Sunday, July 18, 2010

Light vs. dark: the future then and now

To brighten things up a little, here's another TED talk, this one by Matt Ridley, author of The Rational Optimist:



Two points in particular that I want to emphasize here:

  • First, notice the opening few minutes especially, in which he mocks and demolishes various versions of apocalypse that were popular 30 or 40 years ago -- and then, with a single chart and a few simple facts, demonstrates quite vividly why modern global society, and the historical moment we're still occupying, is unlike anything ever seen. (To indulge in self-reference again, see "The Theme".)
  • And second, note how the notion of trade or exchange is at once simple, concrete, and powerful -- and also how it demystifies the more abstract notion of "the Market", which tends to be reified on both right and left as some kind of entity or force in its own right, whether for good or bad.

1 comment:

  1. Those interested in Ridley's very good book might also wish to know about another one, THE CASE FOR RATIONAL OPTIMISM (Transaction Books, Rutgers University, 2009), which makes quite similar points and arguments, but develops the case for optimism over a rather broader range of subject areas. See http://www.fsrcoin.com/k.htm

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