“The Human Invention was Exchange”

Excellent blog post by Matt Ridley: Frog Design: When Ideas Have Sex

“The hand axe represents a technology that did not change for a million years; it evolved slower than the human skeleton. The mouse will be obsolete in a few years. The axe consists of a single, natural substance. The mouse is a complex confection of metals, semiconductors, plastics, and lasers. The axe was made by a single individual. The mouse was made by thousands—perhaps millions—of people, each of whom played a small role in realizing the whole….

“…And yet, it is the mouse, not the hand axe, that is the key to understanding why human beings dominate the planet and why there has been such explosive prosperity and progress over the past 100,000 years. The knowledge of how to make the mouse—and so many other modern-day products—transcends the limitations of the human brain.”


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