Main Sliding Scale Of Idealism Versus Cynicism Discussion

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07:36:24 AM Jan 21st 2016
edited by Max96
Where are these verses on the scale: A Certain Magical Index, Ben 10, Bleach, The Elder Scrolls?
08:54:05 AM Nov 11th 2014
Should we make a Visual Novels page? I see a bunch of examples that are from visual novels, but they're either on the Anime page or the Video Games page, so it seems a bit disorganized.
06:10:53 AM Aug 1st 2014
I know the joke as:
  • The pessimist can see a dark tunnel;
  • The optimist can see a light at the end of the tunnel;
  • The realist can see two lights at the end of the tunnel;
  • The engineer can see three idiots on the rails.
05:17:34 PM Nov 27th 2013
Why is Sliding Scale Long Name a redirect?
09:11:10 PM Nov 27th 2013
Because it's practical, and I don't think we have more sliding scales. That said, I'm pretty sure that redirect isn't supposed to be used for articles, just for discussion elsewhere.
09:25:52 PM Nov 27th 2013

Sliding Scale of Anthropomorphism. Sliding Scale of Anti-Villains. Sliding Scale of Villain Threat. Sliding Scale of Realistic Versus Fantastic. Sliding Scale of Silliness vs. Seriousness.

I mean, I get the idea of using it as a redirect for potholes or discussions, but I first saw it as a Wikiword in an article and got really confused. That... doesn't seem like proper use, you know?
01:24:08 AM Nov 28th 2013
Huh, I forgot about those. It's probably just a cute shorthand or discussions, since I'm pretty sure this is the most commonly listed trope.

I'd fix any links using it for starters. Can't really suggest anything else right now.
12:16:24 PM Oct 6th 2013
The current page quote should be changed IMO. The quotes list is good, but the page quote is only representing the cynical side. Seems a bit biased. Maybe it should be something more neutral. Just saying.
12:39:18 PM Oct 7th 2013
Felt that one of the other quotes from the existing quotes section fitted the article better and was more neutral, edited.
11:02:04 AM Sep 25th 2013
So, what is this trope about? It's really vaguely defined. Is it simply an observation that individual works tend toward one end of the scale, or is it when a work portrays a conflict between the two?
08:09:27 PM Dec 1st 2012
Why was this once named "Sliding Scale Long Name"?
11:01:03 AM Sep 25th 2013
Easier to type out, I assume.
10:16:06 PM Jun 8th 2012
How can an idealistic work be dark? When I try to imagine that, my brain hurts.
04:01:42 AM Sep 4th 2012
The world is shit, people die, but the Aesop of the story is that it is not wrong to believe in good.

It is possible to be optimistic and have a crap life.
06:32:45 PM May 22nd 2012
Where would Futurama fit on the scale? I tend to see it in the middle.
12:19:55 AM Dec 11th 2011
I'm not sure which 'cynical' character was meant by that editor who said the seiyuus of Bang and Tao voiced in extremeley cynical anime/game. As of Tao, I'm really sure that Puella Magi Madoka Magica came after BB CS, and I'm not sure which cynical series Bang's seiyuu starred at... Armored Core? Or was it Kamen Rider Ryuki (often said to have similarities with Madoka)?
02:33:59 PM Sep 16th 2011
Because cynicism was a rich ethical system and ideology that got its claim to fame in the years after Socrates' death, referring to living like dogs, and because the modern usage really just goes hand and hand with skepticism and pessimism, I really think that this article and trope should be renamed. I would open the trope repair shop to find a new title that people can agree on, but it is currently 300+ past its 1000 limit, so please stand by. Thank you and good night Berlin
09:37:38 AM Oct 13th 2011
edited by tropetown
It should be called "Sliding Scale Of Idealism and Pragmatism" instead of cynicism, but cynicism is erroneously linked as the opposite of idealism, which isn't quite true. Alternatively, we could call it the "Sliding Scale Of Naivete and Cynicism", but that's not quite as close to the idea that the trope is trying to represent.
06:42:33 PM May 22nd 2012
edited by TwoGunAngel
"Sliding Scale of Altruism Versus Cynicism" would arguably be closer to what we're after here, but that would require splitting into "Idealism Versus Pragmatism" and "Altruism Versus Cynicism," really.
02:43:42 PM Sep 6th 2011
Could a deconstruction of a work that was cynical to start with end up being idealistic, even though the main page says that deconstructions are usually cynical, and likewise would reconstructions of cynical works also be cynical?

