Ideas Having Sex

I watched Matt on Stossel last night - quite an amazing perspective. It called to mind Seth's Sticky Cyber Molecules: in a way. One comment offered by Stossel not in this TED talk was this progress was not created by a top-down government approach, was it? Perhaps we as a people could solve some of our economic problems using the inspiration in this talk or maybe his book: .
Matt Ridley: When ideas have sex At TEDGlobal 2010, author Matt Ridley shows how, throughout history, the engine of human progress has been the meeting and mating of ideas...
I think the point behind Stossel's comment, other than injecting a bit of Libertarian perspective into his own show was that while nobody knows how to make a pencil or a computer mouse or the human body, such does come out of evolution - the government doesn't know how to do any of these things either. Working from strictly one tribal point of view the government doesn't exchange ideas.  It's all a matter of communication & exchange.


  1. ideas having sex
  2. matt ridley
  3. economy
  4. prosperity


Seth says
It's interesting to note that faith in progress created from the bottom-up comes from the opposite direction than Faith in progress from Creationism.  Now, of course, we shudder to slot the government in the place of God, but at this level of blurred generalizations the simile still works.  Is God pure and absolute reason?  Would then Faith in God become faith in the working of perfect rules, procedures, and mechanisms?  Where in there is the trial and error that bottom-up evolution requires?  Do you believe in evolution, or do you believe in creation by God?  But is pure reason, all so very great as it is purported to be?

More likely the very best in human reason has absolutely nothing to do with creation and its evolution.  We humans apply reason when we can following what rules, procedures, and mechanism we discover that yield reliable results.  The dilemma  is at what level do we apply the reason ... individually or collectively.  I am not so very sure that there is a rubic to that dilema which will always yield the best results ... sometimes top down works, where bottom-up does not ... other times bottom-up works where top down fails miserably ... the urge to pick a side, itself, being fundamentally wrong.

Mark de LA says
The interesting part was he teased out some of the forces at work & demonstrated optimism through communication amongst different groups of people versus one person developing on his own or one point of view doing all the design (no one person knows how to make a pencil). Your results will, as always, differ.  Although I prefer synergy & cooperation versus competition amongst polarities; cooperation doesn't seem as natural these days. RS & my econ 101 class extolled the virtues of the division of labor as did he.

Mark de LA says
This was not a God thingy - strawman rejected.

Mark de LA says
The sexy part of the talk was the fun part, similar to scm at the practical, people level. I don't want to argue evolution here.

Mark de LA says
A buzzword for ya: ... actually change is a weak sister of transformation - the latter adds more dimensions. The link above has another link:

Mark de LA says
I'm not quite feeling anything different from what has gone before.  Basically, there is the polarity of the individual vs the group & then the further context of: liberty, equality & fraternity (brotherhood) - all of this within each of the domains of life: economics, education, science, relationships ....... (to infinity & beyond).

Seth says
M 2011-12-23 17:55:42 15714
This was not a God thingy - strawman rejected.

well i don't know whether it even can be rejected or what you think it is a straw-man to.  Inspired by your item, I was just delving into the strategy of top-down vs bottom-up as strategies for discovering change and sustaining desired behavior ... not really thinking about the political aspects.  In the end i came to the conclusion that always recommending one way or the other is fundamentally flawed ... you need both ... both individually and collectively.   For any given strategy you can place it within the corss product pictured.

It might also be interesting to note that for discovering, perhaps bottom-up is more useful, but for sustaining top-down may be more useful.

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