"It's an optimistic (and terrific) book that explores why humans have evolved to work together and cooperate," Gates tweeted earlier this week. Plus, it's "readable," he writes in a full book review on his blog.
The 2019 book concludes that humans have more in common than not. As Christakis puts it: "There is more that unites us than divides us," and "society is basically good."
The author's conclusions raise big questions, says Gates, "how we can leverage that commonality to get things done. Can we really get 7 billion people to work together and solve big problems like climate change? Are our similarities powerful enough to overcome the few differences we do have?"
While Christakis doesn't answer all of these questions, Gates notes, "he does imply that the answer is yes by showing that we have an innate capability and need to cooperate." And that's why it's such a hopeful read: "It's easy to feel down reading news headlines every day about how polarized we're becoming. 'Blueprint' is a refreshing reminder that, when people say we're all in this together, it's not just a platitude — it's evolution."
"Blueprint" isn't the only optimistic book Gates has recommended. Another one of his favorites is "The Better Angels of Our Nature," in which the author Steven Pinker argues that the world is getting better.
"When you tell people the world is improving, they often look at you like you're either naive or crazy," Gates wrote on Mic in 2017. "But it's true. And once you understand it, you start to see the world differently."
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