tv Book Discussion on The Evolution of Everything CSPAN January 24, 2016 10:00pm-11:01pm EST
it's a complicated new world with technology that is an aspect of every part of our life. the way we communicate and work and live in the way we govern. it calls for different kinds of leadership and we have to install that pride in public service and a belief that through tolerance and inclusion and building good relations we can govern again. >> i want to thank cspan for allowing us to do this and thank you for coming in and being with us. >> my q is saying it's time to wrap so i'm going to hold the book up, the "crisis point".
it is worth reading. i hope people will buy it because i wanted to read it and they pitched me an opportunity to do this, cspan has on several different occasions, because i served with you guys, i wanted to do this one. this is a new exercise. i'm exercise. i'm in this chair are not those chairs. thank you all very much for giving the listener and the viewer a little bit of insight. thank you. >> thank you. >> that was afterwards, book tvs signature program in which authors of the latest nonfiction books are interviewed. watch past afterward program online on book tv.org.
>> good evening everybody, welcome to politics and prose and thank you so much for coming out for tonight's event. before we get going, i'd like to talk about some housekeeping items. i'm sure you've heard this before. first of all if you could turn off or silence your cell phones, it would be greatly appreciated. for the q&a, please step up to the microphone so we can all hear and partake in thehehone conversation. we are being filmed so think of it as an opportunity to make lasting memories. and afterward, it would be a help if you could fold up your chair and leave the them near the nearest wall. i am the book seller here and behalf of the owners and staff, i'd like to welcome you all to tonight's event. i'm. i'm sure many of you know, politics and prose had so much
to offer including the book-of-the-month club. if you're already thinking about gifts for the holiday season or if you're like me and you wait to the last minute, this is an excellent book for the avid reader in your life. you can sign them or yourself up on our website. tell us the literary interests and once a month they will receive a book that has been carefully selected by our booksellers here in the store. you can even check out some reviews that have come in from previous subscribers. here to the main event, i'm excited to introduce matt ridley. he's american editor with the economist before becoming a self-employed writer and businessman. his books have sold over 2 million copies and been translated into over 30 languages. his ted talk had over 2 million views on youtube and if that isn't amazing enough, he's he's also a member of the house of
lords. his seventh and latest book, the evolution evolution of everything has been called a genius book, a fascinating work, and the pages flyball by. the wall street journal called it his most important work done today. it reminded me of a debate, a a friend of mine a few years ago was up proponent that we were in control of everything from our body to our genes and technology and nature itself and the weather. i was kind of astounded. i remember that we debated for quite a while. he was an excellent debater so i'm not sure i actually won but
my first thought a few weeks ago was i wish i had this book back then. my friend is a great debater, but matt has put so much profound thought into this book that i don't think he would've won the actual debate. so now let's get onto the good part of the evening. please help me welcome matt ridley [applause]. >> thank you. i did take on a full debate three or four nights ago in toronto on the question of whether humans best time is ahead or behind. i do believe it's ahead and we just wiped the floor with that. [laughter] actually, that's not true. before the debate it was 71% in our favor and we ended with 74%.
>> this is the first time i've done a formal debate of that kind. as michael said, some of my present previous book have been about evolution. i wrote the evolution of sex, the abolition of virtue and so on. i've been dancing around the topic of biological evolution throughout my career. my last book was about the living standards over the last 50 years and the 23rd reduction in childhood mortality and the one third increase in life expectancy. i talk about why it's happening and i argue it's all about innovation. innovation comes from the recombining of technology to make new technology and that's very like the way we combine
genes to make new species in biology. so i began to get more and more interested in the idea that human society of all's. by evolves, that means changes gradually, changes incrementally , and moves under its own steam without really anybody being in charge. it produces outcomes that are complex and sophisticated without having been planned. that's what this book is trying to explore. it's a bit procrastinate in the book. i try to squeeze every aspect of human behavior and society to fit my feces. sometimes i succeed but maybe not always. you can be the judge of that. it's one of the great ideas of all time.
