Optimism is the counterpart to nostalgia, except it looks to the future instead of the past. Because events haven't occurred, optimistic expectations can come true.

optical grep = O = Oracle the

optimism n.

What a programmer is full of after fixing the last bug and before discovering the next last bug. Fred Brooks's book "The Mythical Man-Month" (See "Brooks's Law") contains the following paragraph that describes this extremely well:

All programmers are optimists. Perhaps this modern sorcery especially attracts those who believe in happy endings and fairy godmothers. Perhaps the hundreds of nitty frustrations drive away all but those who habitually focus on the end goal. Perhaps it is merely that computers are young, programmers are younger, and the young are always optimists. But however the selection process works, the result is indisputable: "This time it will surely run," or "I just found the last bug.".

See also Lubarsky's Law of Cybernetic Entomology.

--The Jargon File version 4.3.1, ed. ESR, autonoded by rescdsk.

Op"ti*mism (?), n. [L. optimus the best; akin to optio choice: cf. F. optimisme. See Option.]

1. Metaph.

The opinion or doctrine that everything in nature, being the work of God, is ordered for the best, or that the ordering of things in the universe is such as to produce the highest good.


A disposition to take the most hopeful view; -- opposed to pessimism.


© Webster 1913.

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