What do you think of this video of "Optimistic Nihilism"? Yeah, the title sounds self-contradictory.

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That's it. We are here now. Have fun. Consider and respect all the beings around you and those that come after you because your existence is because of all the beings that came before you and those that are around you.

The vid reminded me of an excellent book I'm reading called The Life of the Cosmos by Lee Smolin. In it he says

. . . despite everything we know, how often do we clearly perceive that the genetic differences that lead to different skin color are as trivial as those that lead to different hair color or body types, so that beyond what is in our imaginations, [my emphasis] the problem of what we call "race relations" is no different from the problem of relations between people of different histories, a problem which has been solved, many times, in the United States and other countries. At every level, as the political theorist Roberto Unger tells us, the greatest obstacle to transforming the world is that we lack the clarity and imagination to conceive that it could be different.

Snark Alarm, Bert.

Rorberto Unger may lack the clarity and imagination to conceive that the world could be different. I have no such lack.

That aside, the title of Smolin’s book intrigues me. I will shortly go to Amazon and look at reviews.

One of my favorite authors, Neal Stephenson, commented that everyone should read this book by Smolin, so I did. Life of the Cosmos was written in 1997. I know you have no truck with Kraut philosophers, but Smolin prefers Leibniz over Newton. He has a more recent book titled Time Reborn that I'm just starting.

... the greatest obstacle to transforming the world is that we lack the clarity and imagination to conceive that it could be different.
Well said!

Optimistic nihilism?

Interesting. It merits a second viewing and will get it.

For what those RC nuns in 11th and 12th grades taught, the title “pessimistic masochism” seems apt.

Taoism = "Shit happens."

Catholicism = "When shit happens it's your fault."

Judaism = "Why does the shit always happen to us?"

Protestantism = "Let the shit happen to someone else."

Atheism= don't believe bullshit ?

Appreciate the invite Ruth. 'Roger that' on the not being able to truly comprehend the extent of existence and the universe. Our species if allowed to focus together could make something of ourselves that would not be so depressingly nihilistic, the optimistic part I do not share the view taken by those presenting, but one thing is for sure. We are capable of leaving a mark for eternity on as many planets as we can to show we "were something" that were more than just a collective of hive creatures that instinctively acted. We explored and colonized and basically got what the universe was and 'some' of how it worked. However, so far, the explorers in our midst are an unappreciated, underfunded minority and we are going to go extinct as those very hive creatures that only left an enduring mark on ONE planet...under the current management.

I like it. Soothing and warm and matter-of-fact about something I've long come to benevolent terms with.

Yes, that fits! I put it another way, but it provides a framework; I can wake up in the morning and choose to be happy. Although circumstances may be grim, problems will not quit, conflicts swirl around me, and I'm hungry. Given those realities, I have my senses, my cognitive abilities, and am profoundly grateful that I have this wee bit of time of consciousness. The exit nears with a whole bunch of memories, some happy, others profoundly unhappy, filled with fears imagined and real. I can choose which memories upon which to dwell, and it feels comforting to choose joy. 




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