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When ideas have sex: the collective brain

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What sparked the technological explosion that turned just another ape at the mercy of its environment into a planet-dominating space traveler? Not big brains, language, culture or consciousness—all those were present before. Matt Ridley will argue that the secret lies in the invention of the habit of exchange, which gave technology a capacity to evolve in a cumulative way, just as sex did for genes three billion years before. The result of human exchange and specialisation is a collective brain capable of achieving things beyond the capability of individual intelligence. Matt is a journalist, writer, and businessman.

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