it produces a fit between form and function without anyone having a plan in mind in the first place. when we look at the human eye, it's clearly designed for seeing in some purposeful sense. yet that plan was never in anybody's mind before. that's darwin's argument that without anyone having intended it to be foreseen, it has emerged as a thing for seeing. if that's the case for biological structures, then could that be the case for social structures, for some of the things we have in the human world. the way we organize our society and the way our technology changes. when we have really well-designed systems of
politics or morality or culture or religion or something like that, that they have emerged in the same way. they've got very, very sophisticated and it was a good fit between form and function, but actually they've never been designed by anybody. so i take that theory as far as i can go. i make the arguments in the book, and i got this phrase from a friend, richard webb, darwin's idea is the special theory of evolution just as einstein has a theory of relativity relativity. the general theory of evolution is that any subject to recombination and selection will produce evolutionary change. it happens everywhere and anywhere. of course cultural ingredients are just part of trial and error that you have a different work of natural selection, in a way, way, you don't come up with one
solution, you come up with lots of solutions and you pick the best one. i think that's actually a vital ingredient of human culture. we do a lot of trial and error. if you look at the design of early airplanes in the first 20 years after the airplane was invented, you find that there's an enormous number of designs being tried with the propeller in the front or the back and the number of wings varying and et cetera. it isn't the case that we go from one designed to the next design. we do lots of trials. then we select one from each. if i'm right that this spontaneous order and complexity can emerge in this way without anyone being in charge, then perhaps were all making a bit of a creationist mistake when we look at society. that is to say that the mistake is to see order and assume there
was a designer. the intelligent design argument if you'd like. how do we look at human society. do we look at it in assume someone has to be in charge or someone has to design it? there's a wonderful term called the skyhook to describe this. it's a hook you attached to this guy in order to build a building from the top down. it would be very convenient if one could do that. the phrase originated in a newspaper report from the first world war about a pilot who was told in an airplane to stay up there because we don't need you for the moment. he said this machine is not fitted with skyhook's. according according to the dictionary that the origin of the word. it's an imaginary device, it doesn't exist.
that's the theme i come back to throughout the book when i try to make the case that quite often we look at an aspect of human society, we think it's being designed from the top down when in fact it's being designed from the bottom up. let me give you a couple examples to get you thinking about the kind of examples i'm talking about. music. we tend to say so-and-so invented a new genre of music, but if you look at the history of music, there's very clear modifications. you can see where it's coming from in the genre before and you can see where two genres come together and produce a third genre or something like that.
then you can trace this evolutionary progress. governments evolve. ever meant start out back in the stone age as a protection wreckage or a monopoly on violence. we will impose peace in your society if you like let me have a monopoly on the violence. you can see this happening in prison gangs today. that's an example of how a monopoly on violence within certain aspects of prison life is emerging as if it was a form of typical government. in fact, it's quite common for terrorist movements to turn themselves in when they have a monopoly. cities evolve. cities change as they grow. they have predictable features about how they grow and about
what kind of things they get as they grow or what kind of ratios between different measurements in cities. very predictable. you can write rules about how cities grow, but of course that's not for someone imposing the rules, it's because that's sort of in the natural order of things. it becomes inevitable becomes inevitable at a certain point. these are things that are the result of human action but not of human design. the weather outside is not, but in in between there is a category of things the results of human action but not of human design. it's a really interesting topic. we don't have a word for it. i actually call them fergusons because if you think about the english language for example,
it's man-made but it's not the result of human design. it's ridiculous to say that anyone planned the english language or that anyone invented it. or indeed the anybody's in charge of it. there is no chief executive of the english language, thank goodness, it would probably make a mess of it if it did. you can kind of see the history buried in fossils within it. it's a living fossil of a different form of language. it's very much something that evolved. i reached back 2000 years to get inspiration for the origin of this idea and it was really through stephen's wonderful work the swerve that i started to get to understand this extraordinary poem written around the time of
caesar on the nature of things. apparently, he died mid stands up because it comes to a rather abrupt ending. it's such an extraordinary poem. it talks about how the world is made of absence and voids. everything, even living thing is made from material as non-living thing but they're recombined in different ways. we now know that to be incredibly accurate description of the world. he says by recombining them different ways, one can produce different forms and he gets very close to getting to the concept of evolution by natural selection. it became an enormous influence on many of the great thinkers of
the renaissance and enlightenment. for me the person who begins to put it all together and come up with an example of something emerging through human action but not through human design is that of smith. in 1759 he writes a book called moral sentiments exactly a century before darwin which has a really subversive idea and that is that morality is something we work out between ourselves like kind of calibrating our behavior against the reaction of others. from the reaction of others we learn what is right and what is wrong and what you can get away with and what you can't and so on. he's essentially saying that morality isn't something that was decided by priests and
handed down to us. it's something that we've negotiated amongst ourselves. it's very much a bottom up view of the world. he goes on to make the same argument about the economy, that there is the system by which we all supply and demand products, goods and services among ourselves and it's an unplanned spontaneous system that produces really spontaneous order. therefore, for for example in a city like washington, there are 10 million people who have to be fed every day and nobody's in charge of feeding them and yet they get fed. it would be a disaster if someone was in charge of trying to feed them. as adam smith puts it, the suffering is completely discharge from the duty in attempting to perform which he must always be exposed to numerous delusions and no human form could ever be sufficient.
