Thoughts on Thinking

"When somebody persuades me that I am wrong, I change my mind. What do you do?" John Maynard Keynes

"If you're unhappy with your life, change your thinking." Charles Fillmore

"The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but your thoughts about it." Eckhart Tolle

"People are not disturbed by things, but by the view they take of them." Epictetus

"The unexamined life is not worth living." Socrates

"Consciousness is a terrible thing to waste." PunditGeorge

Thursday, March 15, 2012

How Prosperity Evolves

In addition to being a Cognitive Philanthropist, I’ve considered myself a rational optimist.  Imagine my delight to come across a book, a business/economics/philosophical book, titled The Rational Optimist.  British author Matt Ridley presents the world a delicious perspective on the truth of prosperity and quality of life.  Can you say, Duh!

Having been bombarded for two decades of doom and gloom end-of-times – over population – no more water – climate disaster – poison planet – humans are a virus, well, you know the list.  Ridley maintains optimism because he’s studied economics, prosperity, innovation, free markets and human nature.  They all add up to a promising future.  Heck, they add up to a more enjoyable present once the goofy terror and fear mongering is cast out.  Some of his bon mots:

            The message from history is so blatantly obvious – that free trade causes mutual prosperity while protectionism causes poverty – that it seems incredible that anybody ever thinks otherwise.

            When asked at the Chicago World Fair in 1893 which invention would most likely have a big impact in the twentieth century, nobody mentioned the automobile, let alone the mobile phone.

Is there a mystery to Ridley’s optimism?  No mystery, but a manner of thinking.  He cites Thomas Jefferson in a letter to Isaac McPherson:

            He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me.

If you’re needing some fresh thinking, a bit of rational relief, a venture into the reality of ideas, then you’ll enjoy Ridley’s book.

Here’s a delightful summary:

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