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Paul Romer: A Theory of History, with an Application - "His economic theory of history explains phenomena such as the constant improvement of the human standard of living by looking primarily at just two forms of innovative ideas: technology and rules." (previously, via) posted by kliuless (11 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite

 
i've yet to read the article, which I intend to, but just the thought of innovation = technology bothers me, that, imho, is one of the key reasons why things can get really screwed up
posted by infini at 2:01 PM on July 3, 2009


Not to the viewer: it's not a "theory of history," but a "theory of sustained non-linear economic growth over very long periods of time."
posted by MarshallPoe at 2:03 PM on July 3, 2009


Oops. I meant "Note to viewer:"
posted by MarshallPoe at 2:03 PM on July 3, 2009


infini: what is a technology? I see a technology is an extension of the power of human will, where a spoken language, mathematics, a musical style, would all be technologies even if they are not specific physical artifacts.
posted by idiopath at 2:09 PM on July 3, 2009


I have to say that the description above the fold is a bit underwhelming... maybe I'm not being imaginative but I have difficulty coming up with things that have caused improvement in the human standard of living that can't be described as either technology or rules so explaining it with just those two does not seem notable. But I'll take your word that it's interesting and put it on my to-watch list, at the moment the hour-long duration of the video is intimidating.
posted by XMLicious at 2:17 PM on July 3, 2009


I see a technology is an extension of the power of human will, where a spoken language, mathematics, a musical style, would all be technologies even if they are not specific physical artifacts.

idiopath, I know you do, you're a MeFite, with the ability to tease nuance out of simple words, however the tendency for the solution finders, the 'innovation' seekers et al to get hung up on the shiny shiny bling bling hi tech advances as the only manifestation of either technology or innovation allows them to overlook the very real creativity and innovation that emerges in the harshest of conditions. As simple as these rubber thongs repurposed as door hinges perhaps?
posted by infini at 2:30 PM on July 3, 2009


infini: you would have a hard time patenting or marketing soles of shoes as hinges. The problem isn't technology, but a disconnect between the profit motive and ecological responsibility. Some of the most ecologically harmful practices are very old technologies that will only stop if they are replaced with better ones.
posted by idiopath at 2:46 PM on July 3, 2009


Paul Romer: A Theory of History, with an Application - "His economic theory of history explains phenomena such as the constant improvement of the human standard of living by looking primarily at just two forms of innovative ideas: technology and rules." (previously, via)

This view is utterly mainstream in development economics, possibly because it's stated so generally.
posted by grobstein at 3:03 PM on July 3, 2009


metafilter: the description above the fold is a bit underwhelming...
posted by empath at 9:05 PM on July 3, 2009


Idiopath, wasn't feeling up to being intelligent yesterday but my point wasn't to consider the slipper hinge as a marketable item but instead to demonstrate that creativity/innovation does not always have to be high tech/electronic and that 'technology' as you defined it, can include whatever works or solves a problem.
posted by infini at 12:04 AM on July 5, 2009


I remember defining philosophy to a friend as attempting to answer 'how then shall we live?' I can never remember who wrote that, only that it continually seems apropos; (turns out it was tolstoy).

Is technology then, 'How, then, can we get there/do that?'
I think I like it.
posted by LD Feral at 9:39 AM on July 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


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