The world evolves in a bottom-up way, despite the top-down beliefs of those who have blind faith in either God or Government. Matt Ridley joins Amit Varma in episode 96 of The Seen and the Unseen to describe the evolution of the universe, life, culture, language, cities, the economy, our minds, our future and more.

Also check out: The Evolution of Everything -- Matt Ridley Other books by Matt Ridley: The Rational Optimist,Genome,The Origins of Virtue Matt Ridley's Homepage What Does It Mean to Be Libertarian? -- Ep 64 of The Seen and the Unseen The Fraud of Indian Education -- Ep 77 of The Seen and the Unseen The Profit Motive in Education -- Ep 9 of The Seen and the Unseen

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00:00:00I am before you listen to this episode of the scene in the on scene I would recommendation for you to check out bulimia buzzy hosted by sort of gender and penny could descend into really good friends of mine kickass spot cost in Hindi it's amazing imagine that you
00:00:19are the minister in charge of Mumbai breakfast all the millions of people in one way one breakfast every morning and you have to make sure that whatever they want to eat reaches them in time some people want eggs someone do so hot in the photos some even one
00:00:34pulled up with two of you to judge them this means that you have to calibrate it procurement do so back to procurement procurement D. in coffee and milk procurement and make sure that everyone gets a breakfast alright and the system never breaks down you think you'd be able
00:00:50to do that planning all the logistics of thousands of excess shoots a contingency plans for everything that could go wrong is that a job you'd like what if you feel that it and the people of Norway did not have breakfast for today the city of hungry people sounds
00:01:05like a dystopian nightmare doesn't it welcome to the CNN and the on scene our weekly podcast on economics politics and the real sign please welcome your host but the scene in the NC the question I just posed is plainly absurd no one person or agency can coordinate dinner
00:01:27just sticks involved in producing breakfast for an entire city and feeding it but that doesn't mean that people haven't tried the Soviet Union once attempted to manage the nation's food supplies directly and it led to famine starvation and food lines you can not as we now know land
00:01:43and economy from the top down only feeds itself because millions of people close to their own self interest and managed to feed themselves by fulfilling each other's needs society works best in a bottom up pre languages evolve culture grows cities form economies on in a bottom up weed
00:02:02through what economists call spontaneous order and our universe in life itself was formed in about a month pay what we call spontaneous order can also be called natural selection the basically the same thing processes that lead to intricate and complex mechanisms designs without the need for designer because
00:02:21of natural selection we don't need a guard to explain this wonderful complex universe we live in equally spontaneous order explains why we do not need government another false guard to run an economy or society we do need government but not to detect things from the top and yet
00:02:39humans tend to instinctively thinking dubbed on ways to see command and control and resist bottom up explanations in fact it's so absurd taking many on the right to hold on to the religion of guard and deny natural selection what many on the left hold on to the religion
00:02:55of government and then I spontaneous order they'll both making exactly the same creationist mistake my guess what today is markedly altar of many fine books including the one will discuss today the evolution of everything in this book he writes about how the universe life culture language cities our
00:03:15brains out economies and even a future all evolve in about I'm a pre and Tanglefoot act before we move on to the conversation let's take a quick commercial break like me are you someone who loves fine art but contrary afford to have paintings by the artists you like
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00:04:32import because IBM twenty four to twenty percent discount at Indian colors dot com might welcome to the scene in the unseen thank you have it it's great to be on the show but it's very interesting %HESITATION humans tend to think of the word in dubbed on bees in
00:04:47all the different aspects we invented court to explain the universe whenever we think of something that needs needs to be done we say Hey government should do it because someone is to centrally planned it and so on note you studied those water gene college at what point did
00:05:01you sort of become %HESITATION firstly overhead that does %HESITATION you know the bottoms up approach to the world is a better way of looking at it and when did you begin to look at all of the world as we know just a you know not just what did
00:05:14you not just as from nine it's a good question and I don't really remember when this is dawned on me it dawned on me gradually it dawned on manta bottom up way perhaps but you're right to say that this committee begins with the natural world with biological evolution
00:05:31natural selection Charles Darwin's theory which led to first brush in school and then in more detail at university when I studied psychology as you say and %HESITATION I read several books about evolution and genetics and it became more more clear to me that there is the incredible complexity
00:05:51in the natural world I mean unbelievable complexity in your body and mind as we sit here with needs of sells millions of proteins tens of thousands of genes all working in coordination at exactly the right levels of speed and concentration %HESITATION it's mind boggling I mean it's it's
00:06:10more complex than any machine that human beings have ever devised or even could imagine devising and yet we have satisfied ourselves those of us who understand evolution and indeed a large chunk of the in the world that this can happen without direction without creation and it just struck
00:06:31me relatively recently actually just in the last few years that we were being a critic creationist about the human world as we used to be about the natural world and we were thinking of the complexity of a city were sitting in Mumbai it's an enormous city it's incredibly
00:06:49complicated looks people will have lunch in Mumbai today who's in charge of making sure they get enough to eat %HESITATION dancers nobody and everybody it's a it's a bottom up system right so what I want to do in this episode is really talk about your book the evolution
00:07:05of everything which deals exactly with this I'll just scored a sentence from your book so listeners get a sense of what the book is about the reader to go to the waiter to ministry is start can therefore mislead because it places far too much emphasis on design direction
00:07:21and planning and fall to their two on evolution stop code in your book of course is called the evolution of that meeting and in the cities of like sixteen chapters Utica Rideau's through essentially starting from the unit was all the way to the internet talking about how everything
00:07:37in between cultures cities languages all of them emerge bottom up and at best they can be docked but W. no I am at the people who try to teach them %HESITATION making a mistake they can only be learned as in the case of languages for example so I
00:07:52about I took we just follow the structure of the book and it just cool kind of chapter by chapter because back made intuitive sense to me when I was three that's that's fine and %HESITATION you first chapter will score the evolution of the universe and is a very
00:08:05interesting concept in there going Skyhooks getting in with that's about this is a a a a a phrase the Dino Dan it was brought into the conversational there it was it was actually invented by a pilot in World War one who was told to stay up there till
00:08:23we need you and he replied this machine is not fitted with Skype books account attach myself to the sky and %HESITATION you oversee come build a building with a sky hook which is crazy because it would be a nice way to build a building %HESITATION if you could
00:08:37hook device to the sky and start from the top %HESITATION but that that concept which Daniel Dennett talks about is is it is a metaphor for the way we talk about human society %HESITATION too often and the way we talk about the natural world as well when we're
00:08:54talking so sky hook is really just a euphemism for gold if you like in the natural world but it's often a euphemism for government in in in the %HESITATION %HESITATION the man made world but in this chapter on the evolution of the universe I'm really talking about %HESITATION
00:09:14the way it dawns on Isaac Newton and other people that you could go doesn't need to be moving the planets directly they could be moving on the error and force the the the the the Patton and structure of the universe could have come about completely spontaneously without intervention
00:09:34by a higher power and that was over see an idea that started to take root in the seventeenth century and gradually developed and that in many ways was resisted Newton himself %HESITATION conceded that the planet that to you do you don't need to go to explain the movement
00:09:50of the planets today but something must have started it so perhaps that was gold and it's it's very interesting you talk about you know this notion starting in the seventeenth century but you also write a bit about the fifth century BC Roman philosopher looked issues who in a
