Nadam se da ste u međuvremenu pročitali Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think, Diamandis, Kotler. Zajedno s njom sam bio preporučio i The Beginning of Infinity: Explanations That Transform the World od Deutscha.
A uz njih treba pročitat i ovu treću knjigu The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves, od Ridleya.
O knjizi: “For two hundred years the pessimists have dominated public discourse, insisting that things will soon be getting much worse. But in fact, life is getting better—and at an accelerating rate. Food availability, income, and life span are up; disease, child mortality, and violence are down all across the globe. Africa is following Asia out of poverty; the Internet, the mobile phone, and container shipping are enriching people’s lives as never before.”
Iz nje donosim ovaj veličanstveni odlomak o guruima pesimizma. Poglavlje počinje s ovim citatom. (Knjiga je ovdje.)
I have observed that not the man who hopes when others despair, but the man who despairs when others hope, is admired by a large class of persons as a sage.
JOHN STUART MILL Speech on ‘perfectibility’
Ridley, Matt (2010-05-27). The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves (Kindle Locations 4062-4064). Harper Collins, Inc.. Kindle Edition.
Evo ulomka, izvor je ovdje:
A constant drumbeat of pessimism usually drowns out any triumphalist song of the kind I have vented in this book so far. If you say the world has been getting better you may get away with being called naïve and insensitive. If you say the world is going to go on getting better, you are considered embarrassingly mad. … ‘Implicit confidence in the beneficence of progress’ said Hayek, ‘has come to be regarded as the sign of a shallow mind.’
If, on the other hand, you say catastrophe is imminent, you may expect a McArthur genius award or even the Nobel Peace Prize. The bookshops are groaning under ziggurats of pessimism. The airwaves are crammed with doom. In my own adult lifetime, I have listened to implacable predictions of growing poverty, coming famines, expanding deserts, imminent plagues, impending water wars, inevitable oil exhaustion, mineral shortages, falling sperm counts, thinning ozone, acidifying rain, nuclear winters, mad-cow epidemics, Y2K computer bugs, killer bees, sex-change fish, global warming, ocean acidification and even asteroid impacts that would presently bring this happy interlude to a terrible end. I cannot recall a time when one or other of these scares was not solemnly espoused by sober, distinguished and serious elites and hysterically echoed by the media. I cannot recall a time when I was not being urged by somebody that the world could only survive if it abandoned the foolish goal of economic growth.
The fashionable reason for pessimism changed, but the pessimism was constant. In the 1960s the population explosion and global famine were top of the charts, in the 1970s the exhaustion of resources, in the 1980s acid rain, in the 1990s pandemics, in the 2000s global warming. One by one these scares came and (all but the last) went. Were we just lucky? Are we, in the memorable image of the old joke, like the man who falls past the first floor of the skyscraper and thinks ‘So far so good!’? Or was it the pessimism that was unrealistic? Let me make a square concession at the start: the pessimists are right when they say that, if the world continues as it is, it will end in disaster for all humanity. If all transport depends on oil, and oil runs out, then transport will cease. If agriculture continues to depend on irrigation and aquifers are depleted, then starvation will ensue. But notice the conditional: if. The world will not continue as it is. That is the whole point of human progress, the whole message of cultural evolution, the whole import of dynamic change – the whole thrust of this book. The real danger comes from slowing down change. It is my proposition that the human race has become a collective problem-solving machine and it solves problems by changing its ways. It does so through invention driven often by the market: scarcity drives up price; that encourages the development of alternatives and of efficiencies. It has happened often in history. When whales grew scarce, petroleum was used instead as a source of oil. (As Warren Meyer has put it, a poster of John D. Rockefeller should be on the wall of every Greenpeace office.) The pessimists’ mistake is extrapolationism: assuming that the future is just a bigger version of the past. As Herb Stein once said, ‘If something cannot go on forever, then it will not.’
So, for example, the environmentalist Lester Brown, writing in 2008, was pessimistic about what will happen if the Chinese are by 2030 as rich as the Americans are now (nastavlja s pesimističnim opisom posljedica) …
Brown is dead right with his extrapolations, but so was the man who (probably apocryphally) predicted ten feet of horse manure in the streets of London by 1950. So was IBM’s founder Thomas Watson when he said in 1943 that there was a world market for five computers, and Ken Olson, the founder of Digital Equipment Corporation, when he said in 1977: ‘There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.’ Both remarks were true enough when computers weighed a tonne and cost a fortune.
… There is a tendency to believe that pessimism is new, that our current dyspeptic view of technology and progress has emerged since Hiroshima and got worse since Chernobyl. History contradicts this. Pessimists have always been ubiquitous and have always been feted. ‘Five years have seldom passed away in which some book or pamphlet has not been published,’ wrote Adam Smith at the start of the industrial revolution, ‘pretending to demonstrate that the wealth of the nation was fast declining, that the country was depopulated, agriculture neglected, manufactures decaying, and trade undone.’
