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Technology should make us optimistic

Before we start talking about the books tell me why you’ve chosen this topic.

Because it’s my new passion. Because I spent my youth being a pessimist about the future of the world, but then it dawned on me that things were getting better and all my friends were getting richer and I didn’t need to be a pessimist. And that all sorts of trends were going in the right direction and it was all basically down to technology in the end, and I wanted to understand what this process was that was creating technologies that raised living standards.

I wish I was one of your friends.

Well, I’m talking about the 1980s. We all sat around in the 1970s as students, saying: We’re finished, it’s all over, the world’s going to come to an end, economic growth is a vile, idiotic and futile plan. I thought they meant it but it turned out that what they meant was: I’ve just applied to Goldman Sachs for a job.

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