00:10:04sense anticipated board natural selection and spontaneous order boy Dublin and Adam Smith in a manner of speaking yes Lucretius is a really interesting character we know very little about him we have this one poem that he wrote it was rediscovered in the fourteen hundreds %HESITATION after being lost
00:10:23for a century their people referred to it and when it was rediscovered and examined it was found to be unbelievably Maltin and its way of looking at the world and he was heavily influential on flush those like spinners are people like Thomas Jefferson had five copies of it
00:10:39in his library you know important part of the enlightenment was was the influence of this one poem by Lucretius nutritious himself was talking back to Democritus and %HESITATION yes thank you that was the name I was looking for %HESITATION and and and you know it's a potent so
00:10:58we mustn't get too carried away he doesn't give details diagrams or reference he's for his ideas but he keeps saying things like look are you sure you need to go to explain this don't you think actually there's a way in which you could have happened spontaneously and he
00:11:14comes agonizingly close to describing the process of natural selection if you interpret it generously and again and again he has this refreshing way of saying look actually you can think about this in the bottom of what you can think about it being coming from below and it's tempting
00:11:33to think that we were on the brink of a major intellectual breakthrough in the first century AD Lucretius was a who is roughly lived at the same time the Cicero and Caesar and people like that and then something comes along and we turn our back on this way
00:11:51of looking at the world for a very long time and we have to re discover it in the enlightenment in the sixteenth seventeenth century Lucretius was practically branded as a heretic and his work was lost and forgotten and possibly because he challenged those top down %HESITATION notions that
00:12:07the elite sort of fat and that's the same process that anyone who challenged with notions went through I mean you can treat straight Ballin for Easter Adam Smith himself restrict that's correct and this is one of the fascinating things is that it is the ultimate heresy to go
00:12:20around saying that you don't need gold we maybe don't need government and as you say do I mean Lucretius was suppressed actively in and violently suppressed I mean not to self but his works were by the Christian church when it took over the western world and you know
00:12:37fast forward to Adam Smith he you know he look what he says gets him into real trouble and gets his followers into real trouble prosecution saying the kinds of things he's saying on my street feeling about Adam Smith is that if you look at what he's saying both
00:12:54in the theory of moral sentiments and in the wealth of nations is that he's giving us sort of general theory of evolution well Charles Darwin is giving us special theory of evolution by analogy with the special theory of relativity Einstein a century before dollars so to thirty moral
00:13:12sentiments comes as in seventeen fifty nine Charles Darwin's origin of species comes out in eighteen fifty nine and so Smith he's saying society roles society emerges we talk about a morality how morality of which is our ethics emerge in the mark they re moral sentiments and he's doing
00:13:32so very much with the view of it coming about through the instructions will be people you calibrate what is moral she's not through the reaction of people in your society and we don't actually need priests to tell us to behave well we work it out ourselves more or
00:13:47less depending on how world society is constructed by people's a direction in Tokyo second chapter school the evolution what IT and one of the things I learned in a chapter is start famous so free is a metaphor of the invisible hand of was not use placement in the
00:14:02wealth of nations but before that in note here you model sentiments where he was talking about commonality emotion about a month basically as you're saying and I do know moral strictures on are dictated by guards on high priest so whatever but the emotions or human interaction as we
00:14:18learn how to get along with each other on society in a man speaking yes and so it's it's worth remembering that that the the %HESITATION people think of the invisible hand is purely an economic idea but actually identity was I think he was it's a delightful a phrase
00:14:32and it's it's it's it's teasing and it it soda and sat this idea that morality emerges right and and you you give an example of morality imaging for example where you contrast of disapproval of homosexuality with the disapproval of pedophilia and how wondered as the disapproval of homosexuality
00:14:51has sort of receded in the past decades and the other has sort of form you know more people disapprove pedophilia for example so if you know I'm very striking I think in my lifetime %HESITATION that mean pedophilia was not condoned but it was you know who that was
00:15:09very little fuss about to do a lot of school teachers who were probably behaving badly in in the nineteen fifties and you know they they were prosecuted the register well get out the way %HESITATION something where is some sexuality was illegal the time and people were prosecuted people
00:15:24are cheering you know committed suicide on the pressure from this %HESITATION today quite rightly we are extremely tolerant society generally of people being gay and we say well that's completely up to them that's a that's none of government's business %HESITATION but we've become extremely intolerant of people raping
00:15:47%HESITATION seducing children and again right to so but my point is that those changes didn't come about because somebody in charge said look we're being too lenient about pedophilia and too strict about homosexuality they came about because ordinary people change the conversation themselves I'm a politician's followed suit
00:16:11in these cases you know politicians are catching up with the way society was changing its mind about these things and I think that's a very important lesson in in how morality changes it it did tends not to be because some leader tells us what to do this would
00:16:26leadership that everybody uses about how we gonna come on to leadership was a good idea exactly is a great mistake right and I was particularly struck by one paragraph in our chapter and I'm just going to read it out again coat the Smitty and chatted you may know
00:16:40Adams been insured estimate in China developing his sense of morality in a wide in medieval society in precio se by trial and error would end up with a more record quite different from such a child growing up in a peaceful German suburb today the mediaeval person would be
00:16:55judge model if it killed people in defense office on a order city with a sturdy he would be taught more than if you refuse me and gave copiously to charity and talk shockingly motility can somebody for any reason at all and especially for ana struck gold isn't it
00:17:12interesting I know it's it's this is the nobody allies theory of of how cultures changed which Steven Pinker also writes about a great length and what was virtuous in the Middle Ages it was often to kill bad people hers today it's which is not to kill people told
00:17:31except possibly in self defense infect recently SO this meme on the internet about some nineteen twenties advertisement which storm though women how they should be the ideal life and you and you kind of read all of that and it's completely shocking and thankfully social more as a sort
00:17:46of evolved to be from that engines completely but what do you say that morality or was he was in the right directions well is redefining rate from heart rate these point but is not interesting why should it involved in the right direction rather address we lived through a
00:17:59couple of hundred years in which morality has tended to to evolve towards liberalism towards tolerance towards %HESITATION being lost less judgmental except in cases like pedophilia and to some extent %HESITATION that must be upper tree I mean it must be possible full browser to evolve in the other
00:18:17direction and maybe you see that in some of the more theocratic societies today that that Islam is going from %HESITATION on the whole being perfectly tailored to the somewhat less tolerant %HESITATION moral code in in some countries %HESITATION towards various forms of blasphemy homosexuality being an example in
00:18:38that case so fundamentalism does the merge by the same process %HESITATION and intolerance can emerge by the same process and some of the things we're seeing today on how intolerant people are free speech researcher %HESITATION could be seen in that light suddenly we can take it for granted
00:18:59that morality will continue to evolve in in a in a generally liberal direction rate let moving on to sort of your Kerr chapter which is the evolution of life %HESITATION and again one hardly sort of I think most reasonable people who are now accept natural selection and %HESITATION
00:19:15the interesting thing here is that you talk about her dog and was inspired by the ideas of lock in Smith and before them obviously from %HESITATION the grease and %HESITATION the great court which you you know refer to a year in this episode is called the general theory
00:19:28of evolution came before this mission to Haiti %HESITATION stop caught wind Darwin sort of got his ideas what it kind of headed Dickel whether an idea whose time had come I think if Darwin hadn't come up with the theory of natural selection would still have got it around
