Response to Papola regarding Matt Ridley’s “Rational Optimist”

Mr Papola,

So this book sets forth in an articulate and fashionably empirical manner, the merits of a blythe and unconcerned stance towards the future.

Is it not relevant to our assessment of the author and his thesis that he was the former Chairman of Northern Rock, a financial institution whose recklessly optimistic funding model was to lead to its spectacular failure and to be one of the catalysts for bank failures and runs in the UK?

I find it unbelievable that a guy who obviously does not tend to think about what might go wrong (such being a part of the duties of the Chairman) learns nothing from such an experience, and instead writes a book celebrating this stance towards life!

Life is not linear, and extrapolation from the past is rarely a good guide to the future. Libertarians, and those sympathetic to their cause would do well not to associate with charlatans and failed prophets.

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