Why being optimistic?
Why a radical optimist?
The world needs a major change to adopt a more balanced view of the future. The optimistic view is far from the most popular adopted by media. This is true for traditional media (radio, TV, newspaper) and social media alike (Facebook, Twitter, etc.).
We crave for negative and life threatening events. This is a scar from our evolutionary past. Stories of survival, loss, difficulties and unbearable suffering stimulate our interest. They are extraordinarily powerful and are easy to remember.
On the contrary, stories with positive outcome and feelings are often labeled childish, irrealistic, feelgood and even … girly. This is especially true among boys.
Note: I do not endorse the “girly” term. However, this is a visible consequence of our society genderism. Positive takeaway: It reflects the heightened sensibility of women and also their capability to dream of a better future.
Why radical ?
Radical has various definitions:
- very different from the usual or traditional;
- favoring extreme changes in existing views, habits, conditions, or institutions;
- associated with political views, practices, and policies of extreme change;
- advocating extreme measures to keep or restore a political state of affairs.
Marketing, the Internet, our brain and the incredible power of fear
Each second, our mind captures dozens of messages, advertisements, banners, videos. Click-words, pictures, and finely tuned videos exploit this particular bias. In this day and age, fear of loss is the basis of marketing as we experience it. Fear to lose what we have, fear to not have what we could have, fear to have less than our neighbor, fear to miss the latest shiny object, etc.
Marketing agencies and the main social networks have gathered a huge data set about human activities. Experts around the world use advanced machine learning algorithms to crack open the human brain. They are looking for bugs into our species brain.
These bugs (remains of our animal and evolutionary past) are then marketed to make you change. You are not aware of this change: this is pure manipulation.
This is not only used to make you buy more. Information is now weaponized. Cyber war is real: every piece of content that you receive influence your behavior. If we cannot bring you closer to one side of the political spectrum then we will try to suppress your vote. You will now receive some negative news about your own party. These news will present you tweaked information under a negative aspect. Until you are convinced that … it is better not to vote!
Better a non voter than someone who vote for the other side…
Because of those bugs that are deeply hidden into our DNA and into our society structure, your behavior will change. And you do not have a say!
We need optimism to bring back balance.
Only radical optimism can bring back some equilibrium in our world views.
We need goals, both as individuals and as the earth’s society. Those goals are not hard to find:
- improvement of all living being individual conditions
- real happiness for all
Past history has shown us conducts we should avoid. What are they?
- Wars, exclusion, tribalism, economic crisis, elitism, famine, etc.
As individuals we have a short term memory: we remember our youth (after age 7 or so) and some key life events. As a society this is worse! We always want to do better than our ancestors. But we tend to reproduce the same mistakes and the same catastrophes happen again and again.
As a specie, as the most evolved specie in the known universe, we have to visualize, dream and tell positive stories about the world we want to build.
This requires a healthy dose of radical optimism.