00:19:43the same time I mean we know that to be the case because of Alfred Russel Wallace obviously civil Tennessee stumbled upon the same idea that Wallace wasn't gonna have quite such a good catalog of anecdotes and evidence to buttress its in quite such good connections is drawing to
00:19:59push the ideas for much of struggled more it much to come forward in different forms a dogwood was remarkably intellectually consistent in a way the Wallace wasn't you never will this refused to believe the human brain could have come about through natural selection for example so %HESITATION %HESITATION
00:20:14it would be different if towing hadn't been that to do it but I think you're right in the sense that evolution by natural selection was ripe to appear around that period we had the the pieces in place and as a say %HESITATION surprising extent it comes from these
00:20:33H. these enlightenment thinkers from the eighteenth century people like Loken Smith and so on influencing people like Dow in the media that you grew up it was very much based around these ideas of Smith and people like that about free markets about freedom generally and and I think
00:20:53you know you needed to plow the ground to before you could say the seeds of tokenism %HESITATION but he was still very heretical I mean it was still hugely resistant mainly from the point of view of religion which it was seen as a threat to a local still
00:21:08is I mean in many parts of the world particularly but to America a national selection is rejected out of hand because it seems to contradict the Bible known as this is very sort of interesting good before dog in all the team goes to sort of express such ideas
00:21:24you know god was to sing you couldn't out so even Newton when he would say things which would normally lead you to it he is Stricker conclusions that even that caught the wood the you know the the hedge at the very end and I am sort of flow
00:21:36be lip service to you stick go concepts as well Amazon I'm curious as to what to the extent to which I'm I'm seeing everything through the lens of Christianity wears a coaster of bed you know loading many people living on the different %HESITATION %HESITATION religious dispositions and I'm
00:21:55curious as to how easy or difficult it would be under Hinduism or on the bodies of more on Islam up for %HESITATION these bottom up ideas to emerge and of course they must've done and sometimes I'm successful in being suppressed and sometimes %HESITATION come through most successfully %HESITATION
00:22:13it sort of feels like the but it should have been quickest to this because of that in a way the the day at sea in Buddhism is a bit of a bottom up debts he I could put it that way I do know what you think about the
00:22:28it's interesting and also I think %HESITATION Hinduism gets involving in what internet and directions today that there is a tradition within Hinduism direct talks about did I doesn't eighteen Easter tradition the child will cut tradition of someone having said that most of the enlightenment ideas to be quite
00:22:42Frank go came from the list %HESITATION you know %HESITATION a friend of mine was attempting to write a book on the history of liberalism in India and actually trying to examine whether that are sort of for %HESITATION liberal ideas strict %HESITATION group in India spontaneously and is ready
00:22:56ha to come across them they're all sort of for the guided by our goal order of those sort of photo done bees so you know all of these ideas of spontaneous order and natural selection have definitely come to us now from the west but I think all the
00:23:11wood is one so it's it's sort of kind of moot who owe you for chapter was really interesting especially because the first book editor of yours was general %HESITATION all those years ago and you and your foot chapter is about the evolution of genes and will you talk
00:23:26about how most people even scientists tend to think of genes in terms of the sky hook that genes other mas to plan for the body but you say it's not so yes this is an interesting one I think because when we first decoded the human genome this there's
00:23:43a loss of literature out there in genetics talking about wanting to find the monster jeans the jeans that that control the other genes and so on and this is just the wrong way of looking at this is a network not Iraqi %HESITATION every gene is affecting every other
00:23:59gene and so on gene but you know most genes are affecting other genes in different ways and we had to get used to the idea that there were any twenty one thousand and all more jeans and that %HESITATION Wilder a jeans that switch on earlier in life for
00:24:14whatever and start a cascade of events that results in other things most genes out contributing %HESITATION genes that saw parts of a machine rather than chains in a in a series of events and I think that is an idea that hasn't quite sunk in Sir Sir even geneticists
00:24:36confronted with this stream the bottom up system which is the element of an incredibly complex body from ten twenty thousand genes %HESITATION have tended to think in terms of leadership by certain genes over other G. and your point is that every jeep %HESITATION if you use the metaphor
00:24:56of acting because jeans going to actually have relation but every gene in a sense is acting in its own self interest it doesn't really give a damn about the monster planned %HESITATION so but you know in the same day as you spoke about feeding lunch to the city
00:25:07of Bombay and here I am in the city of Bombay and I'm just doing my own thing but I am in the sense contributing to this master plan off giving lunch to order bonding shooting to myself but it is not a conscious directed to be it's sort of
00:25:20I just do what I do everybody does what it does in the city runs as it does yeah died and I think I think that's it's very it's very good analogy is cell is like a city you know there's lots of individuals do going about their business during
00:25:32that different things and for the city to function %HESITATION all it needs is for everybody do that bit not to trying to live where else what to do and I'm I'm sort of struck by another court of yours which %HESITATION blue again how expected Dawkins in his classic
00:25:47book good it is the selfishness of the genes that enables individuals to be selfless US stock quote well done I'm Richard Dawkins right the selfish gene in the nineteen seventies very influential on me I read it when I was just starting at university and %HESITATION he then was
00:26:03one of my teachers %HESITATION and yeah I think he had a blinding insight that the generous behavior that human beings sure who could come about because of the self interest of genes rather than because of genes for generosity sort of thing and it's you know it's quite a
00:26:21hard concept to get your head around and you know how could we be anything other than the results of replicating devices trying to insure that progression into the next generation and that is when you think about it a very smithy and concept not a lot of biologists revision
00:26:38biologists are convinced by this kind of selfish gene argument would not find themselves at the free market end of the economic or political spectrum and probably haven't understood that that power will in my view and that's was pretty stunning dissidents you sort of and the chapter by saying
00:26:56called the more we understand genomics some more it conforms evolution stop coat moving on ninety fifth chapter which is the evolution of culture and again I'm going to go to bed %HESITATION from their %HESITATION start coat one of the great intellectual breakthroughs in recent decades led by two
00:27:14evolutionary terrorist named rob void and Pete Richardson is the realization there Dobbins mechanism of selective survival resulted in cumulative complexity applies to human culture in all its aspects to any character long but anyway ought habits and out institutions from language to cities are constantly changing and the mechanism
00:27:34of change turns out to be surprisingly d'avignon it is gradual undetected mutational inexorably combinatorial selective and in some weeks since progressive stop code and then %HESITATION illustration you give a focal J. walls is language yeah I think language is a very good case to think because we we
00:27:56can see language change before our eyes we see pronunciation changing which you for cabin or changing machine new words we see what's changing that meanings and so on and we know don't worry that no one is trying to do this noni setting out deliberately to introduce a new
00:28:11word into the English language %HESITATION or something that that it's coming about very gradually by mutation and selection by relatively random changes some of which are accepted and so which are rejected and one of the things that people used to say as well hang on culture cannot be
00:28:27dealt with and because a lot of the things we do a deliberate we know we are conscious we're planning things %HESITATION we're trying to change something that makes it very you know that's directed mutation in point of natural selection is it has to be random mutation in order
00:28:41to to discover new things %HESITATION but actually there's been some good mathematical modeling that shows that while mom even if most of the things people trying to do all conscious and or deliberate as long as there's an element of randomness is always an element of trial and error
00:28:56in you will get a surprisingly powerful Darwinian evolution happening and Joe Henry can his colleagues particularly have of made this argument that actually and once you drill down into human culture and understand how it works it looks much more evolution rate and much less legend plant and then
