Sep 19, 2014
Michael Covel speaks with Joel Mokyr on today’s podcast. Marc Andreessen, one of the founders of Netscape, tweeted that Mokyr was one of his heroes. This intrigued Covel, and hence his desire to have Mokyr on the show. Mokyr is a economic historian at Northwestern University. He focuses on technological progress, and how it affects growth. From Mokyr’s perspective, we haven’t seen anything yet. He’s not trying to predict what will happen next; he’s just confident and ready that big things will continue to happen. Covel and Mokyr define technology; the notion of playing God with technology; how technology and economic growth are intertwined; why screwing up is part of technology; the acceleration of technology; new ways of measuring growth; anesthesia and antibiotics as technologies and imagining new technologies as revolutionary as them; moving from a wheat and steel economy into an information economy; the factory, the separation between firm and household, and the Industrial Revolution; the death of distance; why technology is often not reflected in the GDP; solving the language barrier through technology; why the global acceptance of the English language is driven by technology; why innovation isn’t natural to us; the declining respect of the writings of previous generations; why the median age will continue to increase; why we are moving into a mass-customization society; changes in material science; and the best way to think about the future. Want a free trend following DVD? Go to trendfollowing.com/win.