A ovo je s početka knjige. Vjerujem začuđujući podaci za tipičnog ogorčenog Hrvata koji misli da je svijet gori nego ikada, samo se kvari i čeka nas katastrofa. Barem za one koji svoje stavove o svijetu temelje na našim medijima.
… Averages conceal a lot. But even if you break down the world into bits, it is hard to find any region that was worse off in 2005 than it was in 1955. Over that half-century, real income per head ended a little lower in only six countries (Afghanistan, Haiti, Congo, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Somalia), life expectancy in three (Russia, Swaziland and Zimbabwe), and infant survival in none. In the rest they have rocketed upward. Africa’s rate of improvement has been distressingly slow and patchy compared with the rest of the world, and many southern African countries saw life expectancy plunge in the 1990s as the AIDS epidemic took hold (before recovering in recent years). There were also moments in the half-century when you could have caught countries in episodes of dreadful deterioration of living standards or life chances … But overall, after fifty years, the outcome for the world is remarkably, astonishingly, dramatically positive. The average South Korean lives twenty-six more years and earns fifteen times as much income each year as he did in 1955 (and earns fifteen times as much as his North Korean counterpart). The average Mexican lives longer now than the average Briton did in 1955. The average Botswanan earns more than the average Finn did in 1955. Infant mortality is lower today in Nepal than it was in Italy in 1951. The proportion of Vietnamese living on less than $ 2 a day has dropped from 90 per cent to 30 per cent in twenty years. The rich have got richer, but the poor have done even better.
The poor in the developing world grew their consumption twice as fast as the world as a whole between 1980 and 2000. The Chinese are ten times as rich, one-third as fecund and twenty-eight years longer-lived than they were fifty years ago. Even Nigerians are twice as rich, 25 per cent less fecund and nine years longer-lived than they were in 1955. Despite a doubling of the world population, even the raw number of people living in absolute poverty (defined as less than a 1985 dollar a day) has fallen since the 1950s.
Yet looking back now, another fifty years later, the middle class of 1955, luxuriating in their cars, comforts and gadgets, would today be described as ‘below the poverty line’. The average British working man in 1957, when Harold Macmillan told him he had ‘never had it so good’, was earning less in real terms than his modern equivalent could now get in state benefit if unemployed with three children. Today, of Americans officially designated as ‘poor’, 99 per cent have electricity, running water, flush toilets, and a refrigerator; 95 per cent have a television, 88 per cent a telephone, 71 per cent a car and 70 per cent air conditioning. Cornelius Vanderbilt had none of these. Even in 1970 only 36 per cent of all Americans had air conditioning: in 2005 79 per cent of poor households did. Even in urban China 90 per cent of people now have electric light, refrigerators and running water. Many of them also have mobile phones, internet access and satellite television, not to mention all sorts of improved and cheaper versions of everything from cars and toys to vaccines and restaurants.
Well all right, says the pessimist, but at what cost? The environment is surely deteriorating. In somewhere like Beijing, maybe. But in many other places, no. In Europe and America rivers, lakes, seas and the air are getting cleaner all the time. The Thames has less sewage and more fish. Lake Erie’s water snakes, on the brink of extinction in the 1960s, are now abundant. Bald eagles have boomed. Pasadena has few smogs. Swedish birds’ eggs have 75 per cent fewer pollutants in them than in the 1960s. American carbon monoxide emissions from transport are down 75 per cent in twenty-five years. Today, a car emits less pollution travelling at full speed than a parked car did in 1970 from leaks. Meanwhile, average life expectancy in the longest-lived country (Sweden in 1850, New Zealand in 1920, Japan today) continues to march upwards at a steady rate of a quarter of a year per year, a rate of change that has altered little in 200 years.
Even inequality is declining worldwide. It is true that in Britain and America income equality, which had been improving for most of the past two centuries (British aristocrats were six inches taller than the average in 1800; today they are less than two inches taller), has stalled since the 1970s. The reasons for this are many, but they are not all causes for regret. For example, high earners now marry each other more than they used to (which concentrates income), immigration has increased, trade has been freed, cartels have been opened up to entrepreneurial competition and the skill premium has grown in the work place. All these are inequality-boosting, but they stem from liberalising trends. Besides, by a strange statistical paradox, while inequality has increased within some countries, globally it has been falling.
U svakom slučaju šokantno štivo za mnoge Hrvate.
A u nevjerojatno brzom povećanju svijeta najbolje se može prosperiti i ulaganjem u dionice (dijela imovine, jasno, ne kao kladionica, ‘sve ili ništa’). Također šokantno većini Hrvata.
Ovu citiranu knjigu možete kupiti ovdje, a ne zaboravite naručiti i Diamandisovu.