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NOTE ON OPTIMISM AND PESSIMISM… By Prof. IBK

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A NOTE ON OPTIMISM AND PESSIMISM.
The great architects and builders of the ancient world, the Greco-Romans who built some of the greatest buildings then, from the Old Temple of Athena (525-500 BC) to the Parthenon (447 BC), The Colisseum (72 AD, and the great builders of churches such as the Hagia Sophia (537 AD) in Istanbul, Turkey, to the magnificent architects and builders of the Islamic world, those who built the great Umayyad mosque in Damascus (705 AH), and the magnificent Jameh Mosque in Isfahan, Iran (771 AH). In building those great citadels, the architects, structural and building engineers used a simple formula in designing and building those awe-inspiring buildings, namely: “Optimism gets houses built; Pessimism keeps them standing”. A rich king or merchant is optimistic that his money and resources can build him a monument. The architects and the builders have to chip off some of that optimism and adopt a relatively pessimistic perspective: can the soil carry the weight of the building? How deep should the foundations be set? How much load can the colums and the beams carry? Can this enormous dome or lintel be stable enough and for how long? That is why mere optimism (of the Will) is not enough. It has to be coupled with a healthy, enlightened, intelligent and skeptical Pessimism— pessimism that gets things done, that keeps buildings standing, and that cannot be taken by surprise, structural failure, or a not-so-desired sudden turn of events.

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