Advance news of a new Matt Ridley (Rational Optimist) book. Quirkily titled Tear Down the Skyhooks, the book is set for publication by 4th Estate in May 2015. It’ll be a look at… “the grass-roots trends shaping our world and future”, presumably through those people who work from the bottom up, and on genuine problems. Hopefully the book will also go beyond examining problem-solving (not quite the same thing as optimism), to also have something to say about 1) the consequences of the pernicious ‘precautionary principle’ (never do anything for the first time, squash all ambition under a mountain of legal worries and bureaucracy), and 2) the equally worrying impact on progress of the daily saturation-bombing of our minds with faux news and over-hyped bad news.
Update: the book is now to be vaguely titled as The Evolution of Everything, apparently. Presumably the publishers are going for the Hawking market, which seems sad as Tear Down the Skyhooks was a much better title.