“Technological change is discontinuous. The monks in their scriptoria did not invent the printing press, horse breeders did not invent the motorcar, and the music industry did not invent the iPod or launch iTunes.”

- Jason Epstein


Books: Onward to the Digital Revolution
FEBRUARY 10, 2011
Jason Epstein
Review of Merchants of Culture: The Publishing Business in the Twenty-First Century by John B. Thompson 

Category: Technology

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

8 Responses to “QOTD: Discontinuous Technological Change”

  1. jaymaster says:

    And the MSM did not invent the blog…

  2. Arequipa01 says:

    So I was reading the last section of Jacques Barzun’s lecture on Art and he ends his thoughts with this quote from Pindar:

    “The gods give us for every good thing two evil ones, and men who are children take this badly. But a manly one bears it, turning the brightness outward.”

  3. DiggidyDan says:

    Duh. . . it’s incremental development based upon a previous foundation and one-upsmanship.

  4. wunsacon says:

    Yes, that sometimes happens. In pursuit of new markets, well-entrenched businesses are sometimes reluctant to risk cannibalizing themselves. Shareholders and (mainly) executives have too much at stake in the near-term rewards from the status quo. They figure they might not be around anyway in 10 years — “YBGIBG” — so they might as well feast on the one rabbit in hand instead of chase the two rabbits in the bush. Plus, less cynically, they’re also very busy just minding the store. So, they invest their capital in “rent extraction” off their prior investments.


  5. sshoap says:

    ….the car companies didn’t invent the safer small car.

    I did. US Patent 7,699,347.

    Maybe I’ll live long enough to see the invention used.
    When legions of people start dying in their small cars, then ?????????????


  6. Asymptosis says:

    Tangentially reminded me of a great line I read in a comment somewhere recently:

    The stone age did not end because they ran out of stones.

  7. Greg0658 says:

    if I got paid in Twitter hit points I’d look this up but since I don’t I’ll wing it (hey its a blog – not real journalism)
    I wonder who invented metal ? the cook / the MIC