The Rational Optimist works its way from the Stone Age and the Neanderthals to 2100 and where the future can possibly take us. Hunter-gathers had a hard time surviving because they devoted so much of their time to finding food and shelter but when people started specializing in certain areas such as tool making, food gathering, clothing, or any other activity that is needed for survival we improved our quality of life. Specialization and trading helped increase the rate of cultural evolution which has brought us to where we are now. We, homo sapiens, went from being individuals striving to survive to a community working for the greater cause or as Ridley calls it a collective brain.
Farming began 10,000 years ago which provided food in a much more reliable and easier way than hunting-gathering. Our current population has grown rapidly since farming had first begun but the amount of land that we have used for providing food to the masses has stayed the same because of the efficient way we have grow our food and continue to do. We continue to effectively and more efficiently grow food for our expanding population. Our communities may be growing but the growth has slowed down. Mos...
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... be 10 new different types of jobs that were not available or had not been discovered at that time. They were indicating to me that new advances were going to arise because of the new discoveries that they were making now. I know that when the next generation comes around and are ready to graduate from college or even high school there will be 10 or more new jobs that will be available to them but aren’t to me currently thanks to discoveries I made in my area of specialization. With this information and an optimistic view on my future as an engineer I may not be certain about my life after graduation but I know that I will make new advancements that will improve my future and many others. We may not know what the future holds for each one of us but with an optimistic outlook we can create a brighter future for the whole society. Yes, life really is getting better.
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