i think that's really quite a direct analogy here between biological evolution and economic evolution, if you'd like or social evolution. a tropical rain forest with every species having it's only should is like a language with every word having its own use. it's grown organically to this great complexity. this idea is the complete opposite of social darwinism. i wanted to review that point. he essentially said, in order to help the progress of society, we should help biological evolution on the way. we should do this by telling people whether they can or can't
breathe, based dare lysing them and even by killing them. of course this led to the holocaust. i'm saying no, were not interested in biological evolution anymore. that's a slow process of no significance for human society. what counts is to get competition going among ideas. bad ideas can die so people don't have to. there is now a very sophisticated theory of cultural evolution developed and which i touch on in the book. it essentially argues that it used to be thought that this was the meme idea that you have to have particles of culture so they can compete with other particles of culture. but richardson and henry have argued instead that actually doesn't really matter if there
aren't discrete units of culture. what counts is that there is some degree of replication of ideas, the ideas get spread about in some degree of error to produce mutations and some degree of selection. you will in evitable he get an evolutionary result. it's a slightly subversive book. it's a bit anti-elitist. you might think that's a bit rich coming from a member of the house of lords, but i but i assure you it's a very powerless institution and i'm a very small cog in it. i'm kind of down on the great man theory of history which is what really counts as men or women changing history. in fact, the argument is that
history changes men and produces great men. they said great men are usually bad men and i think he's been proved right on that. the people who took history generally did so in the wrong direction. this leads me to, particularly when thinking about the evolution of technology, it's something that very clearly shows this modification, pedigree and family trees and gradual change. it leads me to say that perhaps we don't need a great theory of invention either. when you think about it, almost every inventor is disposable.
if they had fallen under a bus before they made the discovery, someone else would've come up with it. edison came up with the lightbulb, but 23 people came up with the idea of the incandescent light in that decade, independently. nobody is wrong, everybody is right. the idea was right. it was ready to be discovered. were all there, i just needed one or two people to put them together. the same is true of more recent things, if you think about it. the search engine which is one of the most useful inventions of my lifetime, i use it every day and i'm sure many of you do. google gets the credit, but actually, there were about 20 search search engines on the market when google came onto the market. we certainly wouldn't use the word google as a verb if google hadn't existed, but we would
still have the concept. darwin discovered evolution and then was shocked to get a letter from another friend with the exact same notion. if you go back and look at what people were reading at the time it's clear that they would've gotten that very quickly. we know of six different inventors of the thermometer, four of photography, three of the logarithms, and the list goes on and on. does that mean we don't need inventors? no, certainly certainly not. someone will make these discoveries and they're going to
happen at the right place in the right time when the conditions are right, but it does mean that technology is choosing its inventors rather than the other way around. rather than saying watson and crick made dna, he said dna made watson and crick. if watson had been killed by a tennis ball, i know that i wouldn't of discovered it, but who would've? it's very obvious that there are five or six people who would've gotten there in the end. this evolutionary view of technology is not meant to disrespect scientists or inventors but just to point out that there is an evolutionary nature to this.
