THE RATIONAL OPTIMIST HOW PROSPERITY EVOLVES PS

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The Rational Optimist

Author : Matt Ridley
ISBN : 0062025376
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 33.66 MB
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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.
Category: Business & Economics

The Rational Optimist

Author : Matt Ridley
ISBN : 9780007267118
Genre : Economic development
File Size : 58.21 MB
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The "New York Times"-bestselling author of "Genome" and "The Red Queen" offers a provocative case for an economics of hope, arguing that the benefits of commerce, technology, innovation, and change--cultural evolution--will inevitably increase human prosperity.
Category: Economic development

The Rational Optimist How Prosperity Evolves

Author : Matt Ridley
ISBN : 9780007374816
Genre : History
File Size : 59.61 MB
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Shortlisted for the BBC Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-fiction 2011. Life is on the up.
Category: History

Nature Via Nurture

Author : Matt Ridley
ISBN : 9780060006785
Genre : Science
File Size : 41.35 MB
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Documents the 2001 discovery that there are fewer genes in a human genome than previously thought and considers the argument that nurture elements are also largely responsible for human behavior.
Category: Science

The Evolution Of Everything

Author : Matt Ridley
ISBN : 9780062296023
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 32.65 MB
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The New York Times bestselling author of The Rational Optimist and Genome returns with a fascinating argument for evolution that definitively dispels a dangerous, widespread myth: that we can command and control our world. Human society evolves. Change in technology, language, morality, and society is incremental, inexorable, gradual, and spontaneous. It follows a narrative, going from one stage to the next; it creeps rather than jumps; it has its own spontaneous momentum rather than being driven from outside; it has no goal or end in mind; and it largely happens by trial and error—a version of natural selection. Much of the human world is the result of human action but not of human design: it emerges from the interactions of millions, not from the plans of a few. Drawing on fascinating evidence from science, economics, history, politics, and philosophy, Matt Ridley demolishes conventional assumptions that the great events and trends of our day are dictated by those on high, whether in government, business, academia, or organized religion. On the contrary, our most important achievements develop from the bottom up. Just as skeins of geese form Vs in the sky without meaning to and ter-mites build mud cathedrals without architects, so brains take shape without brain-makers, learning happens without teaching, and morality changes for no reason other than the prevailing fashion. Although we neglect, defy, and ignore them, bottom-up trends shape the world. The Industrial Revolution, cell phones, the rise of Asia, and the Internet were never planned; they happened. Languages emerged and evolved by a form of natural selection, as did common law. Torture, racism, slavery, and pedophilia—all once widely regarded as acceptable—are now seen as immoral despite the decline of religion in recent decades. In this wide-ranging and erudite book, Ridley brilliantly makes the case for evolution, rather than design, as the force that has shaped much of our culture, our technology, our minds, and that even now is shaping our future. As compelling as it is controversial, as authoritative as it is ambitious, Ridley’s deeply thought-provoking book will change the way we think about the world and how it works.
Category: Business & Economics

African Exodus

Author : Chris Stringer
ISBN : 9781627797498
Genre : History
File Size : 56.27 MB
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A Choice Outstanding Academic Book A Library Journal Best Sci-Tech Book A New York Times Notable Book Once in a generation a book such as African Exodus emerges to transform the way we see ourselves. This landmark book, which argues that our genes betray the secret of a single racial stock shared by all of modern humanity, has set off one of the most bitter debates in contemporary science. "We emerged out of Africa," the authors cont, "less than 100,000 years ago and replaced all other human populations." Employing persuasive fossil and genetic evidence (the proof is in the blood, not just the bones) and an exceptionally readable style, Stringer and McKie challenge long-held beliefs that suggest we evolved separately as different races with genetic roots reaching back two million years.
Category: History

