Book analysis the rational optimist

Book analysis the rational optimist

The argument is not that exchange teaches people to be kind; it is that exchange teaches people to recognise their enlightened self-interest lies in seeking cooperation. Fears about global warming are a particular bugbear of Ridley's. Either the Neanderthal women sat around doing nothing, or, since they were as butch as most modern men, they went out hunting with the men. Misery abounds in the world despite the remarkable propensity for exchange. It stimulates novelty. Chapter 8, The invention of invention — Several false predictions: 1 The increase in knowledge and productivity will slow down. They trade and barter for goods. In Ridley's view, things work better when individual economic actors construct solutions from the bottom up. Unimaginable advances have been achieved in terms of increased life expectancy, reduced disease and access to lifestyles undreamed of by any tsar or pharaoh. Cheerful people have a remarkable ability to remain cheerful, even in the face of adversity, while others are miserable souls who will be unhappy whatever happens. On average, richer people are a bit happier except, curiously, in the US. But don't tell me that we are therefore no better off now we work flexible hours on computer-related tasks and take three foreign holidays a year. Countries lower their birth rates as their populations become healthier, wealthier, better educated, more urbanised, and more emancipated.

Countries lower their birth rates as their populations become healthier, wealthier, better educated, more urbanised, and more emancipated. Thanks to a newly perfected technology, the camel, the people of the Arabian Peninsula found themselves well placed to profit from trade between East and West.

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But he does object to the measures proposed in response. The great news is that, despite the attacks on globalization, this process is unstoppable.

Charitable giving has been growing faster than the economy as a whole in recent decades. The characteristic signature of prosperity is increasing specialisation.

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Yet they are not alone. Renewable energy sources cannot replace use of fossil fuels without disastrous consequences for the environment. Credit is also due the economists Richard Nelson and Sidney Winter, whose insightful book An Evolutionary Theory of Economic Change encouraged economists to recognize evolutionary effects in many economic phenomena.

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