Waves of Innovation

By the way, yr humble correspondent has published another article at Science Progress.

Innovation is a serious matter. It is the key to American prosperity, security, better jobs, and better health, as well as responses to coming challenges like energy security and global warming. But it’s not as simple as the president’s State of the Union address, or his Strategy for American Innovation would suggest, according to a recent study of economic history. The authors argue there are historic patterns in innovation and industry that can inform science policy in the 21st century. Read the rest


  1. Anonymous8.5.11

    Some quick thoughts :

    A friend just called, he insisted that the world was "standing still".

    With all the revolutions occurring around the Mediterranean, I doubt the world is actually standing still, but that's not the point.

    The point is that we lack practical, concrete, steps, to build a world that can operate in the absence of perpetual economic growth.

    To me your article suggests that, time and time again, we use carrier technologies to unseat us from economic stagnation.

    We might have enough resources to live in luxury, but we have no practical economic or political solution ensure that these resources are properly distributed.

    Carrier technologies create a burst in industrial growth, but only forestall what is fundamentally a social and political problem.

    Unfortunately, devising a new carrier technology is probably easier than building a system that can survive without perpetual growth. Once a new technology is invented, the local prosperity keeps us distracted.