The Case For Rational Optimism

Author : Frank Robinson
ISBN : 9781351485494
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 74.34 MB
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The Case for Rational Optimism tackles a host of challenging subjects in an engaging, accessible, down-to-earth style. It is intellectually serious, ceaselessly intriguing, and devoid of banalities. While other books in this genre tend to be oriented toward self-help, this volume brings evolutionary biology, neuroscience, psychology, sociology, economics, and a keen sense of history to the topic. Robinson begins with three goals: making the case for feeling good about oneself, about humanity in general, and about the global situation. He addresses such seemingly disparate subjects as selfi shness versus altruism, mind and free will, human nature, and issues relating to economics, technology, the environment, and more. Unifying these ideas into a coherent philosophical whole are central concepts: evolution has endowed our species with more good qualities than bad, and why; those qualities, and our use of reason, are the foundations of civilization, and how; and, consistent with our nature, we make a better world by valuing human life therefore enabling others to fl ourish in ways they freely choose. The Case for Rational Optimism argues that the highly challenging conditions confronting early man created a Darwinian selective pressure for cooperation, even altruism, among members of a tribe. Th e author fi nds evidence for this in the way our brains work, and in observable human behavior. He argues against existential despair over the human condition. Even though there probably is no grand celestial design investing life with meaning, he considers this liberating, giving every person the freedom to craft their own meaning. To Robinson, whether sentient beings experience suff ering or joy is the only thing that matters; without emotive highs and lows, the Universe would hardly matter.
Category: Philosophy

Mass Flourishing

Author : Edmund S. Phelps
ISBN : 9781400848294
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 47.82 MB
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In this book, Nobel Prize-winning economist Edmund Phelps draws on a lifetime of thinking to make a sweeping new argument about what makes nations prosper--and why the sources of that prosperity are under threat today. Why did prosperity explode in some nations between the 1820s and 1960s, creating not just unprecedented material wealth but "flourishing"--meaningful work, self-expression, and personal growth for more people than ever before? Phelps makes the case that the wellspring of this flourishing was modern values such as the desire to create, explore, and meet challenges. These values fueled the grassroots dynamism that was necessary for widespread, indigenous innovation. Most innovation wasn't driven by a few isolated visionaries like Henry Ford and Steve Jobs; rather, it was driven by millions of people empowered to think of, develop, and market innumerable new products and processes, and improvements to existing ones. Mass flourishing--a combination of material well-being and the "good life" in a broader sense--was created by this mass innovation. Yet indigenous innovation and flourishing weakened decades ago. In America, evidence indicates that innovation and job satisfaction have decreased since the late 1960s, while postwar Europe has never recaptured its former dynamism. The reason, Phelps argues, is that the modern values underlying the modern economy are under threat by a resurgence of traditional, corporatist values that put the community and state over the individual. The ultimate fate of modern values is now the most pressing question for the West: will Western nations recommit themselves to modernity, grassroots dynamism, indigenous innovation, and widespread personal fulfillment, or will we go on with a narrowed innovation that limits flourishing to a few? A book of immense practical and intellectual importance, Mass Flourishing is essential reading for anyone who cares about the sources of prosperity and the future of the West.
Category: Business & Economics

Who Gets What And Why

Author : Alvin E. Roth
ISBN : 9780544291133
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 80.24 MB
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A Nobel laureate reveals the often surprising rules that govern a vast array of activities -- both mundane and life-changing -- in which money may play little or no role. If you've ever sought a job or hired someone, applied to college or guided your child into a good kindergarten, asked someone out on a date or been asked out, you've participated in a kind of market. Most of the study of economics deals with commodity markets, where the price of a good connects sellers and buyers. But what about other kinds of "goods," like a spot in the Yale freshman class or a position at Google? This is the territory of matching markets, where "sellers" and "buyers" must choose each other, and price isn't the only factor determining who gets what. Alvin E. Roth is one of the world's leading experts on matching markets. He has even designed several of them, including the exchange that places medical students in residencies and the system that increases the number of kidney transplants by better matching donors to patients. In Who Gets What -- And Why, Roth reveals the matching markets hidden around us and shows how to recognize a good match and make smarter, more confident decisions.
Category: Business & Economics

Down To Earth

Author : Matt Ridley
ISBN : UVA:X002595026
Genre : Environmental policy
File Size : 73.74 MB
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Dr Ridley is one of a number of environmentalists who are seeking to counter the inaccurate and misleading opinions of 'mainstream environmentalism'. This volume brings together a selection of 30 of Dr Ridley's 'Down to Earth' columns which appeared in The Sunday Telegraph.
Category: Environmental policy