What is your outlook?

Question: Are you a pessimist or an optimist?

 

Jason Kottke: I’m a pessimistic person, I think. Most of the time. I’m a pessimistic optimist.

I don’t judge people. You know I’m optimistic about people, but I’m generally pessimistic about; I don’t know. Other things I’m pessimistic about it. And I used to be pessimistic about the earth. And I . . . I had a post a long time ago on my site. It was probably like in ’99 or ’98. And you know it was probably more of a young person’s post – very uninformed and sort of off the cuff; and probably not a lot of thinking behind it other than kind of a gut feeling. And I thought within the next 50 years some major catastrophe was going to happen to the population of the earth, reducing it by; I think I said more than 50 percent, so 50 percent of the population gone. You know basically a world of six billion people was going to become a world of three billion people because of some “thing”. I don’t know if I believe that anymore. We might get hit by an asteroid. Who knows?

I think we’ll turn the ship around in time to avoid major environmental problems. You know New York City might have a huge dike around it, but I think we’ll survive. You know I think the place I currently live is, what, 21 feet above sea level or something in Manhattan. We might be underwater in 50 years. I don’t know. But I think in general I mean I don’t know. Despite all my pessimism, I kind of have an optimistic view of that sort of thing – that time kind of evens things out.

And if you look at the state of human civilization – let’s say the turn of the . . . you know the beginning of the first millennium A.D., and you look at it now and how much progress we’ve made; and you know how many people are more educated and have access to healthcare; or are living until 80 and not 35. I just think that the march of the world is toward that sort of thing and towards people being more free and more able to make their own decisions in life.

October 9, 2007

 

Kottke says he is a pessimistic optimist.

11 holiday gift ideas for the person impossible to shop for

From coffee makers and headphones to a calming weighted blanket, something here should appeal to just about anyone on your list.

Gear
  • Check out 11 awesome holiday gift ideas, each up 75% off.
  • Options include an ultrasonic cleaner, a portable video projector and a weighted blanket.
  • You can save an extra 15% off each item with the coupon code MERRYSAVE15.

  • Keep reading Show less

    The Sooner You Expose A Baby To A Second Language, The Smarter They’ll Be

    Just hearing two languages helps babies develop cognitive skills before they even speak. Here's how - and how you can help them develop those skills.

    Personal Growth

    A new study shows that babies raised in bilingual environments develop core cognitive skills like decision-making and problem-solving -- before they even speak.

    Keep reading Show less

    Breakthrough in creation of gamma ray lasers that use antimatter

    Superpowerful lasers for next-generation technologies are closer to existence.

    Surprising Science
    • A new study calculates how to create high-energy gamma rays.
    • Physicist Allen Mills proposes using liquid helium to make bubbles of positronium, a mixture with antimatter.
    • Gamma ray lasers can lead to new technologies in space propulsion, medical imaging and cancer treatment.
    Keep reading Show less