Optimist allays fears

21st February 2001
A scientist verifies that the test-tube is indeed half-full

A scientist verifies that the test-tube is indeed half-full

KOLKOTA: Speaking excitedly at the Institute for the Pathologically Upbeat, well known optimist Mr. B.S Pande allayed the fears of the general public on sundry issues like global warming, earthquakes, asteroid hits and the dot-com meltdown. “Don’t worry, its just not going to happen,” he said amidst cheerful applause and much rejoicing. Says a new convert at the archaeological survey of India: “Mr. Pande is cleaning the Augean stables of probabilistic science with his breezy optimism. People like him are generally sneered at by the scientific community, which is dominated by nitpicking marxists and nosepicking nihilists. But mark my words, Pande will usher in a new era of feel-good science.”

(abstracted from Mr. Pande’s paper on Advanced Circular Logic)

The optimist starts with the axiom “X will not happen,” where X belongs to the set of conceivable calamities.

For all S belonging to the set of random trouble-mongers who claim that a specific event e is equal to X, there exists a Y such that the optimist can exclaim:”You call this an X? why, this is nothing but a Y!” where Y is a comically attenuated version of X.

For example, if S=subramanyam swamy, e=Chernobyl and X=Nuclear Fallout, the optimist will lazily substitue Y=Sunburn. A tone of gentle, patronising astonishment is recommended for the optimist. As for the infallibility of the theory, Scientists at TIFR were in jubilant agreement, some even calling it a “SeXY theorem”.

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