Matt Ridley: Why I Am a Rational Optimist About the World

Estefanía Campos  | 06 de abril de 2017  | Vistas: 319

Matt Ridley, honorary doctorate in social sciences of Universidad Francisco Marroquín, and writer of the book The Rational Optimist, describes in this lecture the reasons he has to believe the world has got better in spite of the common fatalist beliefs that our society is worst that ever.

In your opinion, has the proportion of people living in extreme poverty halved, doubled, or stayed the same in the last twenty years? The answer might surprise you, and most people choose wrong. Matt Ridley thinks:

If you look over five hundred years, the improvements in human living standards is extraordinary and is very recent. It just shows what a different world we are living in from every generation that has lived before.”

Ridley shares interesting data on how the world’s economy has grown through time, the extraordinary improvements of living standards that we have evidenced, the decrease of child mortality and poverty in the world, the decline in tuberculosis, guinea worm and other fatal diseases such as cancer and HIV.

He says, one mustn't have a claim that everything is getting better, because problems like mental disorders and obesity are actually increasing. However:

There’s an inherited tendency in the media to only tell you the bad news. If it bleeds, it leads. Good news is no news.”

Later he talks about how much more happier, safer, better fed, cleverer, cleaner and freer we actually are because of the improvements of wealth and living standards. Then he describes the key ingredient he believes has made this positive improvements possible.

The world has got better in many aspects according to Ridley, but can it go on? What about global warming? Can robots take our jobs? Find out fascinating facts about today’s world and the answer to these intriguing questions.

NOW WATCH: Ridley's Honorary Doctoral Degree ceremony and inspiring speech.


Journalist, businessman and honorary doctorate in Social Sciences of UFM


Nuestra misión es la enseñanza y difusión de los principios éticos, jurídicos y económicos de una sociedad de personas libres y responsables.

Universidad Francisco Marroquín