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Is Optimism Stupid?

Berrett-Koehler Publishers - A community dedicated to creating a world that works for all

V 9:2  Nov 13, 2014
Happy birthday, Jimmy Kimmel!
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Aaah, coffee.

BK Communiqué

"My optimism wears heavy boots and is loud.

                   -- Henry Rollins


Why Read It? The world isn't coming to an end, contrary to what you may have heard, says Jurriaan Kamp. Certainly there's upheaval and economic, political, and social instability, but the media's near-exclusive focus on conflict and disaster means the progress and everyday acts of brilliance taking place across the globe go unnoticed, which contributes to the sense that apocalypse is at hand.


Kamp asserts that on the whole we're living longer, becoming smarter, working less, and growing richer. Not only that, democracy is on the rise, and violence is declining. He explains how we can cultivate an outlook of informed optimism that will make our lives and the world better.


Read an excerpt here and buy the book for 30% off here.  
For academic desk copies, please contact Mike Crowley.
For media review copies, please contact Kat Engh.
News, Features, and Free Stuff
The Bright Side   

In this issue of the Communiqué, we explore how the many reasons to be optimistic for our futures -- both collectively and individually -- despite the common perception that everything is going downhill.

A big reason we feel so pessimistic is that we are surrounded by media that focuses on negatives -- so much so that often a situation that is not at all negative gets made out to be that way. Here are Five Negative "Facts" That We All Accept as Truth Even Though They're False.
Other News  

+ Add Egypt to the list of countries where you shouldn't have a copy of 1984 anywhere on your person when in public.
+ Vanity Fair examines how Amazon slowly rose to become "literary enemy #1."
+ A new restaurant in Toronto is offering literary-culinary fusion cuisine.
+ A top commander has told the US Navy SEALs to stop writing books and spilling secrets.
+ You can now download literary classics for free when waiting for a train at the Moscow Metro.
+ So what books are Richard Branson, Elon Musk, Larry Page, and other world rulers reading at the moment?
+ DRM is on its way out, but digital watermarks are all the rage for e-books now.
+ Spain's oldest dictionary has come under fire for its definition of "gypsy" as "one who cheats."
+"Cronuts," "mankles," and other words the Collins Dictionary decided not to adopt can be seen here.
+ The Rolling Stones are publishing a limited-edition coffee-table book that will cost $5,000.

+ Free Excerpt from a New York Times Bestseller: In the Kingdom of Ice, by Hampton Sides. Read an excerpt here.

+ Free Resources: Learn six unusual new ways to use Pinterest here.

+ Free Software: Learn about and obtain the eleven best tools to manage all of your social media here.
Confessions of an Editorial Assistant
Editorial Assistant Anna Leinberger sees things here at BK -- sometimes these things are beautiful, sometimes they're ugly, and sometimes they're just plain silly. But now she's telling all.

BK Around the World
The title of this Spanish edition of a BK book: El Cambio de Mentalidad: La Promesa del Siglo XXI translates (according to Google translator) to Change of Mind: The Promise of the Century. That's a pretty heavy title to combine with some cartoons depicting a young boy becoming a man and a hot air balloon evolving into a modern jet.

Of course, the original cover and title of this BK book were a lot more basic. This is the original BK edition.
Marginally Unethical Life Hacks
Some things are ethical; some things are not. And then there are those things that help you get ahead that, technically, are not unethical, but, well --

This time, we show you How to Steady Your Nerves Quickly and Efficiently in a Tense Situation.
We Recommend
We can try as hard as we can to be optimistic, but is there anything to be gained from discomfort? According to The Discomfort Zone, there is.

Top leadership coach Marcia Reynolds  says difficult conversations are actually good when they're done right. Unfortunately, the majority of them aren't done properly and create more resistance than growth. Reynolds offers a model and methods for discovering what to say so people change their own minds. Instead of being told, people see for themselves where they're falling short and how they can do better. Reynolds includes numerous examples and case studies to show the techniques in action.


Free E-Book (for 48 Hours)
For forty-eight hours, we are giving away e-copies of our (very optimistic and encouraging book) Why Wait to Be Great?, by Terry Hawkins, in a secret place on our website you can access only here.

This offer is available exclusively for BK Communiqué subscribers. But act fast! After midnight on November 14, 2014, you're going to have to plunk down $19.95 like everyone else. Go now.
Check It Out
The Intelligent Optimist (formerly Ode) is not just a globally distributed popular magazine but also an online destination with news stories; events and courses, and lots of multimedia and videos -- all built around a compelling core concept: we have good reason to be optimistic about the future while still being fully aware of all that is happening in the world. Go visit this site -- you'll feel better immediately.
End Notes

Last time, I issued this challenge. The first correct answer came from Bruce Waltuck. That answer can be found here

Your next challenge can be found here.

Email me with any comments or rants. And if you are really tired of following someone's social media feeds, let him or her know by not just unfollowing but by gunfollowing.

Oh, and here's your biweekly dose of random.


P.S. -- This isn't real, is it?
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