The Nature of Technology

What It Is and How It Evolves
Author: W. Brian Arthur
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 9781439165782
Category: Science
Page: 256
View: 2473
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“More than anything else technology creates our world. It creates our wealth, our economy, our very way of being,” says W. Brian Arthur. Yet despite technology’s irrefutable importance in our daily lives, until now its major questions have gone unanswered. Where do new technologies come from? What constitutes innovation, and how is it achieved? Does technology, like biological life, evolve? In this groundbreaking work, pioneering technology thinker and economist W. Brian Arthur answers these questions and more, setting forth a boldly original way of thinking about technology. The Nature of Technology is an elegant and powerful theory of technology’s origins and evolution. Achieving for the development of technology what Thomas Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions did for scientific progress, Arthur explains how transformative new technologies arise and how innovation really works. Drawing on a wealth of examples, from historical inventions to the high-tech wonders of today, Arthur takes us on a mind-opening journey that will change the way we think about technology and how it structures our lives. The Nature of Technology is a classic for our times.

The Nature of Technology

What It Is and How It Evolves
Author: W. Brian Arthur
Publisher: Penguin UK
ISBN: 0141031638
Category: Business & Economics
Page: 256
View: 9498
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In The Nature of Technology, ground-breaking economist W. Brian Arthur explores the extraordinary way in which the technology that surrounds us and allows us to live our modern lives has actually been developed. Rather than coming from a series of one-off inventions, almost all the technology we use today comes from previous developments: these technologies are not being created, but are instead evolving. With fascinating examples, from laser printers to powerplants, Arthur reveals how our own problem-solving skills and creative vision can evolve alongside these technologies, and how this understanding can even improve our understanding of the wider world.

The Nature of Technology

What It Is and How It Evolves
Author: W. Brian Arthur
Publisher: Penguin UK
ISBN: 0141957689
Category: Technology & Engineering
Page: 256
View: 5562
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The Nature of Technology will change the way you think about this fundamental subject forever. W. Brian Arthur's many years of thinking and writing about technology have culminated in a unique understanding of his subject. Here he examines the nature of technology itself: what is it and how does it evolve? Giving rare insights into the evolution of specific technologies and a new framework for thinking about others, every sentence points to some further truth and fascination. At a time when we are ever more reliant on technological solutions for the world's problems, it is extraordinary how little we actually understand the processes that lead to innovation and invention. Until now. This will be a landmark book that will define its subject, and inspire people to think about technology in depth for the very first time.

What Technology Wants


Author: Kevin Kelly
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 0143120174
Category: Technology & Engineering
Page: 406
View: 635
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Profiles technology as an evolving international system with predictable trends, counseling readers on how to prepare themselves and future generations by anticipating and steering their choices toward developing needs.

Increasing Returns and Path Dependence in the Economy


Author: W. Brian Arthur
Publisher: University of Michigan Press
ISBN: 9780472022403
Category: Business & Economics
Page: 225
View: 4842
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This book brings together Professor Arthurs pioneering article and provide a comprehensive presentation of his exciting vision of an economics that incorporates increasing returns. After a decade of resistance from economists, these ideas are now being widely discussed and adopted, as Kenneth Arrow recounts in his foreword. In fundamental ways they are changing our views of the working economy.

