I’ve always been an optimist when it comes to the ability of human beings to better their lives and their societies if only they are given the freedom to use their talents and abilities. That’s one reason News Corporation has always seen new technology as an asset (look at how the Wall Street Journal has embraced the iPad, for example) rather than a threat.
I have been reading two books that make a strong case that we ought to be even more optimistic today. Matt Ridley’s The Rational Optimist, which is out, offers a compelling argument that the increase in exchange and communications is accelerating improvements in the human condition because it is bringing together many more people – in other words, many more brains – to solve our problems. I don’t want to spoil the debut of Steven Johnson’s Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation – which will be out in October – but he suggests the operative question is, How do we create the optimum environment for encouraging this innovation? I won’t give away his answers, but I can guarantee Ricochet members that you will find it a fascinating read.