Wednesday, January 15, 2020

820: The Nostalgic Pessimist......

I promised you to describe four types of pessimists. Today the first type: the nostalgic pessimist.
The nostalgic pessimist believes that everything used to be better. Everything was once beautiful and harmonious, now the sadness is everywhere. 
The location of that paradisiacal past varies.
Some are homesick for an era of confidence and prosperity that they themselves have experienced when they were young, 
others glorify the golden years before the two world wars, 
others crave a distant past in which people still lived in harmony with nature. 
The glorification of a golden age from the past is often seen as a characteristic of political conservatism, 
but in reality it cuts right through the classic left-right controversies. 
Paradise is colored according to the ideological assumptions. 
Right-wing pessimists want to go back to the time when young people still respected power and authority,
left-wing pessimists to the time when solidarity and trust were not empty words. 
The fault lines in our society are getting bigger and deeper everywhere, social trust is disappearing, 
polarization is increasing, democracy is increasingly under pressure. 
In a talkshow a former political leader talks passionately about the time of yesteryear, when there was still trust between people.
You could just enter your neighbor's house unannounced, because people trusted each other,
but politicians put people against each other, which increased the mutual distrust among people. 
The danger of nostalgic pessimism is that people will inevitably start wondering why the paradise of yesteryear has been lost, 
and you soon end up with this or that scapegoat: an evil elite, hostile invaders, or perhaps the system itself ... 
America was once great, but then evil forces helped destroy everything. 
Once upon a time man lived in peaceful harmony with nature, but then the coal factories, 
synthetic fertilizers and industrial tractors came and brutally disrupted your  harmonious balance.
Can't we go back to the times of yesterday? 
Nostalgia feeds a desire for radical revolution, such as the destruction of institutions, 
the withdrawal from transnational links or the overthrow of our economic system. 
The best predictor for a vote for Donald Trump, exit polls pointed out, was a pessimistic worldview.
The slogan "Make America great again" has shown to be the most pessimistic slogan ever in politics.
Thank you for your attention...
Main Sources:
MacMillan The Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2nd edition
Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 1995
Dagblad TROUW (2019)

The Discussion

[13:16] oolaneruda7: wow... appropriate....
[13:16] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): This is what I would define as the "Everything was better on grandpas time" pessimist
[13:16] herman Bergson: it is a clear thing.....
[13:17] CB Axel: Well, I'm not that kind of pessimist.
[13:17] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah
[13:17] herman Bergson: there is a strong believe that the whites are losing the Europe....
[13:17] herman Bergson: flooded by immigrants....
[13:17] herman Bergson: Good CB :-)
[13:17] herman Bergson: One pessimist down :-)
[13:18] CB Axel: LOL
[13:18] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:18] herman Bergson: Politicians use these general gut feelings for their cause....
[13:18] oolaneruda7: nods
[13:18] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): so true
[13:18] CB Axel: There was a magazine many years ago with a picture of a woman they made up who they thought would represent what humans would look like in the future.
[13:19] herman Bergson: Let me remind you of my previous lecture and Kishore Mahbubani.....:-)
[13:19] CB Axel: She was a mix of races and looked quite beautiful to me.
[13:19] herman Bergson: there do not exist races CB....
[13:20] herman Bergson: that is an idea from the 19th century...
[13:20] herman Bergson: We humans are all alike with differing only 0.1% in DNA
[13:20] herman Bergson: which causes differnt skin color and body shapes
[13:21] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): skin color and face shape is all that differs a bit
[13:21] Ciska Riverstone: some right wingers liked the slogan and put it on their conference with the title "make women great again" - I guess u can count them as a group of nostalgic pessimists
[13:21] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): making u look African or asian ect
[13:21] herman Bergson: There isn't  a single proof that we differ in our brain functions
[13:21] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but ur still the same
[13:21] herman Bergson: Right Bejiita
[13:21] CB Axel:
[13:21] herman Bergson: WOW!
