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“Technology” and “innovation” aren’t magic words. And saying we need to “science the s—” out of the coronavirus pandemic (to paraphrase a quote from the 2015 film The Martian) isn’t some modern incantation. Doing things in a better way or a totally new way is how we solve problems. It’s how we make the future we want.
Of course, it’s easier to make forecasts if you assume none of that stuff is going to happen. That tomorrow will be pretty much the same as today. But such forecasts will miss a lot. A vibrant and open democratic capitalist society will have a powerful, bottom-up reaction function. In Thursday’s Wall Street Journal, a Greg Ip piece includes this great quote from Northwestern University economic historian Joel Mokyr: “We have this huge reservoir of creative energy spread around the economy. When you have an event like this all of a sudden, everyone says, ‘Oh wow let’s look at this problem let’s see what I can do to solve it.’”More