Saturday, October 11, 2014

How Change Happens

We often say that actions have consequence. So do ideas. And we don’t always know the full extent of those consequences. Just as the science of splitting the atom, changed the nature of geopolitics and may still reshaped civilization, so the ripple effects of certain inventions have consequences and impacts, far beyond what was originally thought or intended.

As we worry about the spread of disease these days, it provides an interesting analogy. Essentially, if we think of certain inventions as Patient Zero, we then see how they spread over vast landscapes and change the world.

It is through this lens that Steven Johnson views the world in How We Got to Now: Six Innovations That Made the Modern World.

My conversation with Steven Johnson:

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