you can't cheat it. this comes out quite well in moore's law which is the law that more developed in the 1960s describing, based on available data, computing power and he said it's very regular and it's going in this direction. you'd think once we discovered that we could jump ahead and say right, well in this case, by 2000 we should be there so let's get there now. it turns out you can't. turns out were still on track 40 years later. were improving computing at the same rate but the fact that we know we can do it at this rate, we could figure out how to do it faster. for me, the biggest and most obvious example of the system in our lifetime is the internet. it's ridiculous to say that
someone invented the internet. it came from lots of different places and lots of different people. even people who get credit for part of it, actually actually they only played very small parts. most of the protocols that we use, without knowing it, actually come from anonymous people. they come from ordinary people. they come from peer-to-peer networks and they come from no financial gains. the internet is not even a bad bottom up thing because it had no bottom. it was just a network. it's something that has simply grown from ordinary citizens. where is it going next? nobody knows, but i have a suspicion that block chain is
the thing to keep your eye on that this this is the technology behind bit coin and it's essentially a method of self verification. it's an open source ledger that allows you to prove that you are who you are and you've got the value you think you've got in something. i give you a hand weight at this point because you don't fully understand it but i'm not sure anybody does. the beautiful thing is, the thing i love about it is that we still don't know the man who launched it on the world. he has a german web address, he uses british english, he uses east coast american, were pretty sure we know who he is but he's denying it and i think that's rather beautiful. the reason he's denying it is because if you invent arrival to
governmental currency they don't like it and they come after you. he wants to maintain his anonymity and i say good luck to you. the point is, he just started the ball rolling. there's lots of people working on it now. they hope to make it so we don't need lawyers in the future. what a shame. [laughter] i think i'll stop there. there's a chapter on literally everything because it's called the evolution of everything. i'd like to take some questions and try to answer them, but i don't promise i'll be able to. [applause]. >> i was wondering, in biology there's artificial selection,
would there be an equivalent like sort of directed evolution? >> of course, in one sense, everything in evolutionary change in human society is going to be artificial because we are the one doing the selecting, which is by the way why this process is essentially benign, why we are able to select the good and reject the bad. :y, a public policy being to encourage experimentation and then choose the best result. so, for example, the longitude prize. the famous 18th century admiralty prize which they kind of screwed up because they refueled to give the prize to the man who deserved it. saying go out there do experiments, find out how to measure longitude and come back and we'll give a huge prize to whoever has the best. that a deliberate stimulation of
an evolutionary competition itch you like, with a deliberate artificial selection at the end of it, a bit like breeding a champion pigeon or whatever artificial selection is. >> answered the question. i have another one ready. another recently published book that has a good deal of similarity to you. maybe it's a little narrower. one by cesar hidalgo. are you familiar with that. >> i don't think i've read that. >> seems a little narrower. just makes the case that not only do biological systems evolve but economies especially evolve, and even social systems and so forth. >> right. >> i had the book sitting right there. the second half of the title is "the evolution of everything --"
not of everything -- sorry -- the evolution -- anyway, my question is whether you had any -- took any differences -- >> evolution of -- one thing i can say just as i said 23 people came up with the idea of the light bulb, roughly 23 people seems to be coming up with this idea, too. i know -- brian arthur's book spoke to nature of technology, tim arthur's book, and berlin-johnson how things -- can't remember the rest of the title. there are about five books kind of making this point at the same time. and it does seem to be in the air, seems to be ripe as an idea. this miss take on it. it's quite idio sincrat trick and not a book of the theory. it's anecdotes about what the
world looks lime from my point of view. >> based on minimum limited reading i thing yours is closer to the general theory of evolution of everything and that one may be more narrow. >> i'm definitely going to buy that. >> thank you. >> i'd like you to reflect on the potential application the theory of anything, and that is basic income. getting a lot of attention in the rest of the world, in england they call citizens' income, and it's saying that, let's provide everyone as a right with a basic income to ensure we have food and shelter to live our lives and explore and experiment, and it seems to be a marvelous example of taking what you're presenting and generalizing until the sphere of social evolution and economic policy and politics and democracy, and just wondering if you have any thoughts. >> i aren't haley thought about
that. i have to think about it. haven't got anything very intelligent to say. it's not anywhere close to being applied in britain as far as i know. >> but closely to being applied in finland and brazil and a few other places. >> right. >> a number of cities throughout europe. >> the issue is -- i mean, it's not dissimilar to the idea you talk about income to low-paid people, something we're in a boggle about in -- you end up subsidizing supermarkets to pay people less. so, there are perverse consequences of some of these things. so i have to think about it. it feels to me like it's one size fits all policy, which i don't think an evolutionary policy would be. evolution would say let a thousand flowers bloom see what happens. i think think about it.