The Evolution of Technology


Author: George Basalla
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1316101584
Category: Technology & Engineering
Page: N.A
View: 1107
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This book presents an evolutionary theory of technological change based upon recent scholarship in the history of technology and upon relevant material drawn from economic history and anthropology. It challenges the popular notion that technology advances by the efforts of a few heroic individuals who produce a series of revolutionary inventions owing little or nothing to the technological past. Therefore, the book's argument is shaped by analogies taken selectively from the theory of organic evolution, and not from the theory and practice of political revolution. Three themes appear, and reappear with variations, throughout the study. The first is diversity: an acknowledgment of the vast numbers of different kinds of made things (artifacts) that have long been available to humanity; the second is necessity: the belief that humans are driven to invent new artifacts in order to meet basic biological requirements such as food, shelter, and defense; and the third is technological evolution: an organic analogy that explains both the emergence of novel artifacts and their subsequent selection by society for incorporation into its material life without invoking either biological necessity or technological progress. Although the book is not intended to provide a strict chronological account of the development of technology, historical examples - including many of the major achievements of Western technology: the waterwheel, the printing press, the steam engine, automobiles and trucks, and the transistor - are used extensively to support its theoretical framework. The Evolution of Techology will be of interest to all readers seeking to learn how and why technology changes, including both students and specialists in the history of technology and science.

Exploring the Black Box

Technology, Economics, and History
Author: Nathan Rosenberg
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521459556
Category: Business & Economics
Page: 274
View: 5765
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This book presents a unique account of how technological change is generated and the processes by which improved technologies are introduced into economic activity. The central theme of the book is the idea that technological changes are often "path dependent": their form and direction tend to be influenced strongly by the particular sequence of earlier events out of which a new technology has emerged. Individual chapters explore the particular features of new technologies in different historical and sectoral contexts.

Inside the Black Box

Technology and Economics
Author: Nathan Rosenberg
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521273671
Category: Business & Economics
Page: 304
View: 2259
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Economists have long treated technological phenomena as events transpiring inside a black box and, on the whole, have adhered rather strictly to a self-imposed ordinance not to inquire too seriously into what transpires inside that box. The purpose of Professor Rosenberg's work is to break open and examine the contents of the black box. In so doing, a number of important economic problems be powerfully illuminated. The author clearly shows how specific features of individual technologies have shaped a number of variables of great concern to economists: the rate of productivity improvement, the nature of learning processes underlying technological change itself, the speed of technology transfer, and the effectiveness of government policies that are intended to influence technologies in particular ways. The separate chapters of this book reflect a primary concern with some of the distinctive aspects of industrial technologies in the twentieth century, such as the increasing reliance upon science, but also the considerable subtlety and complexity of the dialectic between science and technology. Other concerns include the rapid growth in the development of costs associated with new technologies as well as the difficulty of predicting the eventual performance characteristics of newly emerging technologies.

Why Information Grows

The Evolution of Order, from Atoms to Economies
Author: Cesar Hidalgo
Publisher: Basic Books
ISBN: 0465039715
Category: Business & Economics
Page: 256
View: 9623
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What is economic growth? And why, historically, has it occurred in only a few places? Previous efforts to answer these questions have focused on institutions, geography, finances, and psychology. But according to MIT’s antidisciplinarian César Hidalgo, understanding the nature of economic growth demands transcending the social sciences and including the natural sciences of information, networks, and complexity. To understand the growth of economies, Hidalgo argues, we first need to understand the growth of order. At first glance, the universe seems hostile to order. Thermodynamics dictates that over time, order—or information—disappears. Whispers vanish in the wind just like the beauty of swirling cigarette smoke collapses into disorderly clouds. But thermodynamics also has loopholes that promote the growth of information in pockets. Although cities are all pockets where information grows, they are not all the same. For every Silicon Valley, Tokyo, and Paris, there are dozens of places with economies that accomplish little more than pulling rocks out of the ground. So, why does the US economy outstrip Brazil’s, and Brazil’s that of Chad? Why did the technology corridor along Boston’s Route 128 languish while Silicon Valley blossomed? In each case, the key is how people, firms, and the networks they form make use of information. Seen from Hidalgo’s vantage, economies become distributed computers, made of networks of people, and the problem of economic development becomes the problem of making these computers more powerful. By uncovering the mechanisms that enable the growth of information in nature and society, Why Information Grows lays bear the origins of physical order and economic growth. Situated at the nexus of information theory, physics, sociology, and economics, this book propounds a new theory of how economies can do not just more things, but more interesting things.

