HardCover. Pub Date :2010-05-27 Pages: 448 Language: English Publisher: HarperCollins UK Matt Ridley. acclaimed author of the classics Genome and Nature via Nurture. turns from investigating human nature to investigating human progress In The Rational Optimist Ridley offers. a counterblast to the prevailing pessimism of our age. and proves. however much we like to think to the contrary. that things are getting better.Over 10.000 years ago there were fewer than 10 million people on the planet. Today there are more than 6 billion. 99 per cent of whom are better fed. better sheltered. better entertained and better protected against disease than their Stone Age ancestors.The availability of almost everything a person could want or need has been going erratically upwards for 10.000 years and has rapidly accelerated over the last 200 years: calories; vitamins; clean water; machine...