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Skeptic Book Club - Rational Optimist

  • Sep 27, 2013 · 7:00 PM
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Skeptics -

Our September selection answers the question: "Is the human species doomed?" The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves takes the universally unpopular position that not only are we not doomed, the future is actually pretty bright for future generations. The key is change.

From Amazon:

Science journalist Ridley believes there is a reason to be optimistic about the human race, and he defies the unprecedented economic pessimism he observes. His book is about the rapid and continuous change that human society experiences, unlike any other animal group. Ideas needed to meet and mate for culture to turn cumulative, and “there was a point in human pre-history when big-brained, cultural, learning people for the first time began to exchange things with each other and that once they started doing so, culture suddenly became cumulative, and the great headlong experiment of human economic ‘progress’ began.” Participants in the exchanges improved their lives by trading food and tools. Ridley believes it is probable that humanity will be better off in the next century than it is today, and so will the ecology of our planet. He dares the human race to embrace change, be rationally optimistic, and strive for an improved life for all people.

This book is available in paper, Kindle, and Audible formats.

Feel free to BYO food or drinks (beer, wine, etc). Space is limited, so RSVP soon and change your response if your plans change. Thanks!

- Matt


A skeptic is one who prefers beliefs and conclusions that are reliable and valid to ones that are comforting or convenient, and therefore rigorously and openly applies the methods of science and reason to all empirical claims, especially their own. A skeptic provisionally proportions acceptance of any claim to valid logic and a fair and thorough assessment of available evidence, and studies the pitfalls of human reason and the mechanisms of deception so as to avoid being deceived by others or themselves. Skepticism values method over any particular conclusion. - Dr. Steven Novella

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  • Rose

    Sorry I can't make it homework is continuously interrupting my fun!

    September 26, 2013

    • Monica

      I feel your pain. Will miss you.

      September 26, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Would love to know if a spot frees up!

    September 22, 2013

    • Matt L.

      Ryan: You'll be missed. Isaac: Welcome aboard!

      September 23, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Yikes! and right in the interim having made other plans! Hope to catch you all next time

      September 24, 2013

  • Matt L.

    I'm glad to see all the interest! This book is obviously going to inspire a good discussion. I can't wait!

    September 17, 2013

    • Monica

      Haha, I like it. Though it could get expensive...

      September 18, 2013

    • Madeline M.

      Or you could call your wife.

      September 18, 2013

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