Yet they were right who called him "pessimist," for this man who, as much as any other, will have been the cause of reducing infectious diseases to almostzero often doubted the value of reducing infectious diseases at all.
For all his devotion to Max Gottlieb’s pessimistic view of the human intellect, Martin had believed that there was such a thing as progress, that events meant something, that people could learn something, that if Madeline had once admitted she was an ordinary young woman who occasionally failed, then she was saved.
…of the sort called "practical"; not once did he cease warring on the post hoc propter hoc conclusions which still make up most medical lore; not once did he fail to be hated by his colleagues, who were respectful to his face, uncomfortable in feeling his ironic power, but privily joyous to call him Mephisto, Diabolist, Killjoy, Pessimist, Destructive Critic, Flippant Cynic, Scientific Bounder Lacking in Dignity and Seriousness, Intellectual Snob, Pacifist, Anarchist, Atheist, Jew.
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I find the pessimist to be, if not exactly pleasant, then at least sincere.
Such a pessimist.
Laurie Halse Anderson -- The Impossible Knife of Memory