[13:22] CB Axel: When have women ever been allowed to be great?
[13:22] herman Bergson: That is a cultural thing CB, not a genetic one
[13:22] herman Bergson: We had and have great female scientists...
[13:23] Ciska Riverstone: welll ith this particular group its not about being allowed - they show you how to do it ;)
[13:23] CB Axel: Making anything "great" again is a cultural thing. Anyone who wants to make women great again obviously doesn't know the history of how women have been treated.
[13:23] oolaneruda7: right
[13:23] Rebecca (rebecca.rozen) is offline.
[13:24] CB Axel: Also, how to make America great again depends on the race and gender of the person saying that.
[13:24] CB Axel: America has never been great for blacks or hispanics.
[13:24] CB Axel: Or women.
[13:24] herman Bergson: The slogan is just trash....
[13:24] oolaneruda7: right
[13:24] herman Bergson: only refering to white American males
[13:24] CB Axel: What they are saying is make America white and male.
[13:24] oolaneruda7: nods
[13:24] herman Bergson: not openly but implicitly...based on who says it
[13:25] CB Axel: And to them I say, "Go to hell!"
[13:25] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): I think they are jealous because darker skin looks better
[13:25] herman Bergson: But the appeal of this attitude is in the nostalgia...
[13:25] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): id want to be a bit darker
[13:26] CB Axel: You may have a point, Bejiita.
[13:26] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and also why do we then try all we can to get a good suntan if it was not because it looks nice
[13:26] CB Axel: Why else would whites spend so much time tanning? :)
[13:26] CB Axel: ^5
[13:26] herman Bergson: I always have found that w peculiar behavior :-)
[13:27] herman Bergson: a bit contradictory
[13:27] CB Axel: That's only been recent, though.
[13:27] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): I wish there was a way to turn what controls skin color on and off on demand so you could change the skin color on demand. this would put an end to racism for sure (and I have always wondered how I would look with black skin)
[13:27] herman Bergson: and it is a cultural thing....
[13:27] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:28] herman Bergson: Asian women do there best NOT to get a tan....darken their skin...the paler the more beautiful
[13:28] CB Axel: Back in the time of the US Civil War women carried parasols to keep their skin from tanning. A man with a tan was assumed to be a laborer.
[13:28] herman Bergson: Exactly CB :-)
[13:28] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): oki
[13:28] CB Axel: Bejiita, someone did that and then wrote a book called "Black Like Me."
[13:28] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): oki
[13:28] herman Bergson: peasants in the fields got a tan....not a delicate Lady :-)
[13:28] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): interesting
[13:29] CB Axel: Or a gentleman, Herman
[13:29] herman Bergson: ok...gentlemen too...:-)
[13:29] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): what is it they say, one black you never go back
[13:29] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hears a couple of times
[13:30] CB Axel: Well, that refers to having sex. I can't make any comparisons having only been with white men. :)
[13:30] herman Bergson: SO here we have the nostalgic pessimist who believes that formerly things were way better...
[13:30] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): well it can come from some such things indeed
[13:30] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): just remembers that I've seen this
[13:30] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah
[13:30] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): the classic Better on grandpas time pessimist
[13:31] CB Axel: So, nostalgic pessimist are either selfish or don't know what they are talking about. :)
[13:31] herman Bergson: We may conclude from CB's remark that she doesn't fit this profile....
[13:31] herman Bergson: Something like that indeed, CB
[13:32] herman Bergson: In general the world of today is definitely a better pllace for many people than the old one....
[13:32] herman Bergson: Read Mahbubani :-)
[13:33] herman Bergson: Besides....that romantic relation with nature...
[13:33] oolaneruda7: there are MANY MANY people, especially rural people... who do not get more than 10 30 miles from home..... and have very little to compare things with
[13:33] CB Axel: I have the book, but I haven't had a chance to read it.
