Possibilism – a cognitive megatrend

Optimist or pessimist?

Is the glass half full or half empty? A common philosopher’s joke is to answer it with the question, “What glass?”

As crazy as it sounds – the division between optimism and pessimism is a discontinued model. A new megatrend is establishing itself in people’s minds – an answer to the technological development of our world.

Our time is the rapid change

The complex technologies trigger resonance in people – they change our mindset. More and more often one encounters the “sensitizer”: His glass is neither half full nor half empty. He probably buys a new bottle at the supermarket.

The world will end

Global warming, scarcity of resources, extinction of species, plastic in the oceans – for the pessimist there is no hope for the future.

The pessimist assumes the “worst case” and thus avoids disappointment. He lives entirely according to the Jewish wisdom that “every disappointment is the result of a false expectation” and runs the risk that precisely this attitude will conjure up the worst of all scenarios. With his thinking he possibly contributes to the doom himself – “Self-fulfillng prophecy”

All will be well

Pure hope drives the optimist. He perceives the world one-sidedly and selectively – detrimental facts are faded out. The optimist runs the risk of ending up in naive arrogance.

Pure hope – whether in worldly or religious form – gives responsibility for the world to another – higher authority.

Paradoxically, ignoring the negative facts can become their motor, because the optimist remains carefree and does not look for solutions. The optimist neither hopes nor acts, he merely expands his mental comfort zone.

The future is uncertain

As we can see from the “turkey problem of Taleb“, the future is much less predictable than we think.

The positivist makes use of this fact with his new mind set. He believes that anything is possible in the future – he believes that any technology to save the world and cure disease could still be developed.

With this attitude he refuses both optimism and pessimism. He has neither a negative nor a positive view of the future.

Possibilists are active, calm and confident. Naïve optimism is not their thing – just as they are not used to seeing doom everywhere.

They elude both ideologies by gratefully living in the moment and wanting to stand for a better future with their actions.

The sky’s the limit

“It may be that we are developing technologies that will help us repair the damage done. We may find a way to create world peace and sufficient prosperity for all! – this is how the Possibilist sees the future of people and the world.

He does not give himself inactively to pure hope, but like the optimist he does not contribute to his own ruin with his “eh-All-to-late” thinking. The positivist eludes both patterns of thought.

The mindset of positivism seeks new possibilities and opportunities. This view of the world allows possibilists to see the good and the bad that they have to deal with.

Possibilists set out in search of solutions. You collect visions for a new world and become – like me, for example – a collector of utopias.



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