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A liberal education is now more useful than job-specific skills

Technology has made it less important to know, and more important to know what is known. That is why the widespread belief that education should be focused more on the acquisition of job-specific knowledge is especially misconceived in the 21st century.

Look at home to find the efficiency gains from recent technological innovation

The technological changes that have occurred in the past decade have, from an economic perspective, increased at virtually no cost the efficiency of household production. Trying to account for this kind of development is the considerable challenge being undertaken by Sir Charles Bean’s review of the UK’s national statistics.

Why do we welcome innovation to products more readily than to processes?

Children love to play with new toys but hate disruption to their routines. These traits persist in adult life: innovation is readily adopted when it is incorporated in new gadgets but innovation that involves doing things differently is resisted. There are understandable reasons for this.

Technology’s crystal ball offers only a hazy view of the future

Knowledge is more than additive. What we learn when we bring two bodies of knowledge together may be much more than the sum of each alone.

When capitalism and corporate self-interest collide

Adam Smith had not imagined a world in which the Wealth of Nations would cross the world digitally at the click of a mouse. Nor had he envisaged one in which legislation would be drafted by paid lobbyists.

Google’s books drive needs a wider debate

Digital media is the future and two decades from now the book business will look very different.

Innovation is not about wearing a white coat

Like all business success, innovative success is based on matching capabilities to market.