the rational optimist how prosperity evolves p s

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The Rational Optimist How Prosperity Evolves

Author : Matt Ridley
ISBN : 9780007374816
Genre : History
File Size : 37. 52 MB
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Shortlisted for the BBC Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-fiction 2011. Life is on the up.

The Evolution Of Everything

Author : Matt Ridley
ISBN : 0062296019
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 56. 86 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.

Rational Ritual

Author : Michael Suk-Young Chwe
ISBN : 9781400846436
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 25. 26 MB
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Why do Internet, financial service, and beer commercials dominate Super Bowl advertising? How do political ceremonies establish authority? Why does repetition characterize anthems and ritual speech? Why were circular forms favored for public festivals during the French Revolution? This book answers these questions using a single concept: common knowledge. Game theory shows that in order to coordinate its actions, a group of people must form "common knowledge." Each person wants to participate only if others also participate. Members must have knowledge of each other, knowledge of that knowledge, knowledge of the knowledge of that knowledge, and so on. Michael Chwe applies this insight, with striking erudition, to analyze a range of rituals across history and cultures. He shows that public ceremonies are powerful not simply because they transmit meaning from a central source to each audience member but because they let audience members know what other members know. For instance, people watching the Super Bowl know that many others are seeing precisely what they see and that those people know in turn that many others are also watching. This creates common knowledge, and advertisers selling products that depend on consensus are willing to pay large sums to gain access to it. Remarkably, a great variety of rituals and ceremonies, such as formal inaugurations, work in much the same way. By using a rational-choice argument to explain diverse cultural practices, Chwe argues for a close reciprocal relationship between the perspectives of rationality and culture. He illustrates how game theory can be applied to an unexpectedly broad spectrum of problems, while showing in an admirably clear way what game theory might hold for scholars in the social sciences and humanities who are not yet acquainted with it. In a new afterword, Chwe delves into new applications of common knowledge, both in the real world and in experiments, and considers how generating common knowledge has become easier in the digital age.

Progress

Author : Johan Norberg
ISBN : 9781780749518
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 39. 96 MB
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It’s on the televisions, in the papers and in our minds. Every day we’re bludgeoned by news of how bad everything is – financial collapse, unemployment, growing poverty, environmental disasters, disease, hunger, war. But the rarely acknowledged reality is that our progress over the past few decades has been unprecedented. By almost any index you care to identify, things are markedly better now than they have ever been for almost everyone alive. Examining official data from the United Nations, the World Bank and the World Health Organization, political commentator Johan Norberg traces just how far we have come in tackling the issues that define our species. While it's true that not every problem has been solved, we do now have a good idea of the solutions and we know what it will take to see this progress continue. Dramatic, uplifting and counter-intuitive, Progress is a call for optimism in our pessimistic, doom-laden world.

Pop Internationalism

Author : Paul R. Krugman
ISBN : 0262611333
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 88. 64 MB
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"Pop internationalists" -- people who speak impressively about international trade while ignoring basic economics and misusing economic figures are the target of this collection of Paul Krugman's most recent essays. In the clear, readable, entertaining style that brought acclaim for his best-selling Age of Diminished Expectations, Krugman explains what real economic analysis is. He discusses economic terms and measurements, like "value-added" and GDP, in simple language so that readers can understand how pop internationalists distort, and sometimes contradict, the most basic truths about world trade. All but two of the essays have previously appeared in such publications as Foreign Affairs, Scientific American, and the Harvard Business Review. The first five essays take on exaggerations of foreign competition's effects on the U.S. economy and represent Krugman's central criticisms of public debate over world trade. The next three essays expose further distortions of economic theory and include the complete, unaltered, controversial review of Laura Tyson's Who's Bashing Whom. The third group of essays highlights misconceptions about competition from less industrialized countries. The concluding essays focus on interesting and legitimate economic questions, such as the effects of technological change on society.

