I have a new post at Young Australian Skeptics, here’s the start:
About 2 months ago, BloggingHeads ran a fascinating 1 hr talk called The Perniciousness of Positive Thinking. Author Barbara Ehrenreich talked about her new book Bright Sided where she explores the negative consequences of the positive thinking fad.
When I was listening to it as soon as I heard the title of the talk I had an initial surprise at the topic’s seeming counter intuitiveness — followed very quickly with a realisation and a nodding of the head. Indeed, fetishising positive thinking is quite prevalent to the point of insanity. There are many belief systems where things can’t be bad almost by definition. The most obvious of these is the hokey New Agey we-can-all-control-our-destiny claptrap, which includes Deepak Chopra’s quantum physics misappropriation, Oprah, The Secret, as well as the usual epidemic of vacuous motivational speakers.