[FoRK] House, was Re: Optimism, realism, pragmatism, rationalism, and sanity

Stephen Williams sdw at lig.net
Sun Apr 18 08:50:48 PDT 2010

On 4/18/10 7:29 AM, Jeff Bone wrote:
> On Apr 18, 2010, at 9:07 AM, Jeff Bone wrote:
>> Optimism's fine --- I consider myself an optimist, generally.  In the Greg House sense of the word.  Consider:  when House is faced with two different potential diagnoses, one of which is inevitably terminal and the other of which is not and there's no way to distinguish for lack of diagnostic evidence, he frequently chooses to treat the condition as if it is the non-terminal one.  THAT is rational optimism.
> One other bit about this:  this is a frequent device in the show in question.  It's important to realize, though, that in these case such rational optimism *does not* interfere with House's / his team's ability to acknowledge and confront the possibility of the worst-case scenario.  They understand exactly what they are choosing to do when acting in an "optimistic" fashion in such a circumstance;  no illusions that this is going to influence outcome, merely that it's the only *effective* thing that they can do which *might* have an impact.

That is a particular form of optimistic action.  It is valid, however 
there are others that are also valid in their way.  Even in the other 
context we were talking about, you could cast some decisions as possible 
instances of this type: Do nothing, fatal.  Do something, possible 
improvement.  Or, cast as a diagnosis: Either healthcare is unsolvable 
and we run out of money and go to economic heat death, or it is solvable 
and we better start trying solutions before it is too late.

> Also, 13 is really hot. ;-)  (I didn't think so at first --- I was a Cameron fan and resented the whole team swap --- but she's really grown on me.  No Zooey Deschanel, but still...)

500 Days of Summer - *very* cute.  I like 13 also.  And don't forget 7 
of 9...  I caught the Star Trek Exhibit at The Tech on it's last day a 
week ago.
13 is hot partly because of her strength in the face of brokenness and 
semi-despair.  Kind of like Tara's allure.

> $0.03 (inflation),
> jb


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