing it as though it’s something quite novel, as if some inventive jump has been made to arrive at it, creates a distortion. It results in an over-valuation of it, and a disproportionate influence on the collective view. Why? Because those among us who tend to simply assume popular thought as our own [and it’s a sadly large slice of the think-pie that does (at least so says this decidedly pessimistic writer)] are more inclined to believe that any idea that has been arrived at independently, by so, so many, surely bears a deep seal of approval. When in fact, it's simply one thought, nodded to many times, by those no more inclined to independent inquiry than is the person then adding their assent. No disrespect to Ms. Warren intended. We're all guilty of it.