At some point, human intelligence became collective and cumulative in a way that happened to no other animal. If you really had to make everything yourself, you would be back in the stone age, scrabbling around with hand axes.
But it can get much, much better.
The pessimists are right when they say that, if the world continues as it is, it will end in disaster for all humanity. People are programmed to desire, not to appreciate.
And if you can get it made efficiently by others, then you can afford more of it…. Free trade between cities and countries produces prosperity and the goods and materials that make our lives better.
Subsistence farming farm to fork, eating local is a poverty trap; the city offers freedom and opportunity.
The ten billionth inhabitant, it is now officially forecast, will never come at all. Rural self-sufficiency is a romantic mirage. Once I grew suspicious of this tendency, I saw further hints all over the place.
Non-renewable resources are finite. Even so, Ridley is worried that excessive pessimism about these ills will lead to cures that are worse than the disease.
The long shadow of the future hangs over any transaction with your local shopkeeper…My point is simply this: How Prosperity Evolvesis a dense but fascinating argument for why life is going to get better and better.
Individuals learn skills and technologies from each other; they innovate; and they pass those innovations along to others. The lesson of the last two centuries is that liberty and welfare march hand in hand with prosperity and trade.
Chapter 8, The invention of invention — Several false predictions: Worry about fewer things while understanding the lessons of the past, including lessons about the importance of innovation. It is possible that not just the recent credit boom, but the entire post-war rise in living standards was a Ponzi scheme, made possible by the gradual expansion of credit?
Adam gave Oz an object in exchange for a different object. The biological, cultural and economic forces behind human progress. About the same amount. We live well and can do so without slaves, which was not possible in ancient times. This is the biggest cause of all for my optimism. Since a reasonably fit person on an exercise bicycle can generate about fifty watts, this means that it would take slaves, working eight-hour shifts each, to pedal me to my lifestyle.
Chapter 3 — The Manufacture Of Virtue: Chapter 11 — The Catallaxy: A patch of ground roughly five yards by five yards receives as much sunlight as you need to run your techno life. No, again, he says. Basic good property rights are essential, and then enterprise can work its magic.
Urban opportunity is what people want. A New Zealand lamb, shipped to England, requires one-quarter as much carbon to get to a London plate as a Welsh lamb.
That we have in effect grown rich by borrowing the means from our children and that a day of reckoning is now at hand? If you have to acquire it for yourself, it usually takes longer than if you get it ready-made by other people.
Our lives have improved dramatically—in terms of lifespan, nutrition, literacy, wealth, and other measures—and he believes that the trend will continue.
If we keep on doing things the way we are now, there will be 10 feet of horse manure in every major street of every major city; but, we did not keep doing things the way we are now.
Yet if innovation is limitless, why is everybody so pessimistic about the future? I make the hooks and you catch the fish — and together we achieve something that neither of us could manage on our own.
Especially as ideas cross-pollinate: Once we cottoned on to this trick, there was no stopping us. A plethora of cultural and environmental sages predicted increasing poverty, pollution and pestilence.The Rational Optimist is definitely one of those books.
Personally, I think this may be one of the most important books of the last 10 years. Personally, I think this may be one of the most important books of the last 10 years.4/5. Book Review: The Rational Optimist Pessimism might still be good in small doses There seems to be a widespread view of a bleak future for the human kind today as we are bombarded with information that makes us feel as if we are unquestionably turning our planet into an inhabitable rock for future generations.
Book review — Matt Ridley; The rational optimist This is an uplifting and even cheerful book to read. If you are like me and you worry about climate change and the environment, then you may be put off a bit by Ridley’s some what hardy sweeping aside of concerns about climate and environment that he finds are misguided.
Matt Ridley’s latest book, The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves, is a dense but fascinating argument for why life is going to get better and mi-centre.com’s optimism has to do with specialization, trade, globalization, networks, cooperation, exchange–there’ll be more of it, all, he says.
The book's strength, however, does not lie in its economic analysis. Ridley's real target is those doomsayers who insist that everything is going from bad to worse and something must be done about it.
The Rational Optimist by Matt Ridley Andy 5th November 22nd December Gaia, Happiness, Mindfulness, Rational Optimist, What Works Science journalist Ridley believes there is a reason to be optimistic about the human race and he defies the unprecedented economic pessimism he observes.Download