British author and speaker Matt Ridley is a interesting guy who has been studying and writing about genetics, society and evolution for decades. He outlines in this fascinating TEDTalk that trading ideas is centuries older than farming. Idea sharing is essential to human life.
Matt's website - the Rational Optimist - has plenty to digest.
More from the TED site on Matt’s talk:
“It is our habit of trade, idea-sharing and specialization that has created the collective brain which set human living standards on a rising trend. This, he says, "holds out hope that the human race will prosper mightily in the years ahead - because ideas are having sex with each other as never before."
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image credit: TED