The Corner

Re: Half Empty Is the Right Answer

posted a couple of days ago on that UCL report claiming to show that optimism is a mental aberration.

Randall Parker over at ParaPundit comments:

Human brains have assorted biases built into how they work that limit their ability to understand the world accurately. This is about more than just intelligence. However, I suspect genetic outliers exist who have fewer biases. If the outliers also have sufficient intelligence they make good stock market traders and good scientists.

Good presidents, too, I was thinking as I read the reports on last night’s debate.

Incidentally, conservative philosopher Roger Scruton published a book about pessimism last year covering some of these points. I reviewed it for The New Criterion.

Even more incidentally, a reader reminds me of the old engineer joke:

Optimist :   This glass is half full.

Pessimist :   This glass is half empty.

Engineer :   This glass is twice as big as it needs to be.