00:29:18we have tended to assume in fact one of the points you make is start languages learn to not talk and an example you give off this is top down language teaching was his bottom up language teaching and tugged on would be like say if I at the age
00:29:31of forty four try to learn a foreign language like French is for me and you know I really struggled are United shock loading it in a superficial way and it could be really hard going but every baby born in France just does it so naturally going to settle
00:29:48this that's right and you know I think we made a mistake in trying to me that I was taught Latin and Greek when I was a child I remember almost none of it now %HESITATION it's faded %HESITATION and learning from being told those kind of language is a
00:30:06surprisingly difficult where is if I had lived in France or Germany or India or I would have as a child I would have very quickly absorbed in it you know I did pick up I mean I lived in India for a few months one year and and I
00:30:19didn't become proficient in handy but you know I absorbed it without anybody teaching me out of course it helps to have a language teacher but essentially what a language teacher is is just a number you know good one is just immersing you in the experience so you can
00:30:32do the learning and I think that's a good example of how we we learn rather teach doing a phone %HESITATION you also outlined a number of schools on how %HESITATION sort of language pains to avoid for example frequently used word stand to be short common words Jane slowly
00:30:48for example the meaning of dough you said is never really going to change because you know you have to make too many people low on a new meaning but something like dramatic it has in fact changed yes exactly so that would provide a case is now we routinely
00:31:01use certain in the UK under their right elsewhere in the world that to mean delay it doesn't mean that it means to live actually %HESITATION people when they say provider K. they think you procrastinate but they actually for some reason they use the word predicates instead that's changed
00:31:16in my lifetime is no point getting cross about hidden saying we've lost but really good word procrastination we've you know we've lost the meaning of a word provided catch these things happen but it's not gonna happen to a small would like me %HESITATION and %HESITATION the you know
00:31:32those dentures others regularities those rules I'm look like they were you know set down by some Supreme Court of the English language schools is not the case it's that it is a national pregnant as I'm a phone with us national pride which is a very good way of
00:31:47putting it and inside before we start regarding the sport Guster told you and %HESITATION record the intro and outro later and then it strikes me that %HESITATION cool also in a manner of speaking is a word that it was a very good is really no such word as
00:31:59outro but up but I would argue now there is because I don't use it that it's everyone understands what one means by it who invented it winded who started to a unit who knows if you're listening to this what caused it centuries later I'm going to take credit
00:32:15for yeah I know that there is no central planning directory which marks the date on which it was invented by a committee they're not going to take on another would get you know didn't mean what it now means a way to go short commercial breaks Hey is another
00:32:33great we got IBM podcaster not funny this is social media please make sure you do it IBM park us on Twitter Facebook and Instagram this week we have a new history podcast echoes of India with a new look at the city D. in order that this order it's
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00:32:59yes that's right he has a new part because looking at the twenty seventh each week when we discuss the changes and developments in the business of advertising branding content media at a whole range of issues that exist within the industry episodes are out every Tuesday on the scene
00:33:11in the %HESITATION seen on the door was joined by author and journalist Matt Ridley discuss the evolution of the universe life culture our minds and our futures again for part because they just in the car slowly losing my mother tried to process just how much they were disappointed
00:33:22by the fantastic beasts equal last week on IBM lights of buses will be talk about homecoming the podcast was welcoming the show also we're reaching a hundred episodes of IBM likes to show your favorite moments from the show with us and your most memorable recommendations you can write
00:33:35to us at shows it into fox dot com also send us a voice note if you can who played on the hundredth episode I would that let's continue on with the show welcome back to the scene in the unseen I'm chatting with daughter mad Ricky about the evolution
00:33:49of everything to go back to fifty chapter over devolution of culture there was one sentence I'm gonna ask you to explain to me which I didn't really quite don't understand but is very intriguing which as you write that in people genes are probably the slaves nor the monsters
00:34:04of culture now yes well what I think I'm trying to argue here is that gene culture co evolution is the idea that if culture changes that could put pressure on the jeans to change %HESITATION so for example %HESITATION we have tended to argue that in order to become
00:34:27molten linguistic people something had to change in our brain enough to that we began speaking because it lost we had the circuitry to use language it's I've argued another published during this actually they could be the other way around %HESITATION so for example if we started using our
00:34:50voices %HESITATION law to communicate that would put selective pressure on whoever could articulate particularly well to have more children is a better communicating so it's the culture that starts the change in the genes that follow the culture is the wholesome jeans on the cot would you say good
00:35:12in that case you yes he yeah that's true exactly it's about your circle but we have very nice examples of this for example in tolerance of milk the ability to digest milk which is %HESITATION something that western Europeans have and some Africans have but is relatively rare elsewhere
00:35:35in in the world %HESITATION %HESITATION I think it's relatively common in India but I'm not sure but bids in the in the Far East it's really quite scarce now why is that why you give them much about at all seminal see children can can digest milk lactose is
00:35:49the key thing lactose is is a is a sugar found in milk that adult human generally con digest unless they come from certain cultures now what happened did people say oh good I'm lactose tolerant therefore I'm going to invent dairy farming or did they invent dairy farming and
00:36:09get some benefit out of eating milk because of course got proteins and other things in it and you could technician to cheese in the US which is fine but they will have a bit of indigestion from the lactose and then people who genetically found that that infant genes
00:36:28for lactose digestion remain switched on throughout life were as suddenly as an advantage they got more energy out of the milk and other people and so the gene started changing so we know who in that case I mean that's femme opal supposed to what happened is that the
00:36:43culture change towards %HESITATION keeping animals for their milk and that was followed by a genetic change what would that sort of natural selection not happening now it's kinda more trade you can look at the boss let go and talk about culture influencing jeans but that's no longer happening
00:36:58obviously %HESITATION who well I I'm not so sure %HESITATION I think there are things that are happening today that are bound to be changing putting genetic influences on on us it's hard to think of an example one of the problems with modern cultures it changes so fast and
00:37:12often and not consistently in the same direction for a long time but you know who suppose there are %HESITATION you know there's a lot of people who have relatively small numbers of children today now if the some culture habit that's leading people to be less likely to have
00:37:30babies and other cultural habit this leading people to have lots of babies %HESITATION then you know these will change and we had been in trouble because I always argue that smarter people have this baby's well there is that and and actually if you look at old religions around
00:37:46the world with you look at %HESITATION person Christianity Catholic Christianity different forms of Islam Judaism Hinduism %HESITATION on the whole the more orthodox and fundamentalist people are the more children that is a very good book called the religious shown there they are think it's cold and and the
00:38:05argument here is that now that we are limiting family size long terror in not ever and it you know used to be that everybody tried to have many children as possible but now that most people are settling for one of two children the exceptions are gonna be dominating
00:38:20the posterity to a surprising extent now there's exceptions tend to be fundamentally so here it is the gene for fundamentalism exactly it's on it's all right you you and accepted on because you're better eating about cities and you point out you know in India these days are prime
00:38:35minister noted when you keep talking about smart cities he wants to design new cities and you know a huge amount of top down thinking and what you actually point out is that most big cities emote spontaneously there weren't planned by some government toward higher power or whatever and