In other words, would deconstructions necessarily be "cynical," or would they simply be on the opposite end of the sliding scale of the work or theme they were originally based on?
10:40:38 PM Nov 28th 2010
Why aren't the levels listed on the main page? Why aren't they listed at all?
08:03:41 AM Nov 13th 2010
I get the feeling that we might be conflating two different sliding scales into this trope. The opposite of Idealism isn't Cynicism, but Pragmatism. Likewise, the opposite of Cynicism is Optimism. You can have examples of works or characters who are both Optimistic and Pragmatic (the Reasonable Authority Figure and Knight in Sour Armor come to mind, as well as stories where you have to Earn Your Happy Ending), as well as Cynical and Idealistic (Knight Templar, Utopia Justifies the Means, etc.). I know it would cause a lot of linking chaos, but maybe at some point we could break this trope up into two to reflect this.
11:00:37 PM Nov 27th 2010
I see your point about confusion, but your solution is probably unnecessary. The problem at it's heart is that "idealism" can mean about 20 different things (though I doubt anyone was confused and thought we were talking about anti-materialism). What this article calls idealism might more accurately be called philosophical optimism. Clarifying that should solve the problem.
04:29:55 PM Dec 22nd 2010
I have to agree with the first post. This has been a Pet-Peeve Trope of mine for a while, based on the way it tends to equate "Cynical work = Downer Ending" and "Idealistic work = Happy Ending". That isn't what cynicism or idealism actually mean. It particularly gets to me based on the fact that I myself am very much an Optimistic Pragmatist, in real life and in my attempts at fiction.

I would prefer a rename to Cynicism vs. Optimism, but as that probably isn't happening, the description should at least be reworded to point out the above difference between idealism and optimism.
05:44:45 PM Dec 26th 2010
I think the first post makes a good point. Renaming the trope seems like the most painless way to go about it. At the very least, it's worth discussion in one of the forums.
10:10:46 PM Jan 1st 2011
In a perfect world, it would be renamed. But on TV Tropes, renames are Serious Business, and given how many pages link here (one of the litmus tests people always bring up), I don't see any way a rename is passing muster.

It seems the only thing to do is rewrite the description to explain that idealism here means optimism, and preferrably also try to do something about the "cynicism equals Downer Ending" idea, which keeps coming up on the links. Optimistic works pretty much can't have anything but good endings of some kind, but cynical works can be all over the place.
12:32:30 PM Mar 23rd 2011
Why is this a "sliding scale"?

I got the description, but "sliding scale" to me means the fee can be adjusted to whatever the payer can afford. If anything, this means there's not a clear "you can afford it or you can't" divide.

The description is not that at all. The description is that of a "Valley Between Idealism and Cynicism", the plot must generally adopt one extreme or the other since the positions in-between are more mundane and uninteresting to a superhero plot.
01:29:43 PM Apr 4th 2011
Could be worse. At least it isn't "Sliding Scale Of Idealism Vs Realism" anymore.
01:19:02 PM Nov 1st 2010
Some of the examples strike me as odd. Seriously, many of them seem to be pulling straws trying to get a series to fit. For example, in the Anime section it makes sense for Eva or Trigun to be examples, but Dragon Ball? Seriously, not all shows really make a statement on the issue. Even if we could somehow force a DBZ example, what it currently says makes no sense. Dragon Ball is easily as idealistic as Fist of the North Star, the good guys always win, bad guys become good guys every day (more than half the Z Fighters were antagonists originally), nobody dies because of the Dragon Balls, and the show is unapologetically fun.
03:29:00 AM Nov 6th 2010
Maybe there should be a qualifier for the trope examples?
11:32:08 AM Oct 24th 2010
I really love the quote at the top!
04:06:41 PM Oct 26th 2010
Why was it changed?
09:51:46 AM Jun 26th 2010
Is it time to put the different media examples into their own page on this one, since all of them are getting really long?
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