Saturday, June 26, 2004

Am I an optimist?

Despite some distaste for the idea of optimism, I have to confess that I am an optimist. I think I would rather be a pessimist, but it seems hard to stay consistent in this mode. If I truly believe that everything is going downhill, at some point I will get to the bottom of the hill and find myself starting to go up again, even against my fervent wish. Whereas things that go up have an unlimited potential on the upside. It’s like how being a bear in the stock market is tricky--you can get burnt by going short all the time. Furthermore, if I posit that things are in perpetual decline, I will soon decline myself out of existence, and then I will no longer be able to adhere to my pessimistic philosophy. Pessimism is no better than a short-term strategy, and I need to invest for the long term. Therefore, I am sadly resigned to optimism as a way of life.

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