Design in Nature

How the Constructal Law Governs Evolution in Biology, Physics, Technology, and Social Organizations
Author: Adrian Bejan,J. Peder Zane
Publisher: Anchor
ISBN: 0307744345
Category: Science
Page: 296
View: 3560
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Reveals how recurring patterns in nature are accounted for by a single governing principle of physics, explaining how all designs in the world from biological life to inanimate systems evolve in a sequence of ever-improving designs that facilitate flow.

The Economy As An Evolving Complex System II


Author: W. Brian Arthur
Publisher: CRC Press
ISBN: 0429965184
Category: Mathematics
Page: 600
View: 1236
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A new view of the economy as an evolving, complex system has been pioneered at the Santa Fe Institute over the last ten years, This volume is a collection of articles that shape and define this view?a view of the economy as emerging from the interactions of individual agents whose behavior constantly evolves, whose strategies and actions are always adapting.The traditional framework in economics portrays activity within an equilibrium steady state. The interacting agents in the economy are typically homogenous, solve well-defined problems using perfect rationality, and act within given legal and social structures. The complexity approach, by contrast, sees economic activity as continually changing?continually in process. The interacting agents are typically heterogeneous, they must cognitively interpret the problems they face, and together they create the structures?markets, legal and social institutions, price patters, expectations?to which they individually react. Such structures may never settle down. Agents may forever adapt and explore and evolve their behaviors within structures that continually emerge and change and disappear?structures these behaviors co-create. This complexity approach does not replace the equilibrium one?it complements it.The papers here collected originated at a recent conference at the Santa Fe Institute, which was called to follow up the well-known 1987 SFI conference organized by Philip Anderson, Kenneth Arrow, and David Pines. They survey the new study of complexity and the economy. They apply this approach to real economic problems and they show the extent to which the initial vision of the 1987 conference has come to fruition.

Digital Wars

Apple, Google, Microsoft and the Battle for the Internet
Author: Charles Arthur
Publisher: Kogan Page Publishers
ISBN: 0749472049
Category: Business & Economics
Page: 344
View: 3970
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The first time that Apple, Google and Microsoft found themselves sharing the same digital space was 1998. They were radically different companies and they would subsequently fight a series of pitched battles for control of different parts of the digital landscape. They could not know of the battles to come. But they would be world-changing. This new edition of Digital Wars looks at each of these battles in turn. Accessible and comprehensive, it analyses the very different cultures of the three companies and assesses exactly who are the victors on each front. Thoroughly updated to include information on the latest developments and rising competitors Samsung, it also include a completely new chapter on how China moved from being the assembly plant for music players and smartphones, to becoming the world's biggest smartphone business.

Complexity and the Economy


Author: W. Brian Arthur
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: 0199334293
Category: Business & Economics
Page: 211
View: 3328
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A collection of previous published papers by the author on the subject of complexity economics, appearing from the 1980s to the present.