>> my sense is the way to ensure that everybody can pan temperatures pate in letting the flowers bloom. >> right. >> thank you. >> how would you reconcile the notion of the inevitability of technological development with the fact that there was no real transport in the americas precolombia. >> really good point. well done. well, i would cling to my point by saying that the invention of the wheel and the invention of the road have to go together, and there's not much point in inventing a wheel unless you are also inventing forms of wheelbarrows. true, yep. i -- on the whole, i find it hard to think of examples of technologies that we should have
invented a long time ago but didn't. the one i think is the wheeled suitcase. why didn't we invent that 50 years ago, and i thought, hang on. lightweight aluminum wheels wouldn't have been around 50 years ago. would have had big, heavy cast iron things, and so they would have added a lot of weight to the suit kaatz, and airways were smaller and train stations were full of porters who had bare row which means you didn't a have to put the wheels on the suitcase. the history of the guy who invented the wheeled suitcase is he was turned down by firm after firm before he found one that did, but arguably, by the time he did find one that did, his technology improved to the point writ was really worth doing. or something like that. so, i don't think -- there's not that many examples of things
that get left on the shelf. but you're right no wheels in the americasle. quite a good one. thank you. >> i think this question is kind of piggy backing on this one. the inevitablity idea. made me think if we could dial back the emluigs of homosapien and science and technology and run that all over seven, maybe too it ten times or maybe on another planet with similar conditions, would we have exactly the same technologies or there be some variations on them? >> okay. >> just interesting -- >> that's a really nice way to think about it. the answer has to be no, we wouldn't have exactly the same. and steve used to make this point about biological evolution, that there's an element of luck in what you end up with. if you hit the earth with a
meetth meteor write --ite at a certain time you -- there's an inevitable of the progress to more and more sophisticated brains. also less -- i'm not saying that all brains get bigger, but the biggest brain gets bigger as time goes by and it's got quite big until the extinction of the dinosaurs and then has to start again from quite a small base and work up again until it gets to us. so there's a sort of inevitability that at some point biological evolution would have produced a -- at some point surely it would have approvalsed a creature that could go technological as we have done. whether it was inevitable it would take four billion years to get to that point, whether it could have been done in one bill if you rerun the tape, does that depend on how many times you hit the earth with an asteroid and
have to restart the tape. transferring that human history there are lots of failed industrial revolutions, if you like. china gets very close to something that looks like an industrial revolution at 1100, 1200ad. and then the manipulating emperors come in and decide they're going to be bossy and everybody has to too whatever they say. and you're forbidding front building a boat and trade notice allowed and the whole thing shuts down for several hundred year, and the torch finally transfer to europe. so i think the world would look very different if you ran it again, definitely. but you'd sort of get to some of the same places eventually. >> a broad question, much broader than i've heard. your book is the evolution of
everything. almost all of your examples and all of the questions and all of the discussions so far has been on the evolution of technology, of science. that maybe five percent of everything. you also have society, which evolves, i assume, with, let's say, a greater role for women but about tom oinvolves one tenth of the world, not a in places like india and china and so on. there's also evolution in the field of economics. i don't know exactly where we're evolving to. we steam be evolving back to adam smith, because once upon a time there was either capitalism or socialism, communism, now capitalism seems to rule the roost but it's not sure which direction evolution is going. what concerns me even more is politics. democracy is the direction of the evolution but unfortunately democracy only exists in maybe 20% of the countries on the
