“Intelligent optimists are changing the world” says Gulf News, pointing to a group of students who came together in 2013 at the Dubai Science Festival, and now have an Intelligent Optimism Facebook page with 84,000 ‘Likes’. They appear to have some kind of connection with the Intelligent Optimism .com website, since that site links back to the Facebook group from its ‘Contact’ page. I note that Intelligent Optimism .com also posts regularly on the Intelligent Optimism Facebook page.
The Intelligent Optimism .com website unfortunately foregrounds The Intelligent Optimist magazine, though so far as I know there is no connection between the two publications. The Intelligent Optimist magazine appears to have too many bits of health faddism and New Age whiffle for my liking. Here’s a sample of their recent articles, and also a training event they’re currently promoting…
* Introduction to Somatic Experiencing: What is Somatic Healing?
* Seven memory tricks (“prevent and maybe even cure Alzheimer’s and dementia”).
* Stay in touch (“massage, haptonomy and reiki, is relaxing and healthy”).
* Bread be gone! (“How Bread’s Main Ingredient Can Harm Your Mental Health”).
This questionable health stuff is why the magazine isn’t linked on the sidebar of this blog, despite its alluring title and slick production values. There may be a space in the magazine market for a magazine on evidence-based optimism, but I’m really not sure that The Intelligent Optimist is our best ambassador.
As rational optimism grows in influence I guess we will inevitably attract a few unwanted hangers-on, those who seek to wrap their fringe beliefs and fads in its banner.