The Evolution of Everything

How New Ideas Emerge
Author: Matt Ridley
Publisher: HarperCollins
ISBN: 0062296027
Category: Business & Economics
Page: 368
View: 7213
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The New York Times bestselling author of The Rational Optimist and Genome returns with a fascinating argument for evolution that definitively dispels a dangerous, widespread myth: that we can command and control our world. Human society evolves. Change in technology, language, morality, and society is incremental, inexorable, gradual, and spontaneous. It follows a narrative, going from one stage to the next; it creeps rather than jumps; it has its own spontaneous momentum rather than being driven from outside; it has no goal or end in mind; and it largely happens by trial and error—a version of natural selection. Much of the human world is the result of human action but not of human design: it emerges from the interactions of millions, not from the plans of a few. Drawing on fascinating evidence from science, economics, history, politics, and philosophy, Matt Ridley demolishes conventional assumptions that the great events and trends of our day are dictated by those on high, whether in government, business, academia, or organized religion. On the contrary, our most important achievements develop from the bottom up. Just as skeins of geese form Vs in the sky without meaning to and ter-mites build mud cathedrals without architects, so brains take shape without brain-makers, learning happens without teaching, and morality changes for no reason other than the prevailing fashion. Although we neglect, defy, and ignore them, bottom-up trends shape the world. The Industrial Revolution, cell phones, the rise of Asia, and the Internet were never planned; they happened. Languages emerged and evolved by a form of natural selection, as did common law. Torture, racism, slavery, and pedophilia—all once widely regarded as acceptable—are now seen as immoral despite the decline of religion in recent decades. In this wide-ranging and erudite book, Ridley brilliantly makes the case for evolution, rather than design, as the force that has shaped much of our culture, our technology, our minds, and that even now is shaping our future. As compelling as it is controversial, as authoritative as it is ambitious, Ridley’s deeply thought-provoking book will change the way we think about the world and how it works.

What Language Is

And What It Isn't and What It Could Be
Author: John McWhorter
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 1101644451
Category: Language Arts & Disciplines
Page: 240
View: 7018
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New York Times bestselling author and renowned linguist, John McWhorter, explores the complicated and fascinating world of languages. From Standard English to Black English; obscure tongues only spoken by a few thousand people in the world to the big ones like Mandarin - What Language Is celebrates the history and curiosities of languages around the world and smashes our assumptions about "correct" grammar. An eye-opening tour for all language lovers, What Language Is offers a fascinating new perspective on the way humans communicate. From vanishing languages spoken by a few hundred people to major tongues like Chinese, with copious revelations about the hodgepodge nature of English, John McWhorter shows readers how to see and hear languages as a linguist does. Packed with Big Ideas about language alongside wonderful trivia, What Language Is explains how languages across the globe (the Queen's English and Surinam creoles alike) originate, evolve, multiply, and divide. Raising provocative questions about what qualifies as a language (so-called slang does have structured grammar), McWhorter also takes readers on a marvelous journey through time and place-from Persian to the languages of Sri Lanka- to deliver a feast of facts about the wonders of human linguistic expression.

Men, Machines, and Modern Times


Author: Elting E. Morison,Leo Marx,Rosalind Williams
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262529319
Category: Social Science
Page: 344
View: 9989
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An engaging look at how we have learned to live with innovation and new technologies through history.

Complexity

A Guided Tour
Author: Melanie Mitchell
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199724571
Category: Science
Page: 368
View: 8741
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What enables individually simple insects like ants to act with such precision and purpose as a group? How do trillions of neurons produce something as extraordinarily complex as consciousness? In this remarkably clear and companionable book, leading complex systems scientist Melanie Mitchell provides an intimate tour of the sciences of complexity, a broad set of efforts that seek to explain how large-scale complex, organized, and adaptive behavior can emerge from simple interactions among myriad individuals. Based on her work at the Santa Fe Institute and drawing on its interdisciplinary strategies, Mitchell brings clarity to the workings of complexity across a broad range of biological, technological, and social phenomena, seeking out the general principles or laws that apply to all of them. Richly illustrated, Complexity: A Guided Tour--winner of the 2010 Phi Beta Kappa Book Award in Science--offers a wide-ranging overview of the ideas underlying complex systems science, the current research at the forefront of this field, and the prospects for its contribution to solving some of the most important scientific questions of our time.

