As I mentioned before, I am tickled at the people have taken to calling me an optimist.
I can assure you that I am always up for a conversation on how this will all turn out very, very badly in the end; how your life has no fundamental purpose or meaning; and how creating new life is an act of selfish violence for which the perpetrator is forever indebted to the person on whom life was inflicted.
And, yes I have been party to creating new life. Yes, it was selfish. Yes, I owe a debt to that person. No, I do not in anyway pretend that I have done him a “favor.” To pretend such is deeply, deeply vile.
At the same time, the data is the data. Sometimes it suggests that the near future will be contain events we think of as favorable. Sometimes, it suggests the near future will contain events that we think of as unfavorable. This has nothing to do with my or anyone else philosophical disposition because it is a product of the unfolding of impersonal forces.
Event chains will go one way or they will go the another. Nothing more. Nothing less.
People do have a tendency to project their own feelings about the world generally on to their forecast of how events will unfold. This is obviously bias and its not clear to me why its so widely accepted as normal.
Now, I do think there is some genuine misunderstanding here, but I see for example that people who think that Presidential election will not go their way or that middle class America will face relative impoverishment tend to have negative forecasts about the economy.
Some of that may be a general tendency to just attribute to much influence to Presidential elections and middle class wellbeing. However, I do think some of it is a tendency to think that in a world where things are not going your way, things will tend not to go your way.
However, “going your way” is something that exists inside of your mind only. The world has no idea whether or not it is going your way. It is simply doing what it does. So the fact that lots of other bad things are happening is in-and-of-itself not predictive that more bad things will happen. This is because bad doesn’t really carry any metaphysical power. It would need to happen to be the case that your sense of badness was aligned with the mechanics of the world.
As a last note I wrote on the back of my business card some months ago: Obama 49, Romney 48. I handed the card to columnist from the Daily Beast who speaking at the same event I was. I don’t remember his name.
I think that was a bias free guess based on my interpretation of economic fundamentals. We’ll see how well I do.