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The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity…

The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves (original 2010; udgave 2010)

af Matt Ridley (Forfatter)

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
9622016,206 (3.96)25
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.
Titel:The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves
Forfattere:Matt Ridley (Forfatter)
Info:Harper (2010), Edition: Illustrated, 448 pages
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek

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The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves af Matt Ridley (2010)


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Engelsk (17)  Spansk (1)  Hollandsk (1)  Tysk (1)  Alle sprog (20)
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If you step back a bit it's actually funny if a bit lacking in self-awareness. What the message can be condensed to is: shut up you peasant, stop complaining and get back to work and be thankful you're not dying of smallpox you ungrateful slacker.

The levels of condescension are unreal. I was genuinely wondering at times if this had been written on a dare. ( )
  Paul_S | Dec 23, 2020 |
As we are constantly bombarded with doom prophesies the book makes a really good job and puts all of that into greater perspective. Rational Optimist starts with a thesis that we are way better off than we ever were. The book states that our lives have improved significantly in terms of wealth, nutrition, life expectancy, literacy and many other measures. Matt Ridley makes convincing arguments that things will continue to improve. The book also serves as a defence of free trade and globalisation. We don’t need to agree with the Ridley theme of optimism for the future to make this book worthwhile to read. The book offers much more than the title suggests.

The Rational Optimist seeks to explain how humans continuously managed to improve their quality of life. Honestly, after 1/3 of the book, I thought that its content will be exactly the same as one of my previous books... (if you like to read my full review please visit my blog: https://leadersarereaders.blog/the-rational-optimist-how-prosperity-evolves/) ( )
  LeadersAreReaders | Feb 19, 2019 |
Too good! After the first chapter I didn't need to read it on, because it was enough to understand his thesis. ( )
  lucaconti | Jan 24, 2019 |
Ecologist vs Economist thinking ( )
  ShadowBarbara | Jan 27, 2017 |
The short answer to the question implied by the subtitle (according to the author) is specialization and the exchange of goods, services, and ideas. He goes on to show that once our ancestors learned to trade with one another, human prosperity (collectively) began to grow rapidly (relatively speaking) and is likely to continue to do so (on average, over the long run), despite what present day naysayers and doom mongers may say. There have always been those who predict dire futures and proclaim with confidence that the end is near, but they've most always been wrong. The future ends up better...not only better than the one the alarmists predicted but better than at any time in the past. Oddly, although they are most often wrong, pessimists are usually more highly regarded than people who see a more optimistic (and realistic) future. He puts it this way:
"Optimists are dismissed as fools, pessimists as sages, by a media that likes to be spoon-fed on scary press releases. That does not make the optimists right, but the poor track record of pessimists should at least give one pause."
Although I cannot agree with every point Matt Ridley makes in this book, it does indeed give one pause. It provokes thought, and that makes it a worthy book in my mind.
There are times when the book takes on an alarmist tone, seemingly warning that dire consequences for the world can be expected if people listen to alarmists. Ironic that, I thought. And, I think, an exaggeration. One of the reasons dire predictions fail is because alarmists have raised legitimate concerns, and people, through technology and governmental regulations, have taken steps to mitigate the problems. There is no doubt that air pollution, for example, is not as bad as it was half a century ago (at least here in the U.S.) but I have to think that this was, at least in part, a result of the efforts of environmental activists bringing the issue to public awareness, which prompted government regulation, which spurred technological innovation. Without these, would L.A. still be shrouded in smog? I can't know for sure, but I rather suspect it would be. Raising alarm isn't always bad. If a fire is smoldering in a corner, it's helpful if someone tells you they think they smell smoke before the building burns down.
Still, all in all, a thought provoking read on human progress and on contemporary issues such as organic farming, fossil fuels, climate change, and population. I recommend it.
( )
  DLMorrese | Oct 14, 2016 |
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"In the second century of the Christian Era, the empire of Rome comprehended the fairest part of the earth, and the most civilised portion of mankind. The frontiers of that extensive monarchy were guarded by ancient renown and disciplined valour. The gentle but powerful influence of laws and manners had gradually cemented the union of the provinces. Their peaceful inhabitants enjoyed and abused the advantages of wealth and luxury." Thus the first paragraph of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire and thus, more or less, the entire contents of Matt Ridley's latest book.
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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.

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