Pitch the Perfect Investment

The Essential Guide to Winning on Wall Street
Author: Paul D. Sonkin,Paul Johnson
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 1119051789
Category: Business & Economics
Page: 496
View: 2176
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Pitching the Perfect Investment + Website will present a two-step process: 1) finding the perfect investment; and 2) crafting the perfect pitch. It presents world-class insights into search strategy, data collection and research, securities analysis, risk assessment and management, combined with the use of critical thinking, to uncover the perfect opportunity for professional analysts, sophisticated private investors and ambitious young analysts as well as mergers and acquisition specialists advising clients, financial consultants and corporate financial analysis teams. Pitching draws from the disciplines of psychology, argumentation and informal logic. It instructs the investor analysts of all types how to craft this perfect investment into the perfect pitch. Pitching an investment is an essential skill to securing and then excelling at your job on Wall Street. In this book: The money manager will learn how to analyze and pitch ideas to potential investors in order to get them to invest in his or her fund. The analyst will learn how to source, analyze, value and pitch a compelling stock idea to their superiors in order to advance their careers. The banker will learn how to pitch acquisition ideas to senior executives and corporate clients to win business. The C-level executive of a public or private company will learn how to pitch his company to existing and potential investors. The salesperson will learn how to analyze and pitch a compelling idea to clients. The sophisticated or enterprising individual investor will learn how to source, analyze and value investment ideas to make money. The student will learn how to source, analyze, value and pitch a compelling stock idea in order to secure a job on Wall Street. This is an essential skill for the ambitious young investment analyst looking to begin a career on Wall Street as well as the seasoned veteran discussing an idea on CNBC, and every investor in-between.

In Search of Nature


Author: Edward O. Wilson
Publisher: Island Press
ISBN: 1597269174
Category: Nature
Page: 224
View: 3179
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Perhaps more than any other scientist of our century, Edward O. Wilson has scrutinized animals in their natural settings, tweezing out the dynamics of their social organization, their relationship with their environments, and their behavior, not only for what it tells us about the animals themselves, but for what it can tell us about human nature. He has brought the fascinating and sometimes surprising results of these studies to general readers through a remarkable collection of books, including The Diversity of Life, The Ants, On Human Nature, and Sociobiology. The grace and precision with which he writes of seemingly complex topics has earned him two Pulitzer prizes, and the admiration of scientists and general readers around the world. In Search of Nature presents for the first time a collection of Edward O. Wilson’s seminal short writings, addressing in brief and eminently readable form the themes that have actively engaged this remarkable intellect throughout his career. The essays’ central theme is that wild nature and human nature are closely interwoven, and, not without optimism, Wilson concludes that we are smart enough and have time enough to avoid an environmental catastrophe of civilization-threatening dimensions if we are willing both to redirect our science and technology, and reconsider our self-image as a species. From "the little things that run the world"-- invertebrate species that make life possible for everyone and everything -- to many scientists’ emergent belief in the human species' innate affinity for other living things, known as biophilia, Wilson sets forth clear and compelling reasons why humans should concern themselves with species loss.In Search of Nature is a lively and accessible introduction to the writings of one of the most brilliant scientists of the 20th century. Imaginatively illustrated by noted artist Laura Southworth, it is a book all readers will treasure.

The Physics of Life

The Evolution of Everything
Author: Adrian Bejan
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
ISBN: 1466891343
Category: Science
Page: 336
View: 8640
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The Physics of Life explores the roots of the big question by examining the deepest urges and properties of living things, both animate and inanimate: how to live longer, with food, warmth, power, movement and free access to other people and surroundings. Bejan explores controversial and relevant issues such as sustainability, water and food supply, fuel, and economy, to critique the state in which the world understands positions of power and freedom. Breaking down concepts such as desire and power, sports health and culture, the state of economy, water and energy, politics and distribution, Bejan uses the language of physics to explain how each system works in order to clarify the meaning of evolution in its broadest scientific sense, moving the reader towards a better understanding of the world's systems and the natural evolution of cultural and political development. The Physics of Life argues that the evolution phenomenon is much broader and older than the evolutionary designs that constitute the biosphere, empowering readers with a new view of the globe and the future, revealing that the urge to have better ideas has the same physical effect as the urge to have better laws and better government. This is evolution explained loudly but also elegantly, forging a path that flows sustainability.