By Lambert Strether of Corrente.
Yes, I, Lambert Strether, am writing a post entitled “An Optimist Speaks” [gasp]. “How is that possible?” (I hear you ask). Let me abandon my customary register of light irony and explain.
Only optimists — people who believe that a better world is possible — could process the enormous amount of propaganda, mis- and disinformation, and outright lying that we process here at Naked Capitalism while not succumbing to denial, fantasy, tribalism, or self-indulgent nihilism, and retaining (as I hope you will agree) level heads and cool hearts.
And we harness our optimistic temperaments for you, dear readers, by providing truly unparalleled daily link aggregations, besides deep coverage of the crucial events of the day. Because of your support, we are optimistic enough to believe we need not curry favor with anyone.
You may have disagreed with our takes on the Great Financial Crash, the Greek Financial Crisis, the Covid pandemic, or the war in Ukraine, but you will always know why we reached them. And that is why we hope your will support us, at the Tip Jar.
Because of your support, we are optimistic enough to believe that we all, in the comments section, can enjoy the many absurdities, learn, exchange ideas, and protect each other from oncoming harms.
Finally, we are optimistic enough to believe that we can perform this swan dive of a fundraiser year after year, and come up with 10s across the board, this year as in years past.
And yet — it pains me to say this — we do not yet have enough people cheering in the stands. In fact, some of the seats are empty. Last year at this point in the fundraiser we had to raise the donor count goal from 1100 to 1325. We have yet to reach that point this year. So dig deep. Reinforce our optimism. Now is the time!
However, I have personal reasons — beyond my sunny temperament — for optimism. Let me turn this post over to IM Doc for a moment:
Very early on, after reading your research, we started the placement of Corsi-Rosenthal boxes in the office.
I had never heard of this and still it is crickets in this issue in the medical literature.
I have the lowest employee infection rate of any office and more importantly not a single patient has ever been found to be infected in my office on any contact tracing. .
That means that the work we all do here at Naked Capitalism actually saved some people from suffering or even death by preventing infection. I am an old-school blogger, so I am accustomed to steering or tweaking the discourse, but never, not in my wildest dreams, did I imagine I would ever be involved in a life-saving process. And yet I was. That makes me optimistic.
That should make you optimistic, too. So much of what passes for reporting and opinion in our famously free press is meant to make us all feel powerless. In fact, when people work together, then can effect change. So keeping most of us atomized and afraid is key to preserving a status quo that serves the 0.1% and its many retainers. That is why you, dear readers, will hopefully dig deep to help us all work together, via chipping in at the donation page.
And the key tool that give us power is critical thinking skills (which is how we earned a reputation with IM Doc such that he trusted us enough to adopt the research we presented). Honing and deploying critical thinking skills, as it happens, is Naked Capitalism’s editorial mission.
Critical thinking, too, is fundamentally optimistic: Understanding can make change. What we do here is method, even though that sometimes winds up with us looking like we have strongly held views. We go where information and our best understanding of institutions and power dynamics take us.
Critical thinking means we can have your back in crisis, whether the crisis be mortgage and foreclosure abuses, the abyss of the health care system, or a pandemic. Sometimes, critical thinking culminates in very practical — and empowering — advice on solar panels, home maintenance, wood stoves, help with Medicare/Medicaid, and many other topics. And if things are going to become more difficult, a community where you can get a heads-up, as well as practical and psychological support, becomes even more important.
You can reinforce our collective sense of optimism by donating here. If you can give a little, give a little. If you can give a lot, give a lot. If you have already given, consider “paying it forward” by donating on behalf of those who wish they could but cannot. You will be investing in a community where critical thinking skills save lives.
 I think this is true not only for C-R boxes, but for other non-pharmaceutical interventions that we collectively and transparently worked on and through, like masks, Povidone Iodine, etc.