Explaining Technology

Koppl, R., Gatti, R.C., Devereaux, A., Fath, B. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9440-6842, Herriott, J., Hordijk, W., Kauffman, S., Ulanowicz, R.E., et al. (2023). Explaining Technology. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9781009386289 10.1017/9781009386289.

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A long tradition explains technological change as recombination. Within this tradition, this Element develops an innovative combinatorial model of technological change and tests it with 2,000 years of global GDP data and with data from US patents filed between 1835 and 2010. The model explains 1) the pace of technological change for a least the past two millennia, 2) patent citations and 3) the increasing complexity of tools over time. It shows that combining and modifying pre-existing goods to produce new goods generates the observed historical pattern of technological change. A long period of stasis was followed by sudden super-exponential growth in the number of goods. In this model, the sudden explosion of about 250 years ago is a combinatorial explosion that was a long time in coming, but inevitable once the process began at least two thousand years ago. This Element models the Industrial Revolution as a combinatorial explosion.

Item Type: Book
Uncontrolled Keywords: economic growth, combinatorial evolution, economic niche emergence, Industrial Revolution, adjacent possible
Research Programs: Advancing Systems Analysis (ASA)
Advancing Systems Analysis (ASA) > Systemic Risk and Resilience (SYRR)
Depositing User: Luke Kirwan
Date Deposited: 14 Aug 2023 08:17
Last Modified: 14 Aug 2023 08:17
URI: https://pure.iiasa.ac.at/19008

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