Reddit Reddit reviews The Lever of Riches: Technological Creativity and Economic Progress

We found 5 Reddit comments about The Lever of Riches: Technological Creativity and Economic Progress. Here are the top ones, ranked by their Reddit score.

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The Lever of Riches: Technological Creativity and Economic Progress
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5 Reddit comments about The Lever of Riches: Technological Creativity and Economic Progress:

u/[deleted] · 69 pointsr/AskHistorians

One objection: Although turks were considered as the barbaric force that inhibited development of islamic world, things are much more complicated than that.

First of all Turks quickly adopted religion and culture and created their unique brand of islam, settled down quickly.

Also they created most prosperous empires in the region and Europe for centuries! Ottoman Empire was the superpower of 16 and even 17th century that dealt with many European powers at once and Persian empire! Istanbul was the biggest metropol of Europe for centuries supporting levels of populations that was not seen since Roman Empire and became only possible towards the end of 18the century for European countries. People have that archaic view of Ottomans sitting on their butt and rotting away but that is not the truth. THat book alone proves a very different point of view: http://books.google.com/books/about/The_Ottoman_Age_of_Exploration.html?id=Xf3h3Z1YQtIC

That shows how Ottomans were struggling with Portugese in Indian Ocean. That shows how up to date they were all the times.

When it comes to halting of "scientific development" answer is really much more complicated. Mokyr has a nice look at this problem and does not reach a clear cut answer:

http://www.amazon.com/Lever-Riches-Technological-Creativity-Economic/dp/0195074777/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1373650861&sr=1-1

I would go into more detail some other time, now I don't have much time. But Islamic civilization did not come to a halt with the arrival of turks. But what we see really contradict that idea. Region prospered for a long time (for centuries!!!). How come that civilization came to a halt, but then after centuries, up until 1683 still having the most powerful land empire in west? THere is too much generalization and simplification here. Of course I get your point, it was not as much dynamic as it used to be, but it prospered thanks to stability of big empires, their extensive trade networks and connectedness of cities. Mokyr shows exhaustively how technological and scientific development in Roman Empire was slower compared to Greek and even Medieval times, but it was a more industrial empire and most people would easily think that people were better off during its time compared to what came before and after it (according to many calculations, people reach similar levels of welfare and development as Roman Empire only in 18th century England in christian world!). Similar things can be said about what happened after Monghol invasion. Cities and people prospered, industrialized (not in modern sense of course).

u/SassyMoron · 23 pointsr/4chan

See this is a myth though. Economic productivity growth throughout Europe during the middle ages was steady and substantial. Check out this book if you want to know more.

u/1point618 · 10 pointsr/Bitcoin

> It is cumbersome to setup an interac or paypal when you want to help.

Those are your words. The words that I am replying to. Paypal is not irrelevant, which you very well know, because it is the competition to changetip.

> Says you.

No, says the entire field of economic history, not to mention lean startup methodology and user experience design.

Innovation (defined as the wide-scale adoption of new technologies) is not an easy or simple process. The "if you build it, they will come" mantra almost always works out poorly for the builders.

Invention is, by comparison, rather easy. Large businesses project manage invention all the time. We know about when and how well new inventions will be established if we just crank away at them.

Driving user adoption, on the other hand, is a very difficult process. You have to not just build an invention that solves problems for individuals and opens up new avenues of economic efficiency for society, but you also have to convince individuals en masse to change their behavior.

This takes marketing, politics, sales, and more. It takes understanding the human factors that go into technological adoption. At the end of the day, no technology succeeds without humans. These are creative fields which see some degree of process but which are ever-changing. Solutions have to fit the specific technology, consumer market, legal framework, etc..

A good example of innovation vs. invention is Edison vs. Tesla. We all know the popular geek narrative, that Tesla was a lone genius whose work was suppressed by the evil, profit-hungry Edison. But really, the difference was one of innovation. Both men were greatly inventive, but only one of them cared to focus on marketing, user adoption, working with governments, and building a business. It's telling that the one major "success" that Tesla did have was the one where he engaged with Edison on his own turf, taking the AC/DC battle to local governments and the courts.

But at the end of the day, Tesla the inventors legacy is a yet-to-be-built museum crowdfunded by a webcomic author, while Edison's legacy is one of the oldest, largest, and most inventive consumer companies in the US.

If you'd like to learn more, I'd highly recommend The Lever of Riches by Joel Mokyr. He uses historical examples from Europe, the Americas, and China to develop a historical narrative and theory of technological and economic progress (aka, innovation) that helps explain why certain technologies see adoption, as well as why certain societies see more technological innovation than others. And if you're interested in the latter question, Why Nations Fail by Acemoglu and Robinson is a very enjoyable read.

u/generalT · 3 pointsr/space

meh, not really. please read this book for more details.

u/amaxen · 2 pointsr/history

Mokyr's The lever of riches link