Rudy Rucker is my favorite science fiction writer. His novels not only reflect his intelligence and knowledge of math, but also his vast sense of humor. He’s a math professor turned writer and he can describe the most abstract mathematical subjects in incredibly poetic ways.
He keeps a blog where he posts his thoughts while working out his novels. For his latest novel, he’s trying to figure out a limitation on teleportation. He wants a reason that only humans can teleport and not creatures from other planets. His thought is that it’s perhaps because teleportation is dependent on regret, doubt and fear. There is discussion about it, others suggest he should use more positive emotions, and he justifies his choice this way:
Regret involves imagining alternate pasts (like one where I attended or worked at Stanford!) If you want to flip this to a positive emotion, you might think of gratitude that things came out the way they did instead of in some other way. Like the gratitude you might have over that you were able to raise your children fairly well. You might even speak of this as pride, like a quiet pride in a job well done. But pride easily curdles into a negative, after all it’s a Deadly Sin.
Doubt involves imagining alternate present times and locations. In doubt, you wonder if everything you believe is wrong and the world is different than you imagined. Flipping to a positive, we could speak of humans have curiosity or adventurousness or enterprise.
Fear involves imagining bad alternate futures. Hope and yearning and longing are about positive futures. This said, yearning can be a negative in that it saps your appreciation of the present.
I also recommend his manifesto for transrealism. Reading a good manifesto can really charge your imagination and I love his writing style.