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Modern Views on Invention

  • John Jewkes
  • David Sawers
  • Richard Stillerman

Abstract

There is one type of mind which finds it tempting to stress the contrast between the world of today and that of yesterday and to think of change as a series of big fresh starts: there is another type congenitally disposed to believe that there is nothing new under the sun, that all that has been said and done has happened before. As between these two extremes, both likely to give a distorted perspective, there can be little doubt that the greater part of modern writing about invention and technical progress strongly inclines to the view that we live in a new world in which thinking of the present or the future in terms of past experience is largely irrelevant, and that our ideas must be recast and our institutions reformed to fit fresh surroundings. Social scientists are now tending to speak with more confidence about the scale on which inventions will be made and the sources from which they will arise. There have, indeed, been some odd switches of thought since the end of the First World War. In the early 1930’s it was widely believed that technical progress would normally be so swift and disturbing that a high level of ‘technological’ unemployment would be usual and inevitable.

Keywords

Nineteenth Century Technical Progress Modern View Individual Inventor Flickering Light 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© John Jewkes, David Sawers and Richard Stillerman 1969

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Jewkes
  • David Sawers
  • Richard Stillerman

There are no affiliations available

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