We are kinder as a collective - Deepstash

We are kinder as a collective

"This is the extraordinary feature of markets: just as they can turn many individually irrational individuals into a collectively rational outcome, so they can turn many individually selfish motives into a collectively kind result."

It was the nouveau riche merchents that drove and financed the anti slavery movement in the 1800s while the old money looked on with indifference, just as it is the new money of entrepreneurs and actors that funds compassion for people, pets and planet.

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MORE IDEAS FROM The Rational Optimist

"And the more they rely on exchange, the more they specialise, which makes exchange still more attractive. Exchange is therefore a thing of explosive possibility, a thing that breeds, explodes, grows, auto-catalyses."

Trading with other humans meant we can focus on a job with increasing specialization and rely on them to supply us with other things we may need as an exchange. This drove innovation and human productivity and is completely opposite to the idea of sulf sufficiency that is seen time and again in authoritarian regimes.

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"There was nothing special about the brains of the moderns; it was their trade networks that made the difference – their collective brains"

We owe our progress as a species to the advent of trade which drove all the innovations.

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RELATED IDEA

The range of optimists
  • On the one end of the spectrum, you find the pure optimist. He is confident everything is great, and all negativity is a character flaw.
  • Next to him, the extreme optimist accepts that bad things sometimes happen to other people.
  • Then comes the optimist who can be sceptical of other people's optimism.
  • After him, you find the optimist who is confident in himself and equally pessimistic about others.

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1. Innovation Essentials: Innovation is Gradual
  • Innovation is nearly always a gradual thing. Eureka moments are rare and possibly non-existent. 
  • It is because of human nature and the intellectual property system that innovation is often described as heroic breakthroughs. It is all too easy and tempting for whoever makes a breakthrough to magnify its importance, forget about rivals and predecessors, and ignore successors who make the breakthrough into a practical proposition.
  • Nationalism makes the problem worse. The importing of a new idea gets confused with the inventing of a new idea.

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Hans Rosling

“Step-by-step, year-by-year, the world is improving. Not on every single measure every single year, but as a rule. Though the world faces huge challenges, we have made tremendous progress. This is the fact-based worldview.”

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