00:38:51%HESITATION %HESITATION an example you give up this is included in the first half of the nineteenth century yes there I mean the gross of industrial cities like monster role or Birmingham in the U. K. %HESITATION isn't entirely spontaneous phenomenon this this new you know government didn't set up
00:39:08say right we're going to build some bigger cities it's true that when people realized how cities were growing they then said %HESITATION hang on let's plan the infrastructure so that it's more %HESITATION user friendly so for example the grid system that you get in the middle of many
00:39:23American cities and indeed for cursing gloss coat for example %HESITATION is an example of talked on it and we're all very grateful for it I mean you can get around Manhattan so easily if it was able the pickle the city like a well you could me we get
00:39:36around London okay we get run over by a okay %HESITATION obviously you know you come have zero government in a city you con of that police you can't have no ability to build the road you can have that kind of no traffic lights you know that's not what
00:39:51was %HESITATION what we're saying is that you do have to take into account that these things will change Fontaine use the and you you may be wrong if you plan for them to change it one way and they actually want to change in a different way it's a
00:40:05bit like the way if you set up a park and you put the pods across the park wrong and people say now actually our work from that corner to that cold and not the school to this corner %HESITATION then people will Michael decal desire lines which is tracks
00:40:17across the grows on you much better moving your concrete whether tracks all than trying to put a big sign saying keep off the grass stick to these these tracks innocence is much better than selecting the city or no uncertainty wall basically will and then beating the infrastructure to
00:40:32serve a certain you know getting all that done rather than trying to second guess what people may want in putting that in place correct I mean although as I say you can go to file you do have to anticipate Dimond to some extent for its fo four to
00:40:46rule something on your own but it's important to be flexible and say look hang on the way people want to live in cities these days is actually changing and we shouldn't disapprove of it we should just change the way we are operating so as to make room for
00:41:00it in a magnificent book I'd recommend to my listeners and I know you must also be a side effect is their death and life of great American cities by Jane Jacobs areas but Jane Jacobs is is is the genius behind these ideas cities because she was the one
00:41:13who who %HESITATION %HESITATION campaigned against %HESITATION the sort of central planning of infrastructure in New York that was running neighborhood but %HESITATION but Moses Robert Moses exactly yeah %HESITATION this one noted chapter six of the evolution of the economy which %HESITATION begins by your invoking Frederick bustier was
00:41:35also the inspiration behind the name of this book us is seen in the NC and bus the other wrote about just as you were talking about you know %HESITATION giving lunch to the people of Mumbai bus here what about feeding Paris where he said there to feed status
00:41:47need if you have a central planter who tries to feed bad is the toss will simply be too overwhelming but he passed manages quite fine on its own yeah yeah I think this is a great insight it's a great way of of looking at the world and best
00:42:01yet %HESITATION who really nails it here because with food people to be easily get what you're talking about I find that if if you say look there's a better way of feeding my Bombay in that is to %HESITATION put one food commissioner in charge of it and %HESITATION
00:42:18he can plan well in the heads and make sure that the right amount of food is available to the right kind of people well we know that doesn't work it's called central planning strides in the Soviet Union and other places and it's %HESITATION it's a disaster whatever's tried
00:42:32and we note that the way to achieve the feeding of a city is supply and demand that you know if there's not enough demand for fish %HESITATION there's too much supply %HESITATION there's not enough supply of bread and this too much Dimond for bread then the %HESITATION price
00:42:51sufficient bread will reflect that and that will automatically adjust without anyone anticipating it without anyone ordering it without anyone leading entered does a nice dystopian novel to be written to the full commission of there is that's a good point this do it one interesting point you need which
00:43:11%HESITATION you know and so for a moment I'll ask you to kind of make this your say him to do few people appreciate just how similar the arguments made by Smith and other now and the thing is is essentially to me the way I see it it's an
00:43:23identical argument I mean natural selection is spontaneous order which is down people use for the way the economy sort of forms it says that you don't need a central planner that all of these things happen by themselves and it's a beautiful almost mystical process in a sense like
00:43:36Douglas Adams once said that he didn't need gore because %HESITATION %HESITATION the wonder of natural selection was enough to fill in that that kind of slow using all week yet we find it when it comes to politics you have you know people on one side who %HESITATION creation
00:43:53of so one sort and people on the other side people on the left are actually creationists when it comes to the economy why do you think that is this is a fascinating phenomenon is necessary so I made my career mixed with free market economists and evolutionary biologists and
00:44:11I've often said to them you guys is saying the same thing %HESITATION do you realize it and the evolution bulges will all vote for not all but me will mostly vote for a sort of socialist view of the economy and the free market economists will quite often be
00:44:27found saying well no I you know I don't really think Darwinism is right you know you because they're on the free market economies tend to be set up with the right wing set in United States %HESITATION where is he bluish biologists tend to be on the left wing
00:44:41because their academics and scientists in Mostar and I long to bash as the others don't go head okay exactly and and and you know forget right and left this idea spontaneous order is more important than that and it's it's not the one thing or the other minutes it's
00:44:58certainly you know if if by right wing you mean authoritarian is certainly not flat is very opposite thought and you know it what could be more liberating than the idea that ordinary people are in charge of their own destiny through a side too messy but rather beautiful system
00:45:13of spontaneous order and I think that's something you when you talk about the economy as well again I quote from you a good free market Commons is the only system of human organization yet devised with ordinary people are in charge unlike feudalism communism fascism slavery and socialism stock
00:45:30quote me you kind of point %HESITATION debt the decisions about what company should exist we should make a profit who is doing a good job of serving others or whatever are made by ordinary people not some central pot and that yeah look at the way big companies are
00:45:44vulnerable to that consumers you know if color launches a product and it's not good then they help cover companies in trouble you know I mean look at the way the big companies have to rush to %HESITATION you know if they find that consumers the customers and somewhere in
00:45:59real trouble quite quickly Sir in in improper commercial system as long as these big companies don't have the error of governments and couldn't get defense that way they'll very vulnerable under the people in charge of the ordinary people of customers %HESITATION which is by the way one of
00:46:15the reasons I never use the word capitalism for the system if I can because capitalism is emotional top down view I think it's it's a deer of big capitalist being in charge and I think that's the mistake I think we need to think of it as consumers being
00:46:28in charge of the poll from consumers rolled the push from from produces that said through crony capitalism through the links between business and government it is sometimes possible of course with big business to behave in a very heavy handed and talked on way %HESITATION and %HESITATION insist that
00:46:49the rival small competitors don't get a chance and so on %HESITATION so I think that's you know one has to to to watch out for that %HESITATION but that isn't free call us I mean I've I've heard historians who defend on NATO's %HESITATION sort of Fabian socialist vision
00:47:07so you don't listen in the late forties he set up he got a group of industrialised together to form what was going to bomb they plan to talk about dead vision for an independent in the event of an India became independent what the economy should look like and
00:47:20the Senate look a day %HESITATION endorse NATO's view offer top down socialistic planned economy model and money to play to that is of course the board there protecting them alright in an actual free market no one is protected the government simply doesn't have the power to protect displayed
00:47:36%HESITATION dat player and %HESITATION be you know in a classic example of how this kind of creative destruction happen is in the factor to see a company like Kodak which was said to be him all the while ago doesn't exist anymore and you know twenty years ago if
