Tuesday, August 3, 2010


The history of technology is fundamentally the history of technologies of cooperation -- ethics, language, government, markets, internet, borg assimilation.

These are so much more fundamental than the specific technologies that are invented within these frameworks.  Without the framework for cooperation, what we usually think of with the word technology does not work its magic of creating non-zero sum games and increasing returns.

Note that I am not saying the same thing as Robert Wright.  Social technologies have to be invented and perfected historically.  Krugman's work makes this history an inherent part of economics, and emphasizes the way that social context and simple chance bear on development -- which is why they gave him the Nobel Prize for it (watch the lecture).  These technologies are not at all inevitable, and in fact, we march backwards away from them all the time.   

 Now are you an anarchist?

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