Optimal Behaviorists

Reporter: You’ve been labeled a futurist; would you consider yourself an optimist?

Ray Bradbury: No, no. I’m not an optimist. I’m an optimal behaviorist.

Reporter: What does that mean?

Ray Bradbury: If you behave yourself, and you behave optimally — every day of your life, every week, every month, every year — if you do the thing that you love, up to the optimal mark, at the end of a year of doing what you should be doing, you feel good. You have a feeling of real optimism…

“I don’t believe in optimism,” [Ray Bradbury] explained. “I believe in optimal behavior. That’s a different thing. If you behave every day of your life to the top of your genetics, what can you do? Test it. Find out. You don’t know what you can do. You haven’t done it yet. So that’s optimal behavior. And when you behave that way you have a feeling of optimism. You see, there’s a difference. Not to be optimistic, but to behave optimally. At the top of your lungs shout and listen to the echoes.”

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