As we are constantly bombarded with doom prophesies the book makes a really good job and puts all of that into greater perspective. Rational Optimist starts with a thesis that we are way better off than we ever were, and Matt Ridley makes convincing arguments that things will continue to improve. We don’t need to agree with the Ridley theme of optimism for the future to make this book worthwhile to read. The book offers much more than the title suggests.
After 1/3 of the book, I thought that its content will be exactly the same as one of my previous books – Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind. The facts such as the impact of fire on our brain and guts, collective thinking and collective intelligence, trade etc. seemed obvious. But then he switches his attention to issues connected with energy consumption, the energy efficiency of different fuels, their benefits and drawbacks. And believe me, the majority of the modern well-formulated eco-statements seem to be questionable. Last but not least, the book is written with good humour which makes the reading even more appealing.
The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves
by Matt Ridley
Complexity of ideas
Size: 448 pages
Other information and reviews of this book on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7776209-the-rational-optimist