‘If there is one dominant myth about the world, one huge mistake we all make ... it is that we all go around assuming the world is much more of a planned place than it is.’
âe~If there is one dominant myth about the world, one huge mistake we all make âe¦ it is that we all go around assuming the world is much more of a planned place than it is.âe(tm) From the industrial revolution and the rise of China, to urbanisation and the birth of bitcoin, Matt Ridley demolishes conventional assumptions that the great events and trends of our day are dictated by those on high. On the contrary, our most important achievements develop from the ground up. In this wide-ranging and erudite book, Matt Ridley brilliantly makes the case for evolution as the force that has shaped much of our culture, our minds, and that even now is shaping our future. As compelling as it is controversial, as authoritative as it is ambitious, Ridleyâe(tm)s deeply thought-provoking book will change the way we think about the world and how it works.
Do Humankind's Best Days Lie Ahead
Author: Steven Pinker, Matt Ridley, Alain de Botton, Malcolm Gladwell
Publisher: Oneworld Publications
Four of the world’s most renowned thinkers take on one of the biggest debates of the modern era. “It’s just a brute fact that we don't throw virgins into volcanoes any more. We don't execute people for shoplifting a cabbage. And we used to.” - Steven Pinker “The idea that because things have gotten better in the past they will continue to do so in the future is a fallacy I would have thought confined to the lower reaches of Wall Street.” - Malcolm Gladwell
Author: Graeme Taylor
Publisher: New Society Publishers
The brink of catastrophe or the edge of evolution? The choice is ours.
Author: Mark Pendergrast
Publisher: Basic Books
Uncommon Grounds tells the story of coffee from its discovery on a hill in ancient Abyssinia to the advent of Starbucks. In this updated edition of the classic work, Mark Pendergrast reviews the dramatic changes in coffee culture over the past decade, from the disastrous “Coffee Crisis” that caused global prices to plummet to the rise of the Fair Trade movement and the “third-wave” of quality-obsessed coffee connoisseurs. As the scope of coffee culture continues to expand, Uncommon Grounds remains more than ever a brilliantly entertaining guide to the currents of one of the world's favorite beverages.
Author: Matt Ridley
Publisher: Harper Collins
Francis Crick—the quiet genius who led a revolution in biology by discovering, quite literally, the secret of life—will be bracketed with Galileo, Darwin, and Einstein as one of the greatest scientists of all time. In his fascinating biography of the scientific pioneer who uncovered the genetic code—the digital cipher at the heart of heredity that distinguishes living from non-living things—acclaimed bestselling science writer Matt Ridley traces Crick's life from middle-class mediocrity in the English Midlands through a lackluster education and six years designing magnetic mines for the Royal Navy to his leap into biology at the age of thirty-one and its astonishing consequences. In the process, Ridley sheds a brilliant light on the man who forever changed our world and how we understand it.
Author: Johan Norberg
Publisher: Oneworld Publications
A Book of the Year for The Economist and the Observer Our world seems to be collapsing. The daily news cycle reports the deterioration: divisive politics across the Western world, racism, poverty, war, inequality, hunger. While politicians, journalists and activists from all sides talk about the damage done, Johan Norberg offers an illuminating and heartening analysis of just how far we have come in tackling the greatest problems facing humanity. In the face of fear-mongering, darkness and division, the facts are unequivocal: the golden age is now.
Author: Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Gold Medal Winner; Philanthropy, Charities, and Nonprofits; 2012 Axiom Business Book Awards Giving 2.0 is the ultimate resource for anyone navigating the seemingly infinite ways one can give. The future of philanthropy is far more than just writing a check, and Giving 2.0 shows how individuals of every age and income level can harness the power of technology, collaboration, innovation, advocacy, and social entrepreneurship to take their giving to the next level and beyond. Major gifts may dominate headlines, but the majority of giving still comes from individual households—ordinary people with extraordinary generosity. Even in 2009, at a time of deep recession, individual giving averaged almost $2,000 per household and drove 82% of the $300 billion donated that same year. Based on her vast experience as a philanthropist, academic, volunteer, and social innovator, Arrillaga-Andreessen shares the most effective techniques she herself pilots and studies and a vast portfolio of lessons learned during her lifetime of giving. Featuring dozens of stories on innovative and powerful methods of how individuals give time, money, and expertise—whether volunteering and fundraising, leveraging technology and social media, starting a giving circle, fund, foundation, or advocacy group, or aspiring to create greater social impact—Giving 2.0 shows readers how they can renew, improve, and expand their giving and reach their fullest potential. A practical, entertaining, and inspiring call to action, Giving 2.0 is an indispensable tool for anyone passionate about creating change in our world.
Nature Via Nurture
Author: Matt Ridley
Publisher: Harper Collins
Documents the 2001 discovery that there are fewer genes in a human genome than previously thought and considers the argument that nurture elements are also largely responsible for human behavior.
