The rational optimist by matt ridley

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the rational optimist by matt ridley

The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves by Matt Ridley

Life is getting better—and at an accelerating rate. Food availability, income, and life span are up; disease, child mortality, and violence are down — all across the globe. Though the world is far from perfect, necessities and luxuries alike are getting cheaper; population growth is slowing; Africa is following Asia out of poverty; the Internet, the mobile phone, and container shipping are enriching people’s lives as never before. The pessimists who dominate public discourse insist that we will soon reach a turning point and things will start to get worse. But they have been saying this for two hundred years.

Yet Matt Ridley does more than describe how things are getting better. He explains why. Prosperity comes from everybody working for everybody else. The habit of exchange and specialization—which started more than 100,000 years ago—has created a collective brain that sets human living standards on a rising trend. The mutual dependence, trust, and sharing that result are causes for hope, not despair.

This bold book covers the entire sweep of human history, from the Stone Age to the Internet, from the stagnation of the Ming empire to the invention of the steam engine, from the population explosion to the likely consequences of climate change. It ends with a confident assertion that thanks to the ceaseless capacity of the human race for innovative change, and despite inevitable disasters along the way, the twenty-first century will see both human prosperity and natural biodiversity enhanced. Acute, refreshing, and revelatory, The Rational Optimist will change your way of thinking about the world for the better.
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Rational optimism with Matt Ridley: Chapter 1 of 5

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Matt Ridley

The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves

Opponents accuse proponents of blind faith in the Miracle of the Market. The proponents too often seem to confirm this accusation by overpromising and underproving what the market can do. Opponents are often guilty of equally unthinking belief in the Immaculate Government Intervention. Each side recites its creeds, giving heart to the faithful but making no converts. Yet he shows a surprisingly casual attitude toward logic and evidence, which is likely to cause the antimarket side to see him as rigging the contest. Ridley does synthesize a great deal of material, spinning the history of humanity from the stone ax to the computer mouse.

Homo erectus ape-men were avid tool users. We know this because they left crafted stone axes all over the globe. But they were no innovators. Once they started making axes, they stuck to the same design for more than a million years. If you've seen one hand axe, you've seen them all. It never seemed to occur to our erectus ancestors that you could make a better hand axe.

The book primarily focuses on the benefits of the innate human tendency to trade goods and services.
winners never quit and quitters never win quote

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4 thoughts on “The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves by Matt Ridley

  1. A counterblast to the prevailing pessimism of our age, and proves, however much we like to think to the contrary, that things are getting better.

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