00:47:48you had to buy mobile phones you know Nokia was a big player and people who wanted to send the form would use %HESITATION black lady and look what happened you know things change so fast because the consumer is always going to be in charge and yet there is
00:48:03this sort of tendency to look at government as a solution for everything and I'm going to court another sort of better growth which also spoke to me they use it coat Dick six basic needs are for human being food clothing health education shelter and transport roughly speaking in
00:48:20most countries the market provides food including the state provides help get an education was shut down and transport operated by a mixture of the two don't stop quote and what is kind of abuse to anyone listening to this is that you look in terms of what the market
00:48:36provides in terms of food including we have like far greater variety than we ever did before we get far greater value for money anyone can kind of afford does but when it comes to health care and education which the government provides it is such a mess yes all
00:48:50right I think I think this is very striking point to actually %HESITATION you know it it's not immediately obvious why we haven't got a national food service in the U. K. and allied health care to be provided by the mall I mean in in my numbers are all
00:49:06reasons but it's you know health you never know quite when you're gonna need healthcare and so on but as point %HESITATION doubles a sort of a national food service we've seen a counterfactual in the Soviet Union indeed ended and in the U. K. we had food rationing right
00:49:20through the nineteen fifties Germany gave up food rationing much sooner than Britain because they sold that if they stopped food rationing supplies would rise to meet tomorrow and Britain kept thinking no no food still scarce so we're still gonna Louisiana scarce because you had rationing inner minutes is
00:49:36yeah secular attachment %HESITATION just look at the way food and clothing are cheap varied %HESITATION responsive to Dimond and if all the whole time just look at the way health and education tend to get stock in these ways of dealing things and sent us based off the results
00:49:55is in everybody's complaining that there's enough budget and so on it's no coincidence but on the whole they are provided by the government was food and cutting a provided by the markets we need to try and find will market mechanisms to deliver health and education now that doesn't
00:50:11mean we dissolve old government intervention overnight %HESITATION and some countries of found quite good ways of government making sure that the people that suffer from lack of health care or education or the obvious thing is there is a voucher system you know you essentially say look here's about
00:50:28show for educational health go out and buy it from which of a provider can provide it for your best that would provoke a ferment of innovation in trying to deliver %HESITATION effective healthcare and food and education to people %HESITATION those listeners will know what about your system is
00:50:43that had an episode on this in the foster over different %HESITATION episodes and education a welches system basically means that the government continues to spend what it is spending on education but it empowers the bad and so instead of finding the schools it gives vouchers to the parents
00:50:58and better with the parents choose to send a kid that school can engage the Welsh or whether it is a government school a private school and parents are really in the best place to make decisions about their children's education rather than the state of got a couple of
00:51:12episodes of this in the past which should be leading from the bridge of the sport because you can %HESITATION kind of have a look at the analog ID %HESITATION tend to give to people about the you know the difference between private provision in government provision is stacked back
00:51:25in the nineteen eighties when I was growing up in India up daily common airlines will go monopolies you had one government telephone company and it could take up to five years to get our telephone connections if you wanted to you going to be for one or telephone today
00:51:39you get on the witness it takes maybe five years and %HESITATION Duke told of wonderment Elaine was so expensive most people couldn't afford to travel with those good private days in the liberalization of the early nineties and today anybody can you know by a phone which is lake
00:51:55ludicrously cheap compared to what it was and you'll get a phone in five minutes today and equally airlines also extremely cheap but what the government did not allow the private sector to do in Austin was for example education and healthcare and and the argument with educational resistors listen
00:52:09it's too important to be left to the market and I would actually argue that damages what we lived in the state I think you're exactly right and we you know we were constant about market failure %HESITATION what we need to about government face you know I mean the
00:52:24the the government is not used is chronically bad to delivering certain things and going for you it is your truly ubiquitous and market failure only tends to happen when the government doesn't allow the market to operate on the whole I think that's true yeah let's let's get a
00:52:38move on to your next term chapter chapter seven which is the evolution of technology and again you wrote a piece in the Wall Street journal if I remember correctly which kind of summarize the arguments made in this in this I found that really interesting that you talk about
00:52:52how %HESITATION technological innovations seem to come about almost doesn't matter of schools and it's not like there was one create an event %HESITATION who invented something in Belton be would not have that invention but it's just like when there is a nine footer to kind of happen you
00:53:09give an example of the light bulb and everyone sees that you know Edison was the inventor but to point to make is a famous and didn't invent it it was inevitable someone would have because it will what twenty six simultaneous so I think it is you who decided
00:53:22twenty one or twenty three depending on her account people who can lay claim according to Robert Friedel is research this to have invented the light bulb independently of medicine and is there is no question if it is in the been run over by a tram we'd still ahead
00:53:37light bulbs because the ability to create a vacuum of the bank you pump the ability to to blow glass the ability to make light with filaments had Ole being developed and these technologies were bound to come together and you got lots of people doing it and actually you
00:53:52find this phenomena with pretty well every technology that there is a a phase of simultaneous invention when those people arrived the same idea same time because the idea is right %HESITATION yeah this is in the late nineteen thirties computing %HESITATION is sort of inevitable you know you've got
00:54:09lots of different people trying to some some more if tronic than others some more mechanical but you know that basically the ideas that come together to make computing a ready to marry and mates and produce a new idea and so this makes the changing technology of the world
00:54:25a much more inexorably process them we tend to think of it we tend to think my goodness of unsigned or isn't hadn't come along the world would have met remain stuck in the different states and that simply not the case there's a paradox here which is that the
00:54:41if that's the case then we know why did we invent everything under the V. as before you know what I eat and and oral so why does it happen in certain parts of the world you know what wide to Silicon Valley have to invent the software award or
00:54:57whatever %HESITATION %HESITATION what is Victorian Britain have to develop the steam engine you know who what what is it I'm when and where it does I'm and I'm still wrestling with those and actually that's gonna be a big part of my next book is writing a book on
00:55:10innovation Strawn understand %HESITATION this process but the idea it it has to be seen as evolution it's the combination of ideas the recombination of ideas and they tended to new ideas as results and Kevin Kelly has a wonderful book which she writes about %HESITATION regional what technology wants
00:55:30and he's trying to turn it upside down and say look it's technology this during the voting in its choosing the Adventist to do it and actually that's a surprisingly fruitful way of looking and there's a great sentence in your chapter which says the same thing court read write
00:55:42draw other than try if the integration beef technology will find its inventors rather than vice versa stop code and you also use this is sort of make the point that you know we should kind of greeting compacting their full because that instant to favor the lucky guy who
00:55:57just happened to fly in the people's first but you know technology in a sense is inevitable it's involving is going to happen anyway well I do think that intellectual property is overrated %HESITATION the more you study it the more you see that it's actually being used for exactly
00:56:12the opposite purpose for which it's intended it's intended to incentivize innovation %HESITATION it it has tended to morph into a system whereby people keep competitors out and hang on to monopolies longer than they deserve to you %HESITATION so you got to have a balance here because you can't
00:56:28simply throw open to all compressed is something that you through regulation insisted be tested very carefully before it's released on the market like a drug or something like that %HESITATION and it's the same with copyright I think the matter for us that we use for intellectual property for
