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Sunday, June 1st, 2014

Time Event
9:48p
30 Day Book Meme - Day 24
Day 24 – A book that you wish more people would’ve read

There's a book I'd like lots of people to read: The Rational Optimist by Matt Ridley. This looks at progress in the long view, going all the way back to prehistory. The trend is improvement: more knowledge, more options, more babies growing up. There's been a constant drumbeat of pessimism but the longterm trends are always improving. Trade has been the driver of progress, not just in material goods but in ideas. "Ideas having sex" is Ridley's catchphrase for new concepts being spawned from the meeting of different old ones. (More comments and links at my original review of the book)

My hope is that the more people read it the less our politics will be dominated by fighting over a fixed pie and the more we'll work at increasing growth so there'll be more for everyone in the future.

Honorable mention: The Righteous Mind by Jonathan Haidt, which explains facets of human behavior that can drive us in unproductive directions. My original review is here.

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