This post passes on to MindBlog readers the discussion topic for a Feb 6 2:00 p.m. (CST) Zoom meeting of The Austin Rainbow Forum, which I coordinate along with fellow Austinites Darrell Laremore and Charles Curry. If you are interested in attending the session please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is working for you and what is not? Are things as bad as most of the media suggest? We are freer, richer, safer than we have ever been before, yet anxiety and suicides are at all-time highs. What sets our ratio of hopelessness to hopefulness? Do we have overactive fear, negativity, and blame biases? Below is a selection of background reading relevant to optimism versus pessimism.
How to stay optimistic when everything seems wrong.
How to be more optimistic
The Compassionate Instinct
What can go wrong - the tide of bad news from our media
America Is Falling Apart at the Seams
The Mental Health Toll of Trump-Era Politics
Going Bananas in the Age of Anxiety
More optimistic long term views
Hans Rosling: Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About the World - and Why Things are Better Than you Think. (10 psychological instincts that mislead us, for example to excess fear, negativity, blame, etc. - The link takes you to the first of a series of four blog posts abstracting the main points of the book)
Steven Pinker: Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress (The link takes you to a series of posts abstracting the main points of the book).
Nicholas A. Christakis: Blueprint: The Evolutionary Origins of a Good Society