Matt Ridley's Sexy but Rational View of Human Progress

GlobeTracker| The more history we read, the greater our sense is that men (not women) have spent their time on earth trying to kill, conquer and enslave each other for power, wealth and status. Matt Ridley offers a far more optimistic view of evolution and human civilization in his book “The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves.”

As always, sex is at the center of any discussion about the advancement of the human species. Peppering his excellent WSJ essay Evolution and Creativity: Why Humans Triumphed with words like ‘promiscuous’, Matt Ridley weaves a web of human interaction, rather than individual achievment, as the source of our achievements.


His focus is collective intelligence and ‘hive’ thinking, which will explode on the Internet and in our Facebook, Twitter, and online connections. In effect, humans create another sort of creative energy.

Ridley doesn’t wish away recessions, wars, spendthrift governments and natural disasters. Rather, he points to the larger visions that triumph over them. His essay is one of the most condensed, orderly quick reviews of history I’ve read. For that reason alone, take a read.