Tag: Innovation

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Gloomy Coronavirus Forecasts Ignore American Innovative Genius

 

Vice President Mike Pence, who heads the government’s coronavirus task force, on a tour of 3M’s Innovation Center in Maplewood, MN, March 5, 2020.
“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.’”

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Delayed Innovation

 

Sometimes the best thing that can happen to an inventor is for him to be ignored.

Take for example German archery enthusiast Jörg Sprave. He pitched his bow designs to manufacturers for years. None purchased his plans. But Sprave did not idly wait for broader success. He continued to iterate until building something he wished he had thought of years ago. 

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Stian Westlake joins City Journal editor Brian Anderson to discuss the future of productivity and how institutions and policymakers can adapt to the new “intangible” economy.

Throughout history, as documented in the book Capitalism Without Capital by Westlake and coauthor Jonathan Haskel, firms have invested in physical goods like machines and computers. As society has grown richer, companies have invested increasingly in “intangible” assets: research and development, branding, organizational development, and software. Today’s challenge is to build the institutions and enact the policies that will maximize the new economy’s potential.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Eating Cheetos with Chopsticks

 

Chopsticks are, in a general manner, inferior to the fork. Forks are more effective over a wider range of food, and they’re easier to master as well. Really in this day and age, the major reason to learn chopsticks is to look sophisticated. You don’t want to look like a dolt in front of your friends. So I’m using chopsticks to eat Cheetos.*

Cheetos are pretty much on the opposite end of the sophistication spectrum from sushi.** If you learn chopsticks to look suave in one of those swanky Japanese restaurants that’s one thing. You simply can’t look debonair eating bright orange cheese puffs. So why bother with the chopsticks? Aren’t they a finger food? They are if you don’t mind leaving blaze orange fingerprints everywhere.

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Elon Musk announced his Neuralink project this week. As this video explains, the goal of enabling communication and control through thought alone is arguably given some credibility by medical solutions already in use. More

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. The Anatomy of Disruption

 

I’ve been doing some thinking recently about the life cycle of industries. “Industries” in this context means anything that you can make a living at. If you have an idea, a new idea, something that will genuinely change the world, what happens with it? It seems to follow the old adage about every political cause (probably because political causes qualify as industries in this regard.) Let’s take a walk through it:

It Begins as a Movement

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Quote of the Day: Two-for-One from Edmund Burke

 

On this day in 1790 Edmund Burke published an epistolary pamphlet, Reflections on the Revolution in France. It was prescient for the time and still seems so today. The magic of it, which gives so much prescience, is that it encapsulates large dollops of knowledge of human nature. In a thousand years, it shall be as relevant as it was in the Eighteenth Century and is now in the Twenty-First.

A spirit of innovation is generally the result of a selfish temper and confined views. People will not look forward to posterity, who never look backward to their ancestors.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Maybe the Innovation Boom Is Here, It’s Just Not Evenly Distributed

 

Check out these two charts from a great Wall Street Journal piece, “The Problem With Innovation: The Biggest Companies Are Hogging All the Gains,” on global productivity growth:

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This week on Banter, AEI Visiting Scholar Rick Geddes joins the show to discuss hyperloop technology. Geddes has written extensively about how hyperloop technology could dramatically reduce travel time in the United States as well as the regulatory, environmental, and financial challenges such a system would need to overcome. Geddes hosted a public event at AEI headquarters on hyperloop in April. You can view the full event video below.

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The article I link to below is quite awesome, although on the Dem side of things, they currently attribute every empty college classroom seat as being due to the evil white Americans not allowing foreigners into the country. And the comments are also worth a read. More

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(Click on the image above or HERE to view the video) More

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Occupational Licensing Is a Whole Quilt of Crazy

 

Here’s a bit of trivia: New Hampshire’s tallest building was erected by a general contractor unlicensed by the state. Before you decide to avoid forever Manchester’s 20-story City Hall Plaza, you should know no building in the state, including every house, was built by a state-licensed general contractor — because New Hampshire doesn’t license general contractors. I’ll be focusing on New Hampshire here, but the crazy quilt of occupational licenses smothers opportunity in every state.