00:56:43copyright or patent is wrong is not our property because the thing about physical property a building or a house or a field or something is that I can own it and prevent everyone else having access to it but if I were to share it then I lose something
00:57:01into it and somebody else is using my house you could become both of live in the house same time whereas with an idea you can give it away and still have it hello you're less likely to build make money out of it its monopoly so actually the way
00:57:18Paul Roma talks about this kind of thing with his endogenous grocery is that by being the first move out by getting that first you get a brief monopoly anyway you know how to put this together and that's enough to keep you keep you going and if you look
00:57:32at most of the software industry hasn't been made possible by patents is being made possible by people getting that being smart doing it first and doing it well you know apple and Amazon and people at that don't rely on pack stick keep that competitive edge they rely on
00:57:50innovation and that's the way we should be thinking about the world chapter eight discord evolution of the mind and I found it really interesting because %HESITATION and continue to because B. polluting that if there is one thing that has struck down there to show me the sense that
00:58:05I am in charge and you know the mind body in my brain under my control but you know and I've recently is sort of coming to the greeting free will and I I pretty much don't see healthy will can be dead I kind of thought on the part
00:58:19of Sam Harris and Robert Sapolsky in this %HESITATION and and your chapter does a fascinating will be open for debate and shows that how a lot of what we think we are doing beyond actually doing it we are sort of the causation is sort of the other way
00:58:31around yes that this is very different chapters of the rest of the book and I delve into philosophy and %HESITATION and as always with the free will arguments and I wrestled with it in previous books but full I'm never entirely satisfied that I've reached the right don't set
00:58:46up but I do think that we have to move away from thinking of among killers in the middle of operate in charge is sitting at a you know a little control again in the movie men in black you know they open up a coach they find this little
00:58:59person sitting in that with with the control panel and of course that's not what's going on %HESITATION and when it comes to things I responsibility for your behavior you know for example somebody who %HESITATION commits crimes and it turns out to be a tumor in the head that's
00:59:16causing it you know that that sort of %HESITATION we were clearly that sing okay so it wasn't use that was responsible it was the tumor board is you in a minute who would you be and actually we need we need to do to turn this over and start
00:59:31thinking it the other way up you know the the right after we know the mind is simply the product of the brain the something else that you know there's no we're never going to find %HESITATION some sort of secret source called the so no and it's it's it's
00:59:47always been fascinating to me how personality and identity %HESITATION soul contingent you know you tweak the chemical balance of your brain a little bit all your you know if there's a keyless somewhere you suddenly become an entirely different person and my dad I think you should introduce humility
01:00:02and a lot of people about who they really are correct so it's three in the morning I'm a pessimist noon in the daytime I'm an optimist within days ninety with the world it's to do with the brain chemistry of my head young mothers are double zero rational optimist
01:00:17I am is the promotional rate %HESITATION I and I know we're running good of short of time you need to win the soap so %HESITATION this kind of go through the different chapters of your ninety chapter is the evolution of personality regular for doing that classic book by
01:00:31Judith rich Harris and %HESITATION tourism should you know one of my favorite books and one of the most important of social science books of the crickets interact I agree with you where she kind of firm I mean hoc conclusions essentially are directed to go to differences in personality
01:00:47are formed roughly Haas by the direct and indirect effects of genes and roughly how by something else which did not include the home environment told unquote is this amazing and and Robert claiming it's now written a book called blue prints which makes exactly the same argument with that
01:01:02with even better data %HESITATION and this is a remarkable discovery in a unexpected what I have to say I'm surprised by it without parents so not a great influence on our personalities rob does not he's all the product of %HESITATION genes to a large extent and also to
01:01:18sort of experiences which can often be quite ephemeral quite accidental things that happen in in in our lives blaming gives example Charles Darwin who was selected for the beagle voyage by the captain you like the shape of his nose and he believed in phrenology the the the %HESITATION
01:01:37knows told you something about your personality and you thought this would be a good cat person to share a cabin with with five years because of the shape of his nose now because of going on the beagle Charles Darwin overseas personality must be influenced by that as these
01:01:51of course his future life courses at incredibly %HESITATION accidental saying that should shape his life to some people feel threatened by this what you may not just product my jeans I would like to be the product of of my family well actually being a part of your jeans
01:02:08means you know you don't know what someone else has made you and that actually is a very liberating thought although it's an accident there is an accident exact is right and and you know one of the really interesting %HESITATION demolition this chapter interesting factoid if I may call
01:02:24your dad and that's another done this invoice factoid factoids yeah Huastec people's incomes men's incomes are actually determined by how tall they are going to maintain to own more but this is a high eight at the age of sixteen nor did I %HESITATION hated the use of cookies
01:02:42not fascinating %HESITATION I'm I'm very told but that wasn't sticky told sixty Richard if I have a right you're doing fine %HESITATION %HESITATION unix chapters again extremely fascinating to me which is the evolution of education education is something that's always kind of being drop down and we diss
01:03:06particularly sort of a disturbing subject for me because in India with me right now I have is education system has always been bothered but now what we have is our demographic dividend what people call it is really a demographic disaster where you have more than a million people
01:03:21a month coming into the work force without jobs and one of the key sort of flow problems it is dad though not only are there no jobs for them they don't even have any skills our education system doesn't even give them the skills to go out there and
01:03:37do something and is this massive mismatch between demand and supply director the education %HESITATION supply is not providing the kind of skills noted the market's actually need and this is to me a classic for dog food being dog down in market started out to operate and %HESITATION you
01:03:55know I trace this back with who with the help of the wonderful Indian %HESITATION thinker about this you got to me truck %HESITATION to the idea that the British Empire decided it needed talks who would be the same in Canada and India in there so that the people
01:04:10in the center could understand could could treat them the same goal and they yeah they need to be cogs in the machine and so they needed to give them this you know very systematic similar education along which is still found around the world and we you know here
01:04:25we are in the twenty first century with all sorts of technologies and and would not really change the way we educate %HESITATION enabling children to learn and that often means using new technology is very important and I also think touch on James tune is working hard about another
01:04:40places where he finds that actually the people of voting with their feet and seeking out low cost private education away Greenlee cheap to kind but rather than going for the state provision on this this shows how there is demand out there for a change is interesting to hear
01:04:57that in into your just as frustrated by the mismatch between what schools are doing and what the work force is demanding the employment world is demanding we feel the same and in Britain anyway known one code it really spoke to me was recorded %HESITATION gentleman named Albert chunk
01:05:12of and he said %HESITATION start court it's no surprise that our school system doesn't improve it resembles a communist economy more than our own market economy it's correct isn't it I mean you know it really is a centrally planned system most education systems in most countries and he
01:05:29was a union official actually our community your eleven chapters aboard the evolution of population about the Honda it meant to Z. and %HESITATION %HESITATION thinking does what I do is %HESITATION because we kind of running out of time here he did check out of your room will be
01:05:45recording this I'll skip over the rest of your chapters I'd mention them and just end with a couple of broad questions the old eleven chapters the evolution of population your quest chapters evolution of leadership way you question Thomas colors great mentality and %HESITATION a you know which is
