What is technology in its nature, in its deepest essence? Where does it come from? How does it evolve? With contagious enthusiasm, Arthur, an economics professor and a pioneer of complexity theory, tries to answer these and other questions in a style that is by turns sparkling and flat. Technology is self-creating, though it requires human agency to build it up and reproduce it. Yet technology evolves much like organisms evolve, and Arthur cannily applies Darwin's ideas to technologies and their growth. All technologies descend from earlier ones, and those that perform better and more efficiently than others are selected for future growth and development. But radical novelty in technology cannot be explained by this model of variation and selection, so Arthur argues that novel technologies arise by combination of existing technologies. For example, a hydroelectric power generator combines several main components—a reservoir to store water, an intake system, turbines driven by high-energy water flow, transformers to convert the power output to a higher voltage: groups of self-contained technologies—into a new technology. Arthur's arguments will likely alter the reader's way of thinking about technology and its relationship to humanity.
"…enlightening and stimulating, enhanced by a remarkable diversity of historical examples…The book invites comparison to work by Thomas Kuhn…Economists, social scientists, engineers and scientists all may come to regard it as a landmark."
"Provocative and engaging...Arthur's theory captures many well-known features of technological change [and] also answers interesting questions."
"…reframes the relationship between science and technology as part of an effort to come up with a comprehensive theory of innovation… Dr. Arthur is bold in his reassessment of the role of technology in science."
-- The New York Times
"Hundreds of millions of dollars slosh around Silicon Valley every day based on Brian Arthur's ideas."
-- John Seeley Brown, former director of PARC
"We launched Java based on Brian Arthur's ideas."
-- Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google
W. Brian Arthur
William Brian Arthur (1945) is an economist credited with influencing and describing the modern theory of increasing returns. He is an authority on economics in relation to complexity theory, technology and financial markets. Presently, he is on the external faculty at the Santa Fe Institute, and a Visiting Researcher at the Intelligent Systems Lab at PARC (Formerly Xerox PARC).
Arthur received his Ph.D. in Operations Research (1973) and an M. A. in Economics (1973) from the University of California, Berkeley.
At age 37, Dr. Arthur was the youngest endowed chair holder at Stanford University.
Arthur is the former Morrison Professor of Economics and Population Studies; Professor of Human Biology, Stanford University, 1983-1996. He is the co-founder of the Morrison Institute for Population and Resource Studies at Stanford.
Arthur is noted for his seminal works "studying the impacts of positive feedback or increasing returns in economies, and how these increasing returns magnify small, random occurrences in the market place." These principles are especially significant in technology-specific industries.
Arthur is one of the early economic researchers in the emerging complexity field. Specifically, his complexity studies focused on the "economics of high technology; how business evolves in an era of high technology; cognition in the economy; and financial markets."
Личен сайт: http://tuvalu.santafe.edu/~wbarthur/index.html