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Lunch break

It's not how good our ideas are. It's how good we are at breeding them with other people's ideas:

By Ezra Klein  |  July 15, 2010; 12:27 PM ET
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The talk was completely entertaining. It definitely kept me captivated while quickly slurping up my lunchtime pasta. Per usual, when I find something interesting I want to learn more about it (ah the wonders of the internet), so I did some sleuthing about Matt Ridley, the speaker.

It turns out that his big ideas about the benefits of a sexually rapacious idea and labor exchange are just sort of the whipped cream on top of a libertarian mocha latte that had some disastrous results for the British economy. Now, I know better than to believe everything I read online, but it struck me that someone I admire as much as Ezra Klein, who has spent a lot of time debunking libertarian propaganda, would choose to highlight a talk by a guy like this.

I'm not so dour that I can't separate my politics from my entertainment, but this one set off my discomfort alarm.

Posted by: devrex | July 15, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Entertaining. But he assumes that economic growth, and, narrowly, innovation, are an unalloyed good. He explains, descriptively, how the interchange of ideas speeds the rate at which new ideas come about. But he doesn't even ask, prescriptively, if that's always a good thing. There are ideas, and there are ideas. Some worth pursuing, some worth forgetting. How do we decide that?

Posted by: Lonepine | July 15, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

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