Author: David Siegel
The first clear guide to the Semantic Web and its upcoming impact on the business world Imagine that, in 1992, someone handed you a book about the future of something called the World Wide Web. This book claimed that through a piece of software called a "browser", which accesses "web sites", the world economy and our daily lives would change forever. Would you have believed even 10 percent of that book? Did you take advantage of the first Internet wave and get ahead of the curve? Pull is the blueprint to the next disruptive wave. Some call it Web 3.0; others call it the semantic web. It's a fundamental transition from pushing information to pulling, using a new way of thinking and collaborating online. Using the principles of this book, you will slash 5-20 percent off your bottom line, make your customers happier, accelerate your industry, and prepare your company for the twenty-first century. It isn't going to be easy, and you don't have any choice. By 2015, your company will be more agile and your processes more flexible than you ever thought possible. The semantic web leads to possibilities straight from science fiction, such as buildings that can order their own supplies, eliminating the IRS, and lawyers finally making sense. But it also leads to major changes in every field, from shipping and retail distribution to health care and financial reporting. Through clear examples, case studies, principles, and scenarios, business strategist David Siegel takes you on a tour of this new world. You'll learn: -Which industries are already ahead. -Which industries are already dead. -How to make the power shift from pushing to pulling information. -How software, hardware, media, and marketing will all change. -How to plan your own strategy for embracing the semantic web. We are at the beginning of a new technology curve that will affect all areas of business. Right now, you have a choice. You can decide to start preparing for the exciting opportunities that lay ahead or you can leave this book on the shelf and get left in the dust like last time.
Author: David Christian
Publisher: Little, Brown
"I have long been a fan of David Christian. In Origin Story, he elegantly weaves evidence and insights from many scientific and historical disciplines into a single, accessible historical narrative." --Bill Gates A captivating history of the universe -- from before the dawn of time through the far reaches of the distant future. Most historians study the smallest slivers of time, emphasizing specific dates, individuals, and documents. But what would it look like to study the whole of history, from the big bang through the present day -- and even into the remote future? How would looking at the full span of time change the way we perceive the universe, the earth, and our very existence? These were the questions David Christian set out to answer when he created the field of "Big History," the most exciting new approach to understanding where we have been, where we are, and where we are going. In Origin Story, Christian takes readers on a wild ride through the entire 13.8 billion years we've come to know as "history." By focusing on defining events (thresholds), major trends, and profound questions about our origins, Christian exposes the hidden threads that tie everything together -- from the creation of the planet to the advent of agriculture, nuclear war, and beyond. With stunning insights into the origin of the universe, the beginning of life, the emergence of humans, and what the future might bring, Origin Story boldly reframes our place in the cosmos.
At a time when food is becoming increasingly scarce in many parts of the world and food prices are skyrocketing, no industry is more important than agriculture. Humans have been farming for thousands of years, and yet agriculture has undergone more fundamental changes in the past 80 years than in the previous several centuries. In 1900, 30 million American farmers tilled the soil or tended livestock; today there are fewer than 4.5 million farmers who feed a population four times larger than it was at the beginning of the century. Fifty years ago, the planet could not have sustained a population of 6.5 billion; now, commercial and industrial agriculture ensure that millions will not die from starvation. Farmers are able to feed an exponentially growing planet because the greatest industrial revolution in history has occurred in agriculture since 1929, with U.S. farmers leading the way. Productivity on American farms has increased tenfold, even as most small farmers and tenants have been forced to find other work. Today, only 300,000 farms produce approximately ninety percent of the total output, and overproduction, largely subsidized by government programs and policies, has become the hallmark of modern agriculture. A Revolution Down on the Farm: The Transformation of American Agriculture since 1929 charts the profound changes in farming that have occurred during author Paul K. Conkin’s lifetime. His personal experiences growing up on a small Tennessee farm complement compelling statistical data as he explores America’s vast agricultural transformation and considers its social, political, and economic consequences. He examines the history of American agriculture, showing how New Deal innovations evolved into convoluted commodity programs following World War II. Conkin assesses the skills, new technologies, and government policies that helped transform farming in America and suggests how new legislation might affect farming in decades to come. Although the increased production and mechanization of farming has been an economic success story for Americans, the costs are becoming increasingly apparent. Small farmers are put out of business when they cannot compete with giant, non-diversified corporate farms. Caged chickens and hogs in factory-like facilities or confined dairy cattle require massive amounts of chemicals and hormones ultimately ingested by consumers. Fertilizers, new organic chemicals, manure disposal, and genetically modified seeds have introduced environmental problems that are still being discovered. A Revolution Down on the Farm concludes with an evaluation of farming in the twenty-first century and a distinctive meditation on alternatives to our present large scale, mechanized, subsidized, and fossil fuel and chemically dependent system.
Design in Nature
Author: Adrian Bejan, J. Peder Zane
Reveals how recurring patterns in nature are accounted for by a single governing principle of physics, explaining how all designs in the world from biological life to inanimate systems evolve in a sequence of ever-improving designs that facilitate flow.
Everything for Everyone
Author: Nathan Schneider
Publisher: Nation Books
The origins of the next radical economy is rooted in a tradition that has empowered people for centuries and is now making a comeback. A new feudalism is on the rise. While monopolistic corporations feed their spoils to the rich, more and more of us are expected to live gig to gig. But, as Nathan Schneider shows, an alternative to the robber-baron economy is hiding in plain sight; we just need to know where to look. Cooperatives are jointly owned, democratically controlled enterprises that advance the economic, social, and cultural interests of their members. They often emerge during moments of crisis not unlike our own, putting people in charge of the workplaces, credit unions, grocery stores, healthcare, and utilities they depend on. Everything for Everyone chronicles this revolution--from taxi cooperatives keeping Uber at bay, to an outspoken mayor transforming his city in the Deep South, to a fugitive building a fairer version of Bitcoin, to the rural electric co-op members who are propelling an aging system into the future. As these pioneers show, co-ops are helping us rediscover our capacity for creative, powerful, and fair democracy.
The Origins of Virtue
Author: Matt Ridley
Publisher: Penguin Paperbacks
Suggests a biological basis for the social organization and cooperation shown by the human race, and traces the evolution of society