In Praise of Pessimism

first_imgIn the coming months, all of us are going to have to figure out how to gird ourselves psychologically for whatever the new normal might be. “Optimism tempered by realism,” tends to be the favored formulation, and sure, that’s fine; it may even be politically and economically sound. That Eeyore is having her moment. The coronavirus is springtime for pessimists. Every gloomy thought I’ve had about this pandemic has more or less come to pass. So when I read of a possibly more devastating wave of Covid-19 this coming winter, or that recovered patients in South Korea are suddenly becoming reinfected, or that a vaccine might take north of 18 months to develop and mass produce, I merely think Welcome to my brain. Those are the lyrics of my personal death-metal soundtrack. They’ve been playing in my head all along. You could argue that pessimism is, at this moment, not just sensible but pro-social. Last month, when I read that 75 percent of all neighborhood restaurants will likely shutter for good, I bought pastries for my neighbors from the one local bakery I couldn’t bear to see disappear. (I recommend doing this in your own neighborhood, if you’re still lucky enough to have disposable income. It’s win-win-win.) Because I assumed the worst, I actually got off my duff and did something. I can only hope I’ll have the wherewithal to do the same going forward. … “I think the edge a defensive pessimist might have when the economy reopens,” Norem wrote me in another email, “is that they will continue to take more precautions than non-defensive pessimists, and they’ll prepare for the open/close/open/close roller coaster that many people are predicting. They’re more likely to plan for different contingencies and scenarios, and thus less likely to be caught off guard by any particular one.” “Defensive pessimism is costly in that it doesn’t get rid of your anxiety,” Julie Norem, a professor of psychology at Wellesley College, told me. “But the flip side is that it keeps your mind anchored and focuses you on things you can control.” Which is what distinguishes it from generalized anxiety, garden-variety neuroticism and catastrophizing, by the way. Defensive pessimism is productive. … Read the whole story: The New York Times More of our Members in the Media > But I’d also like to make a positive case for pessimism. Defensive pessimism, specifically. Because if things start going downhill, defensive pessimists will be the ones with their feet already on the brakes. Norem, who’s been studying defensive pessimism since the early 1980s, told me that she collected her most recent round of data on March 20 — eight days after the World Health Organization deemed Covid-19 a pandemic, but before all but one state, California, had begun enforcing stay-at-home orders. The correlation was clear: The more defensively pessimistic her participants were, the more likely they were to be canceling travel and avoiding public gatherings — or to have done so already. Confession: I have a secret talent for making lemons out of lemonade. It may not be readily apparent. I smile a lot and make cheerful conversation; my end of the dinner table is not some horrible event horizon beyond which all sunlight disappears. But tucked inside me, almost always, is a grumbling Eeyore. …last_img read more

OBITUARY: AAIA Member Don Gillen Passes Away

first_imgDeMoulpied comes to LSI from the Private Client Services practice of Ernst & Young where he managed strategy & operations improvement engagements for privately held client businesses. Some of his prior roles include VP of strategic development, director of strategic initiatives, and Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt at OptumHealth, UnitedHealth Group’s health services business, as well as Lean Six Sigma Black Belt at General Electric, where he applied operations improvement principles to customer service, supply chain and product development. A successful entrepreneur, deMoulpied is also the founder of PrestoFresh, a Cleveland-based e-commerce food/grocery business.  LSI President Brett Tennar says, “Steve’s success in developing operational strategies that improves the bottom line, builds teamwork, reduces waste and ensures quality product development and distribution checks many of the boxes of what we were looking for in a COO. This, coupled with his career in the Air Force working with highly technical systems and his in-depth understanding of Lean Six Sigma and Business Process Management sealed our offer. As our tagline states, our products are Powered by Science. This data driven approach is one reason why our company has grown exponentially as we employ the most advanced technology to product development. I am confident that Steve is the right person to drive operational strategy for our diverse and growing brands.” Advertisement DeMoulpied has a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering Management from the United States Air Force Academy and a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Dayton in Marketing and International Business. He served six years with the USAF overseeing the development of technology used on fighter aircraft and the E-3 Surveillance aircraft, finishing his career honorably as Captain. With more than 20 years of experience across multiple industries and functional areas, deMoulpied has particular expertise in organizations with complex technical products. Combined, his prior positions have required a spectrum of skills in corporate strategy, operations improvement, product quality, and revenue cycle management. He has an impressive history of utilizing data driven problem solving (Lean Six Sigma) and project management (PMP and CSM) to achieve strategic goals surrounding customer satisfaction, operational efficiency and improved profit.  From AAIA AutoFacts AdvertisementClick Here to Read MoreAdvertisement Don Gillen, national sales director, CarGo/Blue Magic Inc., Conroe, TX, died Wednesday, May 24. Gillen gave service to his profession by serving on the APAA and AAIA Board of Directors; the AAIA Nominating Committee; the APAA Government Affairs Committee, and chaired it for two years; and also served on the AAIA Government Affairs and Show Committees. He also enjoyed working with Catholic Youth as a regional advisor. Gillen is survived by his wife, Lynda; son, Phillip Lee Gillen; daughter and son-in-law, Ann Marie and Mike Frisch; brother, David; and grandchildren, Patrick Donald Gillen, Lyndon, Brooke, Sophie, Charlie and Kaytie Frisch. A memorial has been established with Resurrection Catholic School, 4900 N. Woodlawn, Wichita, KS 67220. Tributes may be sent to the family at www.downingandlahey.com , Downing & Lahey East Chapel. _______________________________________ Click here to view the rest of today’s headlines.,Lubrication Specialties Inc. (LSI), manufacturer of Hot Shot’s Secret brand of performance additives and oils, recently announced the expansion of senior leadership. Steve deMoulpied joins LSI as the company’s chief operating officer (COO). AdvertisementClick Here to Read MoreAdvertisementlast_img read more

Police Appeal For Information After Dash Cam Video Goes Viral

first_imgImage taken from the dash cam video that is currently going viral on social media. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to LinkedInLinkedInLinkedInPolice Scotland report that enquiries are underway into the circumstances surrounding what appears to be dashcam footage posted online which shows an articulated lorry traveling east on the A75 road at the Gatehouse of Fleet by-pass whilst carrying out an overtaking manoeuvre.Constable Ross Williams of the Roads Policing Unit said “The footage of this incident has been posted online and appears to have gone viral. The incident clearly shows what can only be described as an act of dangerous driving and as such we are carrying out investigations into the source of the footage and to trace all those who were traveling on the A75 road at the time of the incident. At this stage we do not know when this footage was taken and as such are appealing for anyone who may have any information which would help in this investigation to contact the Roads Policing Unit at Stranraer on the 101 number, quoting the reference number PDG 0244171118.”The Facebook footage can be seen HERElast_img read more