The state doesn’t license carpenters, auto mechanics, welders or asphalt layers either. Yet your home does not fall apart, commercial buildings don’t tumble down, roads don’t dissolve in the rain.

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How do you innovate? I know that we have more than a few geniuses on Ricochet and a passel of inventors, but you don’t have to be a genius to come up with something new. What is your method for innovation? s it just a matter of seeing a need and filling it? Is it […]

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A house-size island in swampland apparently only costs about $8000. Slightly more technical than the paperclip, this dam-tubing is a great example of rudimentary innovation. More

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This AEI Events Podcast features Fredrik Erixon and Björn Weigel, coauthors of “The Innovation Illusion: How So Little is Created by So Many Working So Hard,” hosted by AEI’s James Pethokoukis. Erikson argues that the declining pace of innovation in Western economies during the past few decades can be attributed to the increasing dominance of financial institutions over capitalists, corporate bureaucratization, globalization that reduces competition in certain markets, and restrictive, opaque regulations.

Erikson and Weigel are joined by AEI’s James Pethokoukis and George Mason University’s Tyler Cowen in a panel discussion. Dr. Cowen argues that even though economic growth has slowed, there is more invisible innovation in society. The discussion is moderated by AEI’s Stan Veuger.

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In this AEI Events Podcast, AEI’s Tim Carney hosts a panel discussion regarding whether obtaining medical care from trained health care professionals who are not doctors, such as nurses and nurse practitioners, could drive down costs. The panel of economists and medical professionals discuss this issue of regulation, safety, and economic opportunity, and conclude with a discussion of the role for new innovations, such as telemedicine, in the future of health care.

Panelists include Benedic N. Ippolito (AEI), Cindy Cooke (American Association of Nurse Practitioners, and R. Shawn Martin (American Academy of Family Physicians).

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In this AEI Events Podcast, a panel of experts gather to discuss the role of government in medical innovation. AEI’s Thomas Peter Stossel begins with an overview of the eras of medical innovation. He describes the current environment and discussed how the value gained from medical innovation has changed over the past century.

In the following panel conversation, leading health and science experts discuss the role of National Institutes of Health funding, the future of academic bioscience, the recent crisis in quality of scientific work, and the future of medial innovation. Panelists include Jeffrey Flier (Harvard University), Daniel Sarewitz (Arizona State University), Frances Visco (National Breast Cancer Coalition), and Mary Woolley (Research!America). The discussion is moderated by Thomas Peter Stossel (AEI).

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Some weeks or months ago, we discussed the differences between virtual reality and augmented reality. Microsoft hopes to break open the latter market with their HoloLens device. In this advertisement, you can see how various businesses have partnered with Microsoft to incorporate augmented reality into their work. More

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Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. Is European Medicine Possible without American Research?

 
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Bernie Sanders said during the debate that he wants to give America a Scandinavian-style medical care system.

As my Scandinavian and Italian relatives attest, medical care in Denmark and Italy is comparatively easy to access, inexpensive, and excellent. My niece received splendid care for a concussion and shattered ankle in Rome, and my uncle only had to pay for a $25 fee to get a copy of her records transferred to her doctors back home.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Why Tech Thrives

 

shutterstock_55125244A friend, an economist at a big-time university, sends along the following materials, asking, impishly, “Is there a pattern here?” First, from the United States, in “Conversations with Tyler”:

TYLER COWEN: Let’s start with some questions about stagnation, Peter. At any point, if you care to add other topics of your own, please do so. You’re well known for arguing, well, “they promised us flying cars and all we got is 140 characters”; “technological progress has slowed down.” How is it you think that we’re most likely to get out of the great stagnation, when that happens?

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