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32 of 86 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Unqualified, 24 Jun 2010
This review is from: The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves (Hardcover)
Can someone please explain to me why we should give the author any credence, when he
A: presided over the Northern Rock collapse, causing the first bank run in many, many years
B: accepted a huge bailout from the very governments he decries
C: relies, for his scientific 'evidence' of growing polar bear populations, on word-of-mouth report from polar bear hunters and not scientific studies?

Before you praise this book, please do a little research into the author's credentials.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 6 Jul 2010 10:57:13 BDT
The answers to A.L. Woods unjustified attack are:
A. Science is NOT about ad-hominem attacks. Whether he was a good or bad chairman of a failed bank is laughably irrelevant.
B. He didn't personally 'accept a huge bailout' - this was by the UK government to protect its stakeholders, including savers and pensioners. Incidentally the bailout worked, but that fact is also irrelevant.
C. I challenge A. L Wood to come up with ANY credible scientific studies that polar bear populations are declining.

In short, the author's credentials are irrelevant. How about commenting instead on what he says in the book and whether that is a credible position to take.

Posted on 18 Jul 2010 23:52:02 BDT
This reviewer as read George Monbiot 2 Guardian articles attacking this book , not Matt Ridley's book

Posted on 25 Apr 2011 20:34:08 BDT
AS says:
"presided over the Northern Rock collapse" - stating that a non-executive chairman was somehow responsible for the collapse of a bank during a bad economic downturn shows both a lack of knowledge for the role of a non-exec chairman and of economics and business in generall. And, as another commenter has already said - it has nothing to do with the quality of ones books or writing.

In reply to an earlier post on 23 May 2011 13:44:18 BDT
Last edited by the author on 23 May 2011 14:27:51 BDT
JB says:
Well AS where do you think the economic downturn comes from? It's not a force of nature - it was created, arguably to a great degree by the kind of hands-off regulation that, according to Ridley's providential account of the free-market, should have had a quite different and positive effect. It was created by the kinds of banking NR engaged in - NR was not the victim of some sudden storm, they holed their own boat and swamped many others alongside. It's one thing to laud free-markets, I wouldn't fault that; it's quite another thing to offer real world solutions beyond the assertions and polarised dogma. Unfortunately, popular science writing is currently addicted to reductive narratives that promote favoured explanatory principles, be they genes, markets or whatever, as adequate accounts of far too many phenomenon, when the actual practice of science recognises a plurality of such principles. This habit might provide handy soundbites or neat architecture for a snappy read but I suspect it does little to encourage critical thinking in a well-informed public. I can understand the reactions to the ill-considered attacks on Ridley's book, but I don't think it is a good sign that he and it receive such ready and unequivocal support at this time. Additionally, in my understanding a non-executive chairman is not entirely without responsibility for exercising some oversight. It is fair to say we have not been well served in that respect and I believe a parliamentary committee on the NR affair said as much with respect to Ridley (who was receiving a salary of 300k a year, or so I'm told?).
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