Posts Tagged ‘progress

It is hardly surprising that a study on the 20th anniversary of the first Human Development Report from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) rejects the importance of economic growth for development. The whole notion of human development, formulated by Amartya Sen and others, is based on a downplaying of material factors. Of course conclusions […]

The Enlightened Economy (Yale 2009) by Joel Mokyr, a professor at Northwestern university in Chicago, sounds like a fascinating read. Its theme is evidently the relationship between the Enlightenment and Britain’s Industrial Revolution. According to a review by Edward Glaeser, a professor of economics at Harvard, in The New Republic: “while Mokyr does not claim […]

The speech by Prince Charles in Oxford last week on Islam and the environment was essentially an attack on the Enlightenment notion that humans should strive to dominate nature.  That is they should mould the environment to meet human needs rather than live in harmony with nature. Instead the prince would prefer to go back […]

I have just discovered Gapminder – a brilliant tool which uses animation to show key trends in human welfare. For example, it vividly brings to life how human life expectancy has risen with income and also how child mortality has fallen over the years. Do try it. Hat tip to Will Wilkinson.

Following yesterday’s blog post I received an email from Frank Robinson pointing out that he had a book published in 2009 called The Case for Rational Optimism (Transaction Books, Rutgers University). You can find out more on his website and his blog. I do not entirely agree with either rational optimist but the more rationality […]

Although Matt Ridley’s The Rational Optimist has received many positive reviews the overwhelming weight of books published today remains sympathetic to the green perspective. Pandora’s Seed by Spencer Wells looks like the antithesis of Ridley’s work: bemoaning prosperity from the agricultural revolution 10,000 years ago onwards. According to the publisher: “Although this decision to control […]

This is my Meet the Author video to promote Ferraris For All.

Book monitor

In: Uncategorized

6 Jun 2010

Unfortunately I do not have time to read nearly as many books as I would like.  However, I have decided it might be worth me occasionally listing books that look interesting even if I may not get round to reading them. * William Rosen’s The Most Powerful Idea in the World (Random House) is a […]

Matt Ridley, the Rational Optimist, rebuts an attack by George Monbiot in the Guardian. Monbiot does not even attempt to tackle the meat of Ridley’s argument. Much of Monbiot’s article is a personal attack – mocking Ridley for his involvement in the collapse of Northern Rock bank – and the rest consists of sniping at […]

A study in the Lancet, a British medical journal, shows that worldwide mortality of children under five has fallen significantly since 1970. The bad news is that many countries are unlikely to meet the relatively modest Millenium Development Goal (MDG) target of a two thirds reduction in mortality between 1990 and 2015. According to the […]