Friday, March 6, 2009

Half full or half empty..which one are you?

Suppose you have a glass half filled with water, any water. Would you see the glass as half empty or half full? Of course each one of us has different point of view on how we perceive the same thing. But you also know that our perception is based on our personality and our mind. Therefore, our perception reflects our mind. I personally often think that the glass is half empty. I hate to admit this knowing that it can be said that I'm a pessimistic person. I don't know why when I see a glass with half water on it, I always think that someone has drank it and the next thing to do is for the person to empty the glass not filling it with more water. That's why most of the time I always said that the glass is half empty. I hope nothing is wrong about my thinking.What about you? Do you think it's half-full or half-empty? Are you a pessimistic or an optimistic person? Or are you the one who can't decide which side are you on?

Is the Glass Half Full or Half Empty? A New Take on this Philosophical Idiom

Half full or half empty? This commonplace philosophical question contains far more than meets the eye.The question, "Is this glass half full or half empty?" has been traditionally used to divide the world into two groups, optimists and pessimists. Upon further examination, however, this question contains far more subtlety than it is usually given credit for. It contains expectations, judgments and new possible meanings for pessimism and optimism.

Expectations in "Half Full"

Few drinks are expected to take up half of the glass. If one is expecting a normal drink, one is expecting a full drink. If one sees the drink at half capacity and declares it to be half full, they are making the implicit admission that it is half more than what they expected or are currently imagining. In other words, half full is only half full when compared to a glass that is completely empty. This "completely empty" alternative is what one has in mind when they declare a drink to be half full.

Expectations in "Half Empty"

One who sees a glass at half capacity to be half empty is expecting a drink filled to normal, full capacity. The deviation from their expectation is that the glass has less than what they expected, or are currently imagining. In other words, the glass is half empty only when compared to a glass that is full. The "full" alternative is what one has in mind when they declare a glass to be half empty.
Optimistic or Pessimistic?The popular understanding of the half full or half empty question is that the person who claims that the glass is half full is appreciating the fact that they are in possession of half a glass, whereas the person who claims the drink is half empty is bemoaning the fact that they have less than a full glass. Therefore, the person who claims the glass is half full is dubbed optimistic, whereas the person who claims the glass is half empty is dubbed pessimistic.

Differing Conceptions of the Glass

It was established earlier that the person who claims the glass is half empty is operating under the assumption, or has the conception of, a full glass. The person who claims the glass is half full is operating under the assumption, or has the conception of, a completely empty glass or no glass at all. Given that a full glass is obviously superior to a completely empty glass, it is the "half empty" individual who is expecting or imagining how things could be better. The "half full" individual is expecting or imagining how things could be worse.

A New Paradigm for Optimism and Pessimism

These differing conceptions of the glass allow for an alternate view of optimism and pessimism. The "half full" individual, in expecting or imagining how things could be worse, is a pessimist or a cynic who has been pleasantly surprised.The "half empty" individual, in expecting or imagining how things could be better, is not a pessimist, but an optimist or an idealist who has been disappointed. Comedian and social critic George Carlin embraced this idea when he refused to be labeled a cynic and declared himself to be a "disappointed idealist."
Thinking creatively, and perhaps even pragmatically, allows one to see an alternative perspective to this timeless philosophical question. The fact that the old paradigm is nearly the polar opposite of the new paradigm only makes the debate more interesting. (source from here)

Joke on "Half-full, Half-empty"
A well-known proverb states: an optimistic would say a glass is half full, while a pessimist would say it is half empty. What would people of different professions and walks of life say? The government would say that the glass is fuller than if the opposition party were in power.
The opposition would say that it is irrelevant because the present administration has changed the way such volume statistics are collected.
The philosopher would say that, if the glass was in the forest and no one was there to see it, would it be half anything?
The economist would say that, in real terms, the glass is 25% fuller than at the same time last year.
The banker would say that the glass has just under 50% of its net worth in liquid assets.
The psychiatrist would ask, "What did your mother say about the glass?"
The physicist would say that the volume of this cylinder is divided into two equal parts; one a colorless, odorless liquid, the other a colorless, odorless gas. Thus the cylinder is neither full nor empty. Rather, each half of the cylinder is full, one with a gas, one with a liquid.
The seasoned drinker would say that the glass doesn''t have enough ice in it.(source from here)


“Is the glass half full, or half empty?It depends on whether you're pouring, or drinking.”
Bill Cosby

(images via vi.sualize.us, justbesplendid, cartoonstock)

2 comments:

WELCOME TO MY WORLD said...

Sadly I am a pessimistic. I try not to be but I can't help being who I am. My myspace even says "Some days the cup is empty and some days it's 93% full." I heard that in a movie once and totally agreed with the character. Cause lets face it. You have good days and bad days. I'm only human. :)

boya arsila said...

I agree completely with you...We're only human..and nobody's perfect after all. At least we always try to give the best of everything=)