[13:33] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): things have gotten better in general I think too
[13:33] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): despite some downfalls and wars
[13:33] herman Bergson: Do you really believe that live is better when living in a cave and dying of the most simple infection, instead of a world where you can call the doctor?
[13:34] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): indeed
[13:34] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): thats also where we have made great progress
[13:34] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): very important progress
[13:34] CB Axel: We also have, for most of us, better diets and access to food.
[13:34] herman Bergson: Better education...
[13:34] oolaneruda7: what is better..... we make products so they will break more can be sold...
[13:35] CB Axel: The only hunting and gathering I do is when I can't find a bunch of bananas I like in the supermarket.
[13:35] oolaneruda7: money, money meony
[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and refrigerators keeping it fresh and safe (without adding 200 kg of salt like they had to do in the old times) + clean water from the tap which is totally clean and safe to drink
[13:35] bergfrau Apfelbaum: i do not want back :-) it is what it is..... BUT my legs are nicer when they are brown
[13:35] bergfrau Apfelbaum: grins
[13:35] herman Bergson: This is not (yet) paradise oola :-)
[13:35] oolaneruda7: we are destroying the resources of the earth
[13:35] herman Bergson: We are also fighting to prevent that oola
[13:36] oolaneruda7: the wars are about OIL and GAS.... and, at the bottom...MONEY
[13:36] CB Axel nods
[13:36] oolaneruda7: to hell with everything else
[13:36] oolaneruda7: money
[13:36] herman Bergson: true...but will it stay that way....
[13:36] CB Axel: I hope not
[13:36] oolaneruda7: i believe it will
[13:37] herman Bergson: the rise of the electric car will be a huge blow to the oil industry
[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): sadly this is a big problem still indeed and that a few of us (like Trump and the president of Brazil) can cause so much damage
[13:37] oolaneruda7: read... merchants of doubt
[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): like burning the amazon down
[13:37] oolaneruda7: or blowout by r. maddow
[13:37] CB Axel: I like Maddow
[13:37] herman Bergson: I love RAchel :-))
[13:37] oolaneruda7: G R E E D
[13:37] herman Bergson: It can't last oola....
[13:38] oolaneruda7: depends
[13:38] herman Bergson: Also the greedy see that their greed is destructive eventually...
[13:38] CB Axel: Maybe if Australia burns down completely people will start respecting our environment. :(
[13:38] oolaneruda7: read... mndfu**ed
[13:38] herman Bergson: I assume even greedy people have brains and common sense....
[13:38] Lente (lentelies.anatine) is offline.
[13:39] oolaneruda7: about Cambridge Analytical
[13:39] oolaneruda7: omg
[13:39] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): indeed I looked at a Swedish facebook poll about the fires and they said "climate change is not the problem, the WEATHER and pyros are"
[13:40] oolaneruda7: not
[13:40] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): well the wether is changing BECAUSE of climate change I replied
[13:40] oolaneruda7: n o y
[13:40] CB Axel: Those are some really busy pyros then.
[13:40] oolaneruda7: it is greed again
[13:40] herman Bergson: To some extend true...they already arrest 124 pyros in Australia
[13:40] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): I mean why would it bur more than ever right now? Extra many pyromaniacs on the loose? I find that hard to believe
[13:40] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): burn
[13:40] CB Axel: Exactly, Bejiita.
[13:40] oolaneruda7: rain forest.... want the land for farming
[13:41] oolaneruda7: it has been drying out....without rain
[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): can't they have the farms elsewhere but I guess they have no idea what an ecosystem is and how important it is
[[13:41] oolaneruda7: the austraila rain
[13:41] herman Bergson: it IS hotter and dryer...also here in the Netherlands in can't ignore that
[13:42] oolaneruda7: right
[13:42] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): they probably all missed the ecology class in school
[13:42] CB Axel: Our winter has been extremely mild and dry this year.
