Via trade and other cultural activities, "ideas have sex," and that drives human history in the direction of inconstant but accumulative improvement over time. The criers of havoc keep being proved wrong. A fundamental optimism about human affairs is deeply rational and can be reliably conjured with.
Trained at Oxford as a zoologist and an editor at The Economist for eight years, Matt Ridley's newest book is The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves. His earlier works include Francis Crick; Nature via Nurture; Genome; and The Origins of Virtue.
Stewart Brand is co-founder and president of The Long Now Foundation and co-founder of Global Business Network. He created and edited the Whole Earth Catalog (National Book Award), and co-founded the Hackers Conference and The WELL. His books include The Clock of the Long Now; How Buildings Learn; and The Media Lab. His most recent book, titled Whole Earth Discipline, is published by Viking in the US and Atlantic in the UK.
Matt Ridley's books have sold over 800,000 copies, been translated into 27 languages and been short-listed for six literary prizes. In 2004 he won the National Academies Book Award from the US National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine for Nature via Nurture.
In 2006 he published Genome, a national bestseller. In 2007 he won the Davis Prize from the US History of Science Society for Francis Crick. His most recent book, The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves, was published in 2010.
He is married to the neuroscientist Professor Anya Hurlbert. They have two children and live at Blagdon near Newcastle upon Tyne.
As the director of the Long Now Foundation, Alexander Rose has facilitated projects such as the 10,000 Year Clock with Danny Hillis, the Rosetta Project, Long Bets, Seminars About Long Term Thinking, Long Server and others. Rose shares several design patents on the 10,000 Year Clock with Danny Hillis, the first prototype of which is in the Science Museum of London.
Hired as the first employee of the foundation in February of 1997, Rose has been an artist in residence at Silicon Graphics Inc., a project manager for Shamrock Communications, and a founding partner of Inertia Labs. Rose attended the Art Center College of Design and graduated with a bachelor of arts honors degree from Carnegie Mellon University in Industrial Design in 1995.
Matt Ridley, journalist and author of The Rational Optimist, examines the driving force behind human evolution and technological innovation, especially over the past 100,000 years. Ridley argues the answer lies in the development of exchange, or trade.
Evolution of modern human beings from extinct nonhuman and humanlike forms. Genetic evidence points to an evolutionary divergence between the lineages of humans and the great apes on the African continent 85 million years ago (mya). The earliest fossils considered to be remains of hominins (members of the human lineage) date to at least 4 mya in Africa; they include the genus Australopithecus and other forms. The next major evolutionary stage, Homo habilis, inhabited sub-Saharan Africa about 21.5 mya. Homo habilis appears to have been supplanted by a taller and more humanlike species, Homo erectus, which lived from c. 1,700,000 to 200,000 years ago, gradually migrating into Asia and parts of Europe. Between c. 600,000 and 200,000 years ago, Homo heidelbergensis, sometimes called archaic Homo sapiens, lived in Africa, Europe, and perhaps parts of Asia. Having features resembling those of both H. erectus and modern humans, H. heidelbergensis may have been an ancestor of modern humans and also of the Neanderthals (H. neanderthalensis), who inhabited Europe and western Asia from c. 200,000 to 28,000 years ago. Fully modern humans (H. sapiens) seem to have emerged in Africa only c. 150,000 years ago, perhaps having descended directly from H. erectus or from an intermediate species such as H. heidelbergensis.
well that's not optimism - it's negating reality ! in my primary school days the census was that there are 3.6 billion people on our world (1968) and even at that time some peps asked if that is not enough. in 1976 the 200th year of the independence of the US there was the estimation that 4.2 billion were reached.
again people asked if that was not enough.
Today (2011) we are at about 7 billion (9.96) and i ask isn't that too much by 1.5 to 2.5 billion. The question should not be are we capable to feed X billion people rather than how can we reduce the number, or at least quickly stop the growth of the world population without thinking of catastrophes, wars or other crazy solutions.
i am quite sure that trebling the crops again (3x3=9!) could only be done by ignoring anything humanity learned so far about ecosystem, evolution or consequences of misusing agriculture technologies (from DDT to Seveso, later Bophal and beyond like GMOs a.s.o.) - at the time when humanity runs out of oil there will be a short period of biological created combustion fuels to keep the higher developed nations=economies running - then ???
This guy is or was a board member of Northern Rock and is considered a libertarian. He is very much a capitalist rather than a humanist. I don't think he really cares that the ecological damage overall will kill humans, regardless of our wonderful abilities in health care. Optimism is a good thing,but beware those who discount humanity.
This guy is just an opportunist and found an original idea for a book.
If tomorrow there is a war dont worry in general, statistically speaking, mankind is on the up. Regardless of whether billions of people die.
Its just a blip on the chart.
What is your point?
Do you have anything constructive to say?
Just when did the worlds sea level and temperature average meet your approval?
Name the decade or century! Please!
Are you claiming 8/10 of 1 degree is abnormal FLUX?
If not which model based on which data do you support!
As a true believer you should be able to enlighten all of us on the farm as to just what is the correct belief!
Maybe the ice age? Maybe 8,000 years before the present?
Are the sea levels and temperature of 6,000 years before the common era OK? The best? Too hot, too cold? Sea levels to high or too low Please tell us.
WELL DONE MATE! REMEMBER #NONE OF US ARE AS DUMB AS ALL OF US"!
THE CORPORATIONS MUST LOVE THIS GUY PUSHES POLLUTION AHEAD; I FEEL HE IS SUFFERING FROM THE SOCIAL DISEASE PROCRASTINATION; ALSO HE SPEAKS NOT OF PREVENTION.
HIS WEATHER RECORDS ARE VERY BAD, Hanson explained Global warming yet Matt missed out. Dr. James Lovelocke, Matt Missed out. Sorry Fora TV, this is corporate MIND control or perception management, soft power inn action. VERY POOR INFORMATION!
EASY FOR THOSE WHO KNOW NOT To get sucked into Matt´s Myths!
Can we ask and compare carbon trading schemes and the peddling/scheme of papal indulgences to a starving German peasantry in order to build St Peter's? Why do some always want to dictate to all what should happen or be allowed on the farm? Bully everyone into agreement?
Thanks for the talk. Yes better in the long run! Yes better than our yesterdays! Just say no to bullies! Mind dictators! and the ilk!