earth. democracy doesn't begin to exist in africa -- >> no longer true. >> it is still threw true there are election but the elects are manipulated, and sufficiently flawed that one would not call them democracies. but what concerns me actually most is evolution in the field of religion. people have been moving away from gods who could decide everything, term our future and so on and so forth, and now all of a sudden we're -- some of us are evolving back to gods who are absolute and who can be traced to fourth century prophets and jesus christ in the purest form, and i don't really see any evolution there. if anything i see dish don't know what the opposite of evolution is, but what is happening in the muslim world, which is a quarter of mankind, is certainly not evolution in the sense that you are speaking
of. >> well, you make soming and points. not all my examples even in my talk were taken from technology or science, and just to -- i mean, the list of chapters in my book, i do have a chapter on the evolution of government, one of the evolution of education. i have one on the evolution of morality, and i discuss, for example, that the changing attitudes to homosexuality over the last 50 years, and i make the case that it wasn't lawses that changed the way we thought. it was the way we thought that changed the laws. if you see what mean. that sort of the argument i'm making in most of thieves cases -- most of these cases. i i have a chapter on the if evolution of religion. >> [inaudible] --'ll which is the large nest the world, start
moving backwards instead of forwards. >> it's not clear to me that islam is moving backwards. it concept of god is still a very disembodied -- a very modern concept of god in the sense of a disembodied spirit, in fact you're not allowed to depict him and not allowed to depict mohammad and that sort of thing. what i think clear live is happening is a fundamentalism is sweeping through the islamic world, with some not nice consequences for quite a lot of people, just assed did in medieval europe and christianity. i expect that will run its course, whether it will do so quickly or slowly, i'm not here to predict. but, yes, you're right, not everything is going in the right direction, i absolutely agree with that.
>> do you address the evolution of warfare? i'm particularly -- >> i don't think i do. >> -- concerned about that with the nuclear weapons. some of these thing yours can make mistakes, but i think that's one where mistake could be catastrophic. of course, that may be the answer. then we start all over again. >> yes, you're right. areas where trial and error isn't a good idea. [laughter] >> nuclear power is another one in that sense. we don't want to have to learn from errors particularly. and i don't particularly -- talk about the evolution of warfare in the book but steven pinker nose this book, the better angels of our nature, and steve
had just arrived from colombia, where he pointed out to me that the peace talks are ongoing to bring to an end the only remaining war western hemisphere, and win those peace talks conclude there will be no more ware fair in the western hemisphere. there are 11 wars going on in the worked all in the eastern hemisphere. years ago when we were down to four at one point but it's a lot less. than 20 years ago when we had 20 or something. other a bumpy decline of the 11, two involved mr. putin. and eight involved the prophet mohammad. and one involved neither. in south sudan. just two groups who hate each other.
>> i just got a look at your book this afternoon, and was struck by the idea that you may have been thinking about complexity theory, about deterministic done complex deterministic systems. you used some of the language, emergence and so on. do you have something about how that affected your thinking? >> yes. i'm not a great student of complexity theirry. i've read some of it and follow bits and pieces of it in the santa fe work and so on but i'm quite deliberately not going mathematical in the book, not the theory of it too much. i'm trying to sort of tell it through example and anecdote, because i'm very bad at math, put so i don't go very deeply into any of the sort of
theoretical basis, and i have a bit on chaos theory, which is quite an interesting sort of aspect of the question of determinism and outcomes you get from simplele beginnings to complex results. >> will the idea about your book i got was you are fleshing out the idea of complexity chaos and how i manifests in all areas. >> yes, yes. what i'm really fleshing out is the idea of a darwinian process in human society, rather than those particular -- my influence comes much more from door win union theory than from complexity theory, but, yes, they do have a lot -- that's what santa fe is all about.
