You see a beggar on the street.

The news shows you more about the war/economy/health of our country.

Magic isn't real.

You hear an old friend of yours has died.

Any pessimist who calls himself a realist is wrong. They're wrong because they subscribe to a belief that is misleading. Yes, this includes atheist realists (but is not exclusive to them).

They're wrong because, despite the beggar on the street, they fail to notice the hundreds of people walking, biking, driving by, who are all doing quite well for themselves.

They're wrong because the news shows exactly what makes people buy the news: News. Not success stories or how the violence has decreased steadily for the past several decades. A newspaper will sell if the title on the front reads: Spike in Violence, Video Games to blame. Local newspapers that sell happy puppy stories are local for a reason.

Magic isn't real. Of course it's not. The cold reading in your horoscope means nothing. This is true. The fact that something you noticed earlier in the day pops up in conversation is just coincidence. But think of this: How many coincidences in your day happen? In fact, of all of the things you notice, isn't it surprising that you don't see more coincidences? Maybe a true coincidence is having met that stranger on the bus twice, three times, enough to get a smile, name, then phone number?

Rationalists subscribes to a belief that is false: The idea that passive information is somehow meaningful. Passive information will only tell you what you notice in your day. All other things that you miss is what the real world is. There is a world out there of information your brain filters because it does not confirm your pessimistic view. Yes, even when you look at the despondent faces on the metro, you must realize that everybody is a realist to a degree, and they only see the passive, depressing information that stands out in their mind: The sad things. But when you decide to become an optimist, then you begin to notice the little things: a sprouting tree, an increasing quality of life, a happy person riding the bus home.

And yes, an old friend of yours who you haven't seen since college has just died. But you neglect to notice an old friend of yours since you've known since highschool rose from the grave.
Ok, you're correct for being a pessimist there.

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