01:06:00again extremely fascinating and actually I do want to stop for a moment a chapter thirteen that's the evolution of government and you begin the chapter by writing about how gangs that I use in prisons and and what date sort of indicates can you %HESITATION yeah I know this
01:06:17is fascinating work that shows that %HESITATION within prisons people tend to self organize into gangs and the gangs that impose order on the prisons intent to suppress violence actually because it does not mean prisons where the population goes over a certain size and therefore some kind of government
01:06:37is needed correct exactly and in fact is sucking up new female prison is not words on the home once a population reaches lashings actually yeah %HESITATION and I think this is an analogy for what happened in societies is when government spontaneously arose because authorities government it is a
01:06:54monopoly on violence essentially that's the the sort of coal point of government is to say we will have all the weapons old match the weapons ourselves and we will have the right to violently or forcibly suppress certain behavior that no one else has that right %HESITATION and once
01:07:14you've got that you can live your life free from the threat of being arbitrarily %HESITATION %HESITATION assassinated by one of your rivals of course you've now got the stress of being arbitrarily assassinated by %HESITATION government if it takes against you as indeed people have experienced in communist and
01:07:33fascist regimes and the government can do what I do things which if someone else did would be criminals but the government because of the government they can do it can affect you to concede from you they can distorted with two children isn't it they can tax you you
01:07:47know license that says you anonymous thank you either when they do right so there's a great photograph of yours was of course I'm gonna court which is government began as a mafia protection racket claiming a monopoly on violence and extracting a Dane axe in return for protecting its
01:08:05citizens from depredation about say does this is the origin of almost all government and two days mafia protection rackets are all in the process of evolving into government stop Gordon is kind of interesting how in a democracy like us for example what an election amounts to is you
01:08:20have different criminal gangs whiting to be the one legal mafia for appear to Fabio's or what correct it's a very good way of looking at you know there's a guy you stands up that says I want to spend other people's money for five years I want to be
01:08:38in charge of spending other people's money on a massive scale for five years and we are expected to find him a moral leader yeah you know what why we surprised when we end up with people like Donald Trump in charge of the world if if if that's if
01:08:54that's the recipe why which were choosing people %HESITATION I said you will have the most sociopathic ball hungry people coming to putting some close yeah and and %HESITATION you and the chapter with by talking about the coat the equally mistaken belief that far schism in communism are opposites
01:09:11in reality they are closely related historical computer does for the scene constituents stop coat and they're booked all done yes I mean I think was much read every unit Miller realize it is much more similar to between the different types of totalitarian regime and an ex if you
01:09:27look at the origins of of fascism reader Mussolini was a communist before he was a fascist Hitler was a socialist before he was a **** and so on and %HESITATION %HESITATION you know they they they they end up being very very similar the one difference is that the
01:09:43fascist regime's tend to allow private business too depredations on their behalf wears communist regimes tend to encourage state owned businesses to deprecate on that box but that's about the only difference with the structure of coercion but the bottom line did in both cases the school ocean and top
01:10:01down Moscow ocean and of course communism is slightly better pretending that it's acting on behalf of ordinary people %HESITATION but it isn't really I mean it ends up being an incredibly unequal society in terms of access to to resources always are your last three chapters on about the
01:10:16evolution of religion the evolution of money the evolution of the internet already fascinating but %HESITATION I don't want to hold you up now so I'll end with these broad questions a one which is that why is it not people graves club down explanations for everything is it the
01:10:32baby involved as a possible lease selected for it's a difficult question this and I don't really know the onset die and then it talks about the intentional stops which is the %HESITATION the United the tendency to see agency behind everything so you know there's a thunderstorm we assume
01:10:49that it's a gold %HESITATION %HESITATION if there's an earthquake we issue my being punished for us sins or something that that %HESITATION and perhaps the reason yvolution psychology explanation for this because if you walk around thinking the world is full of accidental happenings that don't have any agency
01:11:09behind them you will occasion day missile Tollan insights into how your fellow human being so by being so if the rockets you on the back of the head as you're walking down a pulse you will think oh well I was lucky some you know rock flew off the
01:11:25ground and hit me in the back of the head was you turn around is that right who threw that you've got a point actually you know that %HESITATION you're probably better off having a hat trick to fool the shooting intentional actions you probably would get into too much
01:11:41trouble and it will enable you to be but it leads to what is essentially a couple who's living in a state of constant conspiracy theory that's what we are as human beings were costly were in a conspiracy theory that god created the world the code is running the
01:11:54world or the government is in charge here these all conspiracy theories I guess the word is so complex and mind boggling that it's it's natural to imagine that this is selected for that we look for simple narratives to explain the word and what they went at it defeats
01:12:08as many of the facts as it odd that narrative will make the most sense to us and it don't don't narrative can fit everything so you make sense of the word originally by invoking a guard early on that nature goads and then the courts themselves evolve as religion
01:12:23walls which of course is why this book is not been terribly successful is because this isn't something everyone really wants to hear I'm fighting against human nature here I'm trying to get people to to reject the their instincts is sort of the evolution of everything you're going to
01:12:41build the design of everything exactly and then %HESITATION assessable copies let me on my last question given the sort of resistance through our ideas of spontaneous order natural selection and all these beautiful processes which explain the word %HESITATION what is it that gives you sort of hope and
01:12:58despair it's a two part question about the future of human society about the evolution of human society so well the the track record of the last two hundred years is the room the rational behind my rational optimist %HESITATION that we have some sufficiently managed to embrace in like
01:13:14multi DS to unleash a torrent of innovation that is improve the lives of millions of people now and it's continuing and it's quite hard to put the genie back in the book the despite ourselves despite our intentional stance despite a top down view of the world none the
01:13:29less in our interactions we do enough bottom up things to to to Coles this increasing amelioration of the state of of of human beings %HESITATION and actually %HESITATION it he in order to do bad things with technology in order to release computer viruses or anything you have to
01:13:51on the whole B. seeks to be %HESITATION cut yourself off from the firm and twelve experimentation on bottom up stuff that is driving the good stuff in the world so on the whole I think the the good will win out for that reason because it can happen in
01:14:06the sunshine wears about stuff has to happen in the dock and that gives me some hope for the future but you know who somebody sitting in the Roman Empire who just before the first World War or something might have said something similar so I might be the man
01:14:24is fallen out of the sky scrapers has so far so good as he passes the second story might thanks so much for coming on the show it's a great honor well thank you I'm it you've been %HESITATION in credibly perceptive in your understanding what I was trying to
01:14:36say and said some of the things much better than I said wait I just quoted you thanks thank you if you enjoy listening to this episode New Hope on over to Amazon and pick up my treaties excellent book the evolution of everything you can follow me on Twitter
01:14:53at on the dilemma MIT we ate out at me and you can browse Boston source of the scene in the on scene art scene on scene again anting Burgundy dot com thank you for listening issue together to the movie TV show this everyone on the that process message
01:15:43thank you back now do you have a nine thirty well everyone has one and the to do list usually looks like this brush your teeth set that alarm getting deal pajamas and switch off those screens but here's one more to add to that list June into the positively
01:16:06unlimited part cost but it does a positive action and tips on how to build alpha nine six episodes out every Monday on the IBM podcast at IBM podcast dot com all that ever you tune into

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