Monday, October 19, 2009

HoS Micropost: The Nature of Technology (reviewed in the NY Times)

Posted by Darin Hayton on 10/19 at 11:00 PM

The NY Times just published a favorable review of W. Brian Arthur’s recent book, The Nature of Technology: What it is and How it Evolves (the review is found here). Apparently, Arthur argues that technological innovation and development often precedes scientific:

“It’s technology that gives rise to both modern science and the economy, and we tend to think of it in reverse — that science gives rise to technology and the economy gives rise to technology. But technology is more fundamental than either one.”

W. Brian Arthur’s The Nature of Technology.

Of interest is Arthur’s use of Darwinian metaphors to describe technological development: notably, natural selection and evolution. His work appears to be a social-economic analysis of technological development in which market forces select out the fittest technologies for survival. He stresses that technological and scientific progress are guided by people who have already defined what they want but haven’t yet figured out how to realize this goal.

You can hear and interview with W. Brian Arthur here at the Institute for Ethics & Emerging Technologies.

Based on the review and the interview, it seems like an interesting book.

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