>> going to interrupt and the last question. congratulations. >> something more topical, a little lighter. you were introduced with your first name, matt. very democratic, very republican, with a small r. now, tell us your into itle and -- tell us your title and how you went to the house of lords. was it inheritance or were you appointed? will your elder son accede to your title and what brought you to these sums, your education and your interests. >> how long have you got? i got into the house of lords through a secret passage in the british constitution that is -- shouldn't be there but is. and it is an odd arrangement.
i mean, even in five minute is can't begin to explain it. but the answer is i'm an elected hereditary. most members over the house of lords these days are appointed. nearly all the hereditaries were kicked out in 1999. okay? but 90 were kept on for temporary period inflame they did a second phase of reform. are you with me so far? that temporary period got longer and longer and hasn't finished yet. so, when they started dying, these 90, they discovered that the legislation allowed them to replace themselves. from the hereditaries kicked out in 1999, or their sons. are you still with me? my dad died in 2012. that meant i became a hereditary
vicount, one below an earl. there's hubs and means nothing. but i was suddenly eligible to tanned for a vacancy among the house of lords and become a full member of the house of lords in theory for life or until they abolish me again, and just about six months later someone died and a vacancy came up and i thought, i'll throw my hat in the ring. never get elected. there are lawyers and accountants and people standing for this position. so i went along and each of us had to stand up and give a three-minute speech, a bit like the republican debates. so 27 candidates for one position. 48 electors, so very small electorate you're appealing to, and i listened the other guys.
i'm quite down the alpha expect and i had a long wait and i thought, hang on, i've got a chance here. anyway, at the later that day i had to call my wife and say, you now how i said i was just going throw motions. well, i'm afraid i've got the job. so now i'm -- i just sent a message from the whip saying, where are you? we need you to vote. that was yesterday actually. so, it is quite hard work. i sit on the -- we do serious inquiries. i take part in tee -- debates. we're not supposed to turn down significant legislation. the commons has 99% of the power, what we're supposed to do is scrutinize and improve the legislation by amending it in various ways.
but the moment we're overreaching ourselves and we had a crisis a week ago when we turned down a significant piece of budget legislation which were absolutely not allowed to do and haven't for a 100 years and this is a crisis, and so we have made us popular in the country by doing that. but more reform is coming and there are 800 members of the house of lords. the second biggest legislative assembly outside of the people's republic of china. i didn't -- you didn't come here for a constitutional message but you got one anyway. thank you. [applause] >> thank you for coming out. if you could remember the chairs. if you are interesting in getting a book signed, line happy to right of the podium here. if you want to purchase a copy of the book, it's behind the register at the front of the store. thank you all so much.
you may say he is a tycoon but there are other serious leaders like clinton to believe in the same way. so in 2011 while secretary of state the basis was by making sure into a keep the government accountable to with the policy of the state department. and the secretary of education arnie duncan that says technology is the game changer to improve the achievement for all and made by common leaders and are uncontested and the general population does antigone's
to be contested. microsoft i was there for 12 years of the last five years and went to india when and though there is switched for research and look for ways for technology. one with the thriving i t sector being a superpower and a fad some portion of it. so probably 800 million people in day habit with
agriculture. and working with that kind of environment. >> it with the sugar cane cooperative with the government grant initially meant to the internet connected end health care and telemedicine and distance learning when we got there several years but most were in disrepair in the primary use was for farmers to query how much was harvested in cent to the cooperative how much it weighed and how much they received.
where they could individually and to get the results back to find that they could do a privately owned their own. and overall we estimated if they use that system but genetically significant and going back to the farmers. so there was a political rivalry in the managing director. the there was some kind of threat with this technology
for there are some of dysfunctions the do not allow it to work. so with education beyond the research pilot with a common and stubborn problems to care about additional instruction for teachers undertrained were afraid of technology for have no budget for i teaming and. so it didn't have much impact and then we have another project where we have the kiosk to search for
jobs for the domestic laborers their private households. those of the system was designed to be that the women could navigate but eventually we found getting the employers to sign up and to qualify for those is a much bigger task. so it working technology clinton handle those end to end issues. a little over five years the work done 50 or more projects with some type of visual technology to health
care and government education and agriculture and very often we would develop that technology solution but technology fail to have an impact because of capacities for individuals cannot make use of capacity on their own. relented to find out why this was the case in research showed there was a positive impact in the ultimate conclusion technology only amplifies sorry for those