Professor Seshadri Ramkumar from Texas Tech University has reported that, Matthew Ridley, a Conservative hereditary peer in the United Kingdom’s House of Lords visited Lubbock by the second week of November to lecture in Texas Tech’s Free Market Institute lecture series. While talking about his book, “The Rational Optimist,” he provided many tips about innovation and technological growth.
Rising a question, why innovation comes from humans and not rabbits, Lord Ridley presented interesting facts about innovation and technological growth. Although, there can be no one set model or prescription for technological development, some points are worth knowing, to aide innovation and growth.
Technology output is always a combination of many technologies such as computer technology involving hardware and software components. He cited PillCam Colon Capsule as a classical example of mingling of the minds of gastroenterologist, imaging and manufacturing technologists.
Innovation is “trial and error.” Invention is simultaneously, as with the case of 23 inventors coming up with the light bulb concept such as Joseph Swan from the UK, but it was Thomas Edison from the United States, who commercialized the concept first before other inventors.
Technological growth is normally gradual, but progress in technology is unstoppable. Supporting free market concept, in answering a question from this scribe on Brexit, he pointed that he favors Brexit as it will enable more global trade outside the EU framework.
According to Ridley an important activity that happened during the years 1750 and 1850 was many countries became richer which has laid the foundation for technological growth. Lord Ridley’s lecture concluded that market always leads in innovation and governments play the catch-up game.