So say the results of a new study out of UC Berkeley, anyway. Three different experiments show we resort to optimism when we believe it can improve our chances of success, but are too hopeful about its actual benefits. Optimism is still important, say the researchers, but we should also focus on knowledge and approach.
You've heard the self-help gurus who say positive thoughts can bring us happiness, wealth, and success. But there's another side to the story. Here's why positive thinking often backfires — and why many of us are starting to resent it.
A recent poll conducted by the Pew Research Center shows that the majority of Americans are optimistic about the future. But when asked about specifics, they demonstrated a pronounced nervousness about some of the most plausible and beneficial advancements.
Greetings from the post-apocalypse, folks! I apologize if my responses are short this week, but I'm writing them on the run. A bunch of mohawked Australian assholes on motorcycles have suddenly shown up, and they want to play Road Warrior while I'm on a goddamned horse. I want to know how the hell they got here. Did…
Some days, the future can seem like a dark place, likely full of despair, excessive pollution, and killer robots. But, not today. Today, we want to know what it is that makes you optimistic about the future.
Author and science fiction scholar James Gunn has a new book out, Transcendental. And he gave a fantastic interview to SFSignal, in which he talks about the history of the genre. Including the never-ending battle between optimism and pessimism in science fiction.
With the world as thoroughly mapped and monitored as it is, it's easy to forget the Earth still harbors its fair share of secrets. Case in point: yesterday, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization announced that Kenya's drought-striken Turkana County sits, rather ironically, atop a…
Today's XKCD centers on the human tendency to reflect on the past through an idyllic lens (or look toward the future through a foreboding, misanthropic one). It's fantastic.
An entertaining, interesting and unsettling visualization of major battles between 1000 and 2008, AD, especially around the video's climax (1930s Europe, naturally).
Novelist Neal Stephenson wants to create a 20-kilometer space tower, which could inspire people to believe in innovation again — but also transform the way we travel in the air and into space.
Here comes your daily dose of optimism. Filmmaker Michael Marantz has just released The Future is Ours, a rousing two-minute tribute to the people and companies pushing humanity forward. Full screen, HD, headphones if you've got 'em. Fair warning: this will, at a minimum, give you chills — but don't be surprised if…
We all know that thinking ahead is the only way to succeed in life. But a ton of new research shows that the more you think about future goals and events, the more mistakes you're likely to make. So how can you make forward-looking plans in a way that maximizes your chances of winning out?
David Brin fans can rejoice: It's been nearly a decade since his last novel, Kiln People, but the critically acclaimed science fiction writer is now set to release his much anticipated book, Existence, on June 21st.
We humans are a hopeful bunch — so hopeful, in fact, that our views of the future are often irrationally positive. But at what point does unflagging optimism become detrimental to our progress and success? Is there any chance that our starry-eyed tendencies could actually work in our favor, or do they simply leave us…
It's 2012, which means you'll be hearing more than your fair share of apocalyptic and gloomy scenarios soon. To help counteract the tide of misery, Tau Zero Foundation founder Marc Millis writes an optimistic future history of the next four decades.
It is the year 2251. All is well on Earth – food is plentiful, climate ills are cured, and war is nonexistent. Humanity left its home decades ago, with the United Nations of Earth currently on the 20th round of colonization. How would you go about convincing a new round of colonists to brave the hazards of space?
Brain implantation and manipulation is a mainstay of science fiction. Often, characters can gain extra memory or get smarter, by having chips placed within the brain. (Or you can wind up mind-controlled by a psychopath. It's a mixed bag.)
Glad they don't do lobotomies anymore? Weirded out by the idea of giving kids cough syrup made with heroin? These medical practices, which were common in the twentieth century, scare the hell out of us now.
If the world needs a new field of science, can you simply create one from scratch? That's the question of a group of researchers at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. The scientists recently chronicled the twenty-five year journey of sustainability science, a newly coined field with the goal of advancing society…
About 90% of flowering plants require animals to pollinate them, and that includes about two-thirds of the world's crops. The extinction of pollinating organisms could spell disaster... but the very species that are killing them off could prove excellent substitutes.