The importance of being optimistic

  Agnosticism is perhaps better called superstitiousness. I am no exception. I like to associate bad luck with overconfidence; hence good luck with feigned anxiety. Coincidentally anxiety itself is bad luck enough to deserve attention. When I set my alarm at 4 am, I am not just getting 3 hours less sleep. I will go sleepless for the entire night! Maybe that’s subconsciously anxiety coping mechanism in action. As soon as I walk out of an exam, I imagine all the possible places I have missed, and expect the worst out of even a fairly superb performance. It used to be that my entire career was tied down to a stream of exams, with ever increasing preponderance. Even my freestyle writings seem to all dance around exams, being the apparition constantly occupying my mind.
  Alas the era has shifted to one which values genuinely good work rather than how to cheat the eyes of your invisible supervisors. If one thinks about why Europeans have succeeded so gracefully in the realm of science and technology, an uplifting force of positive attitude, driven by God, is inestimable. One must clear the space in the brain for useful work, and not fuss around with petty problems like relationship crisis, perfectionism, or how people view ourselves. These are all in the hands of one man, God. And certainly with the ultimate fall back option as Him the all powerful, being optimistic cannot be capital crime. We thus think of the best of everything, and expect likewise. We release our creative energy with no reservation. Such outrageous flow might be destructive at times, but one only needs to learn how to control, not how to create, which from an algorithmic perspective is far more complicated. It’s imperative to vocalize optimism the first moment of wakefulness each morning. Psychologically it might be beneficial to associate every living object with divine/superstitious signs of optimism. When the bird chirps, tell her to sing on the melody of triumphantry. When you see your first human compatriot during the day, smile at the auspice of a glorious adventure partner. Light up the well of possibility in you, and appreciate everything, not as indebtedness to its creator, but rather a profound sense of satisfaction and readiness to build upon it. Even dead object like a computer speaker can be animated to its symbolic usefulness. While I am typing these poetic lines, I fixate over the history of English language and ponder how lucky I am at the turn of centennium with the culmination of human wisdom at the tip of my fingers.
   There are always a few people in one’s life that one must treat seriously, as if the loss of their favor would mean the end of the bearable status quo. My advisor, for example, constitute chiefly the living demigod of my temporal existence. He lives on top of the hierarchy of respect. My parents have been lenient and democratic enough to allow me for occasional insolence. Such is not allowed in the Confucius society, which seems to jibe with my habitual learned pessimistic thinkstyle, as opposed to "thinking style" which I reserve for mathematical or other creative thinking. The Daoist on the other hand favors survival to improvement. The very basic level of subsistence is a goal simple enough that requires little prioritization, and is a skill we living beings are most deeply ingrained with. Romantic feelings evolve with time, due to the changing environment that prescribe new rules of eliticism, crucial for the perpetuation of the well-beings of future generations, as exemplied in feudal societies.
   So from this moment on, any tangible goods is going to make me shine. It remains a puzzle how to avoid the sense of helplessness in the face of difficult mathematical problems. Indeed from a math point of view, anything I wrote so far is rather trivial and hence does not merit publication. Nonetheless I believe a new type of math is in the emerging, that trades optimality for spontaneity, and prudence for optimism. A life, however decrepit, is worth living when embathed in optimistic feeling, and is productive by the standard of its own heart.

About aquazorcarson

math PhD at Stanford, studying probability
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