Summary of When Ideas Have Sex

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When Ideas Have Sex summary


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Crowdsourcing, open platforms and increased connectivity continue to nourish the “collective brain” among humans, explains author and scientist Matt Ridley. getAbstract recommends this upbeat TED Talk, in which Ridley describes the history and impact of cultural exchange and how the massive “mating” of ideas will enable humankind to thrive.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How “ideas have sex”;
  • How collaboration, trade and specialization improve human life; and
  • Why individual intelligence no longer matters.

About the Speaker

Scientist Matt Ridley has written several award-winning books including Genome and The Rational Optimist.



In recent decades, the average person’s income has risen, life expectancy has increased 30%, child mortality has plummeted and food production rates have outpaced the population swell. Remarkably, humans are the only species whose lives continue to improve despite a growing populous. This prosperity is a result of sharing ideas to create something new, a mingling of knowledge that occurs when “ideas have sex.”

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