[13:42] oolaneruda7: even if they did.... they would go for the money anyway.... ie: the palm oil plantations in Indonesia
[13:42] herman Bergson: it is 12C here CB, where it should be 3 or 4 C and freezing in the night
[13:42] CB Axel nods
[13:43] herman Bergson: Tonight it won't go below 10C!
[13:43] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): indeed just rain here now too
[13:43] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): a little snow in end of november and then just rain rain rain
[13:43] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): 4,7 c outside
[13:43] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): it should be at least -4.7
[13:43] CB Axel: We've had a little snow and a little rain and freezing rain. Like they used to have down in Arkansas.
[13:43] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): at tis time of year
[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): where I live
[13:44] oolaneruda7: i have had to be in the hospital the last two summers because of heat stroke
[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ooow
[13:44] CB Axel: Oh, no!
[13:44] CB Axel: That's awful.
[13:44] herman Bergson: oh my...
[13:44] oolaneruda7: i am glad not to be living in minimal shelter
[13:44] CB Axel: Drink more water and don't be afraid of salty foods.
[13:45] oolaneruda7: can you imagei...when i was in Africa...down by lake Malawi...even back then you could hardly breathe
[13:45] oolaneruda7: it must be unbearable now
[13:45] CB Axel: I can't imagine it.
[13:45] oolaneruda7: better in the mountains but that won't last
[13:45] CB Axel: Tennis tournaments in Australia have had problems because of the heat and smoke.
[13:45] oolaneruda7: they were having fires up there
[13:46] herman Bergson: Oola listen to our medic....drink more water and consume more salty food!
[13:46] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): entire Australia is on fire so
[13:46] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): entire
[13:46] oolaneruda7: yes'
[13:46] herman Bergson: She's  right!
[13:46] oolaneruda7: ans where can you go to find a glacier nowadays
[13:46] CB Axel: Maybe when Mar A Logo burns and is consistently hotter than 30 C Trump will believe in climate change.
[13:46] CB Axel: I'm glad I got to see a glacier before they're all gone.
[13:47] oolaneruda7: glaciers are the source of water for India along the Ganges... and for the people in Bolivia
[13:47] herman Bergson: Sorry CB, he only can believe in more room upstairs for other things :-)
[13:47] CB Axel: Oh, he'll believe it when it hits home.
[13:47] CB Axel: And then he'll blame it on Obama. :)
[13:47] herman Bergson: This having said, it is time to conclude our discussion...
[13:47] oolaneruda7: in Bolivia there are places where corporations have snipers who guard the rivers/streams... because water is becoming so important
[13:47] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): troe CB
[13:47] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): true
[13:48] CB Axel: That's scary, oola.
[13:48] herman Bergson smiles
[13:48] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hmm
[13:48] herman Bergson: so right CB :-)
[13:48] CB Axel: OK then.
[13:48] CB Axel: Thank you, Herman.
[13:48] herman Bergson: We may conclude that none of us is a nostalgic pessimist.....:-)
[13:48] oolaneruda7: lol
[13:48] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hehe surely not
[13:48] herman Bergson: Three to go CB :-)
[13:48] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:48] oolaneruda7: certainly not when you live with a scientist
[13:48] CB Axel: I'll see you all on Thursday to see if Herman has found what kind of pessimist I am. lol
[13:49] herman Bergson: Thank you all again....
[13:49] herman Bergson: Working on it CB :-)
[13:49] bergfrau Apfelbaum: thank you Herman and class for the interesting hour
[13:49] herman Bergson: Class dismissed....^_^
[13:49] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hehe well this was a good and not too pessimistic start
[13:49] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:49] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): cu next time
[13:49] herman Bergson: thank you Bejiita :-)
[13:49] Ciska Riverstone: thank you herman - thanx all
[13:49] CB Axel: Have a good night, everyone, and I'll see you on Thursday.
[13:50] herman Bergson: Now I made it again today.....after two crashes
[13:50] herman Bergson whispers: See you CB :-)
[13:50] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): cu all around Thursday
[13:50] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:50] herman Bergson: Bye Bejiita

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