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Too Much Of A Good Thing

Too Much Of A Good Thing

Good and effective things are helpful at one level but when taken too far, can be destructive.

In 1946, Sir Alexander Fleming, a renowned microbiologist, stated that antibiotics (like penicillin) were so effective that it will be abused by the masses, resulting in bacteria mutating and becoming drug-resistant. His prophecy came true, and this new, mutated bacteria is a reality.

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  • In the field of investing, Contrarians take the opposite view, akin to cynicism, and think of the collective mainstream view as a kind of mass delusion.
  • Occasionally, a contrary view is welcome, but if it is done every time, then the good times when one has to simply ride the wave are missed, leading to bitterness.
  • A positive attitude has the power to change our thinking and facilitate good things in our lives. Optimism surely beats pessimism as a worldview, when one has to pick a side.
  • Too much optimism turns into a delusion and eventually complacency. One starts getting out of touch with reality and lives in the mode of denial.
  • As truth is complicated in this day and age, being open-minded takes us out of the bubble we develop around us, based out of our good and bad life experiences.
  • Being too open-minded robs us of our basic checks and balances, making us get lost in a rabbit hole full of contradictions.

One has to take a firm stand on their views to make concrete decisions.

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Next time you're sick, double-check with your doctor to ensure an antibiotic is necessary. If it is, follow the prescription instructions to kill the bacteria and prevent mutation.

You can also seek out antibiotic-free meat and plain soap rather than antibacterial ones. Plain soap is just as effective on virus particles.

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IDEAS

An important lesson from history is that big events are more complicated. It makes forecasting difficult, politics nasty, and lessons to learn from it harder.

We may demand simple answers to explain outlier events. However, it's almost impossible for something big to happen because of one event, person, or group. Unrelated things often culminate into something significant. For example, the Great Depression was the result of a stock market crash, a banking crash, a real estate bubble, an agricultural disaster, and an inadequate policy response. When all these things happened at the same time, it was a catastrophe.

Too much optimism prevents us from accurately predicting and understanding the pain and struggle that is inevitable in the future.

What it does is it reduces our stress and anxiety and provides a ‘playground’ where we can imagine alternative realities which we need to believe in.