In The Nature of Technology, ground-breaking economist W. Brian Arthur explores the extraordinary way in which the technology that surrounds us and allows us to live our modern lives has actually been developed. Rather than coming from a series of one-off inventions, almost all the technology we use today comes from previous developments: these technologies are not being created, but are instead evolving.
With fascinating examples, from laser printers to powerplants, Arthur reveals how our own problem-solving skills and creative vision can evolve alongside these technologies, and how this understanding can even improve our understanding of the wider world.
W. Brian Arthur's ideas have won him a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1987 and the Schumpeter Prize in Economics in 1990. He pioneered the modern study of positive feedbacks in the economy - in particular their role in magnifying small, random events. He is also one of the pioneers of the new science of complexity. He is an External Faculty Member at the Santa Fe Institute and from 1983 to 1996 was Dean and Virginia Morrison Professor of Economics and Population Studies at Stanford University. He holds a Ph.D. from Berkeley in Operations Research, and has other degrees in economics, engineering and mathematics.