The Rational Optimist or when ideas have sex…

Open Book and Discussion Group based on the book:

The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves

The book was authored by Matt Ridley

Tuesday Evening 03.01.11 at 7

Greetings All,

This week we look to a much cheerier text suggested by Mr. Craig Stafford. Continuing the discussion on grasping the future and how it relates to our careers Mr. Matt Ridley discounts the gloom and doom of much contemporary thinking in his excellent work The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves. Ridley believes that “Ideas have sex” and when they do great things can be born from the union. “Fret not!” claims Ridley, things are always getting better, even now, really, and he has the facts and figures to support his stance. Pessimism is passé per his new schema. You will feel better for reading this book, even if only until 2012.

There is a lot to wrap your head around with Ridley and some of it is very challenging. But don’t be pessimistic, we’ll get through it, the book that is.

Rationally Optimistic Points:

  • Hot new career opportunities do and will exist for those that equip themselves properly
  • Networking from the Pleistocene forward
  • Is success a zero-sum game?
  • Is affluence for all a real possibility or “Pollyanna dream?”
  • Data proves that life is easier today than at any other time on Earth
  • Reminiscing over “the-good-old-days” is a waste of time and energy and it is “wrong”
  • Now and for the future? Focused specialization or generalist approach?
  • Global connectivity and information sharing place problem-solving at easy reach of many
  • Governments have never been better prepared or warned of risks and sticking points
  • Leveraging the “collective intelligence” and ramifications for “intellectual property”
  • Online learning will touch millions that were previously unable to reach for education
  • Social media will even the playing field in many areas, Egypt, Libya, Wisconsin, Columbus…
  • Re-framing and redefining “the good life” and “prosperity” will sooth nostalgic pains
  • The map that leads to a healthy and prosperous future must be drawn by you
  • Cycles happen and you can fight them or ride them and some will profit immensely
  • The barriers are more in your mind than in reality
  • We must separate the facts from the fallacies of handling change
  • How markets/needs dictate specialization and drive careers, employment and industries

“Ideas have sex.” —Matt Ridley

As always, you can be rationally optimistic that we will hit Steak & Shake after we conclude at Barnes & Noble.

Join us, won’t you?


When ideas have sex… Matt Ridley
The Rational Optimist by Matt Ridley

$timulus: An Open Book and Networking Group

Barnes & Noble in the Streets of West Chester

(I-75 Exit 19 Union Centre Blvd., Past The Rave Theater)

9455 Civic Centre Boulevard, West Chester, OH 45069

Every Tuesday evening at 7:00 P.M.

There is no charge for $timulus!!!

Monte at 513.769.6313 or


About MonteWashburn

Greetings, Please allow me to introduce myself. I am Monte, a passionate lover of a great spectrum of nonfiction books and authors and in hoping to provide some guidance to the many currently unemployed or under-employed persons much of the content posted here will revolve around books of the job search, career, entrepreneurial pursuits and personal development. Other related blogs and material will be heralded here as well. And a little fiction just may sneak in as well from time to time. May you find your own stimulus here. Expectantly, Monte
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The Rational Optimist or when ideas have sex…

  1. Hey Monte! I hope to make it tonight. I thought I recognized the title from a TED Talk I saw awhile back. Searching The Google, I uncovered the link: TED Blog | When ideas have sex: Matt Ridley on

    • Hi Daniel,

      Yes, this the same Matt Ridley as is on the TED Talk. I didn’t realize that when Craig was telling me about the book but it was clear in the first few pages.

      I went back and watched the video again as well.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s