Glaeser on Mokyr
By Arnold Kling
Reviewing Joel Mokyr’s The Enlightened Economy, Ed Glaeser writes,
It is easy to envision the massive mills of Manchester and think that the Industrial Revolution was all about scale and machines. But there was more. At its core, this economic and technological revolution was created by connected groups of smart people who stole each others’ ideas and implemented them. I tend to think that the chain of interrelated insights that brought us industrialization could have happened in other countries and at other times, but there is every reason to think that the Enlightenment had readied England’s intellectual soil for industrial innovation. Not least because it persuades readers of the plausibility of such an unlikely and colorful causation, Mokyr’s book is a splendid achievement.
“connected groups of smart people who stole each others’ ideas and implemented them” is also a great way to describe the personal computer revolution.