Matt Ridley: When ideas have sex

Matt Ridley: When ideas have sex

Burt Rutan sent this video to me last night, along with the following note:


“I have recently become a fan of the preeminent UK science writer Matt Ridley, formerly an editor of The Economist and author of the best-selling Genome and other books.  His TED talk is one of the most engaging lectures you might ever see.  TED allows only 15 minutes for a talk, so their talks are concise and fun to watch.”


Matt Ridley - Stone-age axe

In the video, Matt shows us a stone age axe almost identical in size to a computer mouse. Then he shows how that computer mouse was made possible because we humans have learned to trade our goods and services.


Matt Ridley - Computer mouse

Here’s a short quote from the video:

“When the sea level rose and Tasmania became an island 10,000 years ago, the people on it not only experienced slower progress than people on the mainland, they actually experienced regress. They gave up the ability to make stone tools, and fishing equipment, and clothing, because the population of about 4,000 people was simply not large enough to maintain the specialized skills necessary to keep the technology they had. It’s as if the people in this room were plumped on a desert island – how many of the things in our pockets could we continue to make after 10,000 years?”

 



You can also view the TED video here:

http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/matt_ridley_when_ideas_have_sex.html


10 thoughts on “Matt Ridley: When ideas have sex

  1. I watched this video almost a year ago and I hope the message is clear.

    All the Club of Rome BS telling us we can’t feed our growing populations or generate progress for the masses is just plain nonsense.

    Where is the OCW party to close down the Club Rome and the UN? Just asking.

    • club of rome Morphed into the Bilderberg group.
      and they tend to hire some heavy duty chaps to keep the lesser mortals well away,
      normal stunt is to ban all air road etc traffic within miles of wherever they choose to have their gabfest.

  2. Today’s so-called “elites” don’t want the rest of humanity to continue to advance and live better lives. America has been virtually de-industrialized before our very eyes. The most successful and productive society ever has been systematically dismantled in the name of environmentalism. The “elites” live a culture of destruction, and death. No other proof is needed than the numerous wars being waged by those in power. Instead of using our resources to make life better for humanity they use our resources to kill and maim people all over the planet. The “elites” are nothing more than evil cowards.

    • Can’t fault anything you say here. Calling them ‘elites’ is a misuse of the word. There is nothing elite about them. They are power drunk mega rich scum. “Evil cowards” is as good a description as any.

  3. So a prosperous society is bad ,it makes us lazy it takes away the stimulus to innovate. We need wars we need climate change we need hunger we need diseases we need bad government we need crisis.
    Why! Because in a prosperous society population numbers go down.Most people in modern society don’t innovate they consume. The jungle gives what they need with little or no efforts.

    • No. A prosperous society is satisfied satisfied society. There’s no immediate call to innovate, so innovation slows. But, like climate – well, in fact because of climate changes among other events – societies are no more stable than the weather. Migration and invention are two solutions that societies use to deal with changes that make conditions (weather, geography, neighbors) less unsatisfactory. War is another.

  4. @Robertdvl: I’ll assume that you aren’t aren’t just trolling, and reply to your comment.

    It is a myth that innovation requires bad times, one perpetrated by the people that are threatened by a large population of people that might come to expect a good standard of living. There is plenty of innovation going on in industry around the world, but much of it is stifled by the patent system and the way big businesses have learned to manipulate it.

    Leaving that aside, the growth of civilisation is tribute to the idea that many people make use of what a few innovators create. Arguably, it is what has made H. sapiens the most successful species – the ability for ideas to be communicated so that many others can benefit from them.

    So, in your opinion, what exactly is bad about most people being consumers of innovation?

  5. Look everyone, do you all aspire to be poor the rest of your lives. I have been rich and poor twice and now I am inbetween LEANING TOWARDS POOR.
    BEING RICH AND POWERFUL COMES FROM A LOT OF HARD WORK. VERY FEW RICH PEOPLE WERE GIVEN THE RICHES THEY HAVE. I ENVY THEM, NOT PUT THEM DOWN. I HOPE ONE DAY TO HAVE THE RESOURCES TO BE CALLED WELL OFF.
    ***THINK ABOUT IT. WITHOUT RICH PEOLPLE WE WOULD NOT HAVE MANY JOBS.

  6. What the hell are you lot on about! Flippin heck! Rome, Bilderbergers…..yadda yadda yadda….they’ll be dead in 20 years. Generation regime change is happening and we won’t need assasins!!

    Matt is absolutely BANG ON!

    Technology is exploding. In the industry there are millions of companies, from 1 man band inventors to 500,000 employee multi-nationals. Tech never stops being developed and thanks to ideas having sex and instant global communication and exchange, humanity is finally getting somewhere.

    we need to get off this rock and find a new one, ASA*F*P!!!

    TECHNOLOGY! will get us there. Shut up moaning and support the development!

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