I've recently started reading books to challenge my thinking and grow from where I am in my conclusions. I consider myself already rather intelligent and logical in how I build my worldview and schema together, but if I don't challenge my thinking I will remain blocked from potential growth.
One of my choices to read this week is called Zero to One. It is on the list of books that Elon Musk likes, and it is written by a man that was co founder of Paypal and many other ventures with him and independently. I've found it fascinating, and intellectually entertaining.
One of the things I read in it, today, inspires me to blog about it. He breaks down several different types of thinking in business. Now... even though he is talking business, the principles apply to other areas of life, as well. He says we have Indefinite Pessimism.. those that feel things will go bad but don't know how, Definite Pessimism.. those that predict how things will go bad and prepare for it, Definite Optimism.. those that envision a future and built towards it (and accomplished much of our society development to the mid 20th century), and Indefinite Optimism... those that think things will go well and don't know how and make no plans for it. The last group often includes children of those that are born into money or power without knowledge but just expect it will be as easy for others as it was for themselves.
Now, if you are like me, you are thinking... the solution would be Definite Optimism. How are you going to build something that you cannot see or understand? However, he made a good point, and that point I think encaptulates where we are as a society... and I never saw this about society till I read this book. The ways that INDEFINITE optimism "works" is evolution... it is the presumption as Darwin said that things improve on their own as change happens with the weaker options ending and stronger options remaining. Or... to put it in the language of youth... CHANGE. They believe change to be the solution.. just let it go and whatever happens is best. Even the religious adopt this by saying that what happens is what is meant to happen.
But, I see a problem with this that he hasn't mentioned in the book, and thus is my blog post.
When left with existing forces in place, things DON'T just IMPROVE on their own. Entropy means that things "fall apart" or decay. Atoms spread out. Metals rust. Copies of copies are less than the original. Left on their own without intervention, things end in DESTRUCTION.
This is true of those waiting for the perfect person to just come along on their own, too. They die alone. If you want real CHANGE, you must CHANGE it. The best way to predict success, as they say, is to create it. If you do THAT, you are going back to Definite Optimism.
So, our society will continue to be filled with those that create their happiness and those that wait for it to happen to them, and those without a vision for that future will perish... as Scripture says. If they DO find happiness as opposed to being bait for others that seek people to use, it will be someone else that didn't listen to their philosophy but reached out to them as THEIR Definite source of Optimism.