Warts And All

Author : Matt Ridley
ISBN : 0670827339
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 28. 2 MB
Format : PDF
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Chronicling America's 1988 Presidential election from the unique perspective of a British journalist, this biting account traces the remarkable transformation of George Bush's image from wimpish Vice President to electoral champion

The End Of Doom

Author : Ronald Bailey
ISBN : 9781466861442
Genre : Science
File Size : 82. 18 MB
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In the past five decades there have been many, many forecasts of impending environmental doom. They have universally been proven wrong. Meanwhile, those who have bet on human resourcefulness have almost always been correct. In his widely praised book Ecoscam, Ronald Bailey strongly countered environmentalist alarmism, using facts to demonstrate just how wildly overstated many claims of impending ecological doom really were. Now, twenty years later, the Reason Magazine science correspondent is back to assess the future of humanity and the global biosphere. Bailey finds, contrary to popular belief, that many present ecological trends are quite positive. Including: Falling cancer incidence rates in the United States. The likelihood of a declining world population by mid-century. The abundant return of agricultural land to nature as the world reaches peak farmland. A proven link between increases in national wealth and reductions in air and water pollution Global warming is a problem, but the cost of clean energy could soon fall below that of fossil fuels. In The End of Doom, Bailey avoids polemics and offers a balanced, fact-based and ultimately hopeful perspective on our current environmental situation. Now isn't that a breath of fresh air?

The End Of Power

Author : Moises Naim
ISBN : 9780465065684
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 48. 7 MB
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We know that power is shifting: From West to East and North to South, from presidential palaces to public squares, from once formidable corporate behemoths to nimble startups and, slowly but surely, from men to women. But power is not merely shifting and dispersing. It is also decaying. Those in power today are more constrained in what they can do with it and more at risk of losing it than ever before. In The End of Power, award-winning columnist and former Foreign Policy editor Moisés Naím illuminates the struggle between once-dominant megaplayers and the new micropowers challenging them in every field of human endeavor. Drawing on provocative, original research, Naím shows how the antiestablishment drive of micropowers can topple tyrants, dislodge monopolies, and open remarkable new opportunities, but it can also lead to chaos and paralysis. Naím deftly covers the seismic changes underway in business, religion, education, within families, and in all matters of war and peace. Examples abound in all walks of life: In 1977, eighty-nine countries were ruled by autocrats while today more than half the world's population lives in democracies. CEO's are more constrained and have shorter tenures than their predecessors. Modern tools of war, cheaper and more accessible, make it possible for groups like Hezbollah to afford their own drones. In the second half of 2010, the top ten hedge funds earned more than the world's largest six banks combined. Those in power retain it by erecting powerful barriers to keep challengers at bay. Today, insurgent forces dismantle those barriers more quickly and easily than ever, only to find that they themselves become vulnerable in the process. Accessible and captivating, Naím offers a revolutionary look at the inevitable end of power—and how it will change your world.

Mind Gym

Author : Sebastian Bailey
ISBN : 9780062331465
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 78. 46 MB
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The international bestseller that will help you transform your personal and professional life by changing the way you think. Today, the pressure to achieve is intense. To be at our best, we need our minds working at peak potential. But unless you train it, your mind stays on autopilot, stuck in unhealthy thought patterns that lead to self-sabotaging habits and behaviors. As with your body, you have to exercise your mind to get the most out of it. Sebastian Bailey and Octavius Black, founders of Mind Gym, help you change your mental default settings through a series of “workouts” that have been tested and experienced by more than one million people from around the world and from companies such as Google, NBCUniversal, Shell, Pfizer, and PepsiCo. This hands-on guide presents a fitness program for the mind that tackles the most common challenges at work and home: How to adopt a positive mindset How to repair broken relationships How to resolve conflict successfully How to influence others How to minimize stress and gain energy How to be more creative Insightful, proven, and practical, Mind Gym is the essential mental workout that will wake up your mind and help you be your best in life.

Cannibals And Kings

Author : Marvin Harris
ISBN : 9780307801234
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 33. 90 MB
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In this brilliant and profound study the distinguished American anthropologist Marvin Harris shows how the endless varieties of cultural behavior -- often so puzzling at first glance -- can be explained as adaptations to particular ecological conditions. His aim is to account for the evolution of cultural forms as Darwin accounted for the evolution of biological forms: to show how cultures adopt their characteristic forms in response to changing ecological modes. "[A] magisterial interpretation of the rise and fall of human cultures and societies." -- Robert Lekachman, Washington Post Book World "Its persuasive arguments asserting the primacy of cultural rather than genetic or psychological factors in human life deserve the widest possible audience." -- Gloria Levitas The New Leader "[An] original and...urgent theory about the nature of man and at the reason that human cultures take so many diverse shapes." -- The New Yorker "Lively and controversial." -- I. Bernard Cohen, front page, The New York Times Book Review

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