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Ideas have sex, in Ridley's schema; they follow a process of natural selection of their own, and as long as they continue to do so, there is reason to retire apocalyptic pessimism about the future of our species. Erstwhile zoologist, conservationist, and journalist, Ridley (The Red Queen) posits that as long as civilization engages in exchange and specialization, we will be able to reinvent ourselves and responsibly use earthly resources ad infinitum. Humanity's collective intelligence will save the day, just as it has over the centuries. Ridley puts current perceptions about violence, wealth, and the environment into historical perspective, reaching back thousands of years to advocate global free trade, smaller government, and the use of fossil fuels. He confidently takes on the experts, from modern sociologists who fret over the current level of violence in the world to environmentalists who disdain genetically modified crops. An ambitious and sunny paean to human ingenuity, this is an argument for why ambitious optimism is morally mandatory. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Science journalist Ridley believes there is a reason to be optimistic about the human race, and he defies the unprecedented economic pessimism he observes. His book is about the rapid and continuous change that human society experiences, unlike any other animal group. Ideas needed to meet and mate for culture to turn cumulative, and “there was a point in human pre-history when big-brained, cultural, learning people for the first time began to exchange things with each other and that once they started doing so, culture suddenly became cumulative, and the great headlong experiment of human economic ‘progress’ began.” Participants in the exchanges improved their lives by trading food and tools. Ridley believes it is probable that humanity will be better off in the next century than it is today, and so will the ecology of our planet. He dares the human race to embrace change, be rationally optimistic, and strive for an improved life for all people. --Mary Whaley --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.See all Editorial Reviews
Give this to all your mopey, end-of-the-world, doom and gloom friends. It won't make them feel any better. But it may quiet them down a hit.Published 6 days ago by Road Warrior
Well it was an interesting book, but I was forced to read it for a class so that kind of brought it down in my eyes. Read morePublished 7 days ago by Sahky
"Irrational Pollyanna" might be a better title for this book. Ridley comes over as a zealot quoting (and misquoting) every biblical verse, newspaper article or discredited... Read morePublished 9 days ago by Graham Shepherd
Matt Ridley really shows you that there is a bright future ahead in this book. He has stats to show you why to be an optimists and has a ton of logic with it. Read morePublished 14 days ago by Reggie Bailey
Everybody should read this book
Ridley convincingly explains why the pervading pessimism is not only wrong but immoral. Read more
A book for the optimist. The writer is intelligent and thoughtful. The research done was extraordinary. If you see the glass as always half full, this book is for you.Published 18 days ago by Garrett C.
Only someone desperate to believe Ridley's view could ignore humanity's 's tribal nature and history. I would call the book silly if it were not so pernicious. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Eisenring