Fifty Things that Made the Modern Economy


Based on the series produced for the BBC World ServiceWho thought up paper money? How did the contraceptive pill change the face of the legal profession? Why was the horse collar as important for human progress as the steam engine? How did the humble spreadsheet turn the world of finance upside-down?The world economy defies comprehension. A continuously-changing system of immense complexity, it offers over ten billion distinct products and services, doubles in size every fifteen years, and links almost every one of the planet’s seven billion people. It delivers astonishing luxury to hundreds of millions. It also leaves hundreds of millions behind, puts tremendous strains on the ecosystem, and has an alarming habit of stalling. Nobody is in charge of it. Indeed, no individual understands more than a fraction of what’s going on. How can we make sense of this bewildering system on which our lives depend?From the tally-stick to Bitcoin, the canal lock to the jumbo jet, each invention in Tim Harford’s fascinating new book has its own curious, surprising and memorable story, a vignette against a grand backdrop. Step by step, readers will start to understand where we are, how we got here, and where we might be going next.Hidden connections will be laid bare: how the barcode undermined family corner shops; why the gramophone widened inequality; how barbed wire shaped America. We’ll meet the characters who developed some of these inventions, profited from them, or were ruined by them. We’ll trace the economic principles that help to explain their transformative effects. And we’ll ask what lessons we can learn to make wise use of future inventions, in a world where the pace of innovation will only accelerate.

Amazon.co.uk Price: £6.49 (as of 13/05/2021 00:04 PST- Details)

Based mostly on the sequence produced for the BBC World ServiceWho thought up paper cash? How did the contraceptive capsule change the face of the authorized occupation? Why was the horse collar as necessary for human progress because the steam engine? How did the standard spreadsheet flip the world of finance upside-down?The world financial system defies comprehension. A continuously-changing system of immense complexity, it affords over ten billion distinct services, doubles in measurement each fifteen years, and hyperlinks nearly each one of many planet’s seven billion individuals. It delivers astonishing luxurious to a whole lot of thousands and thousands. It additionally leaves a whole lot of thousands and thousands behind, places great strains on the ecosystem, and has an alarming behavior of stalling. No one is in command of it. Certainly, no particular person understands greater than a fraction of what is going on on. How can we make sense of this bewildering system on which our lives rely?From the tally-stick to Bitcoin, the canal lock to the jumbo jet, every invention in Tim Harford’s fascinating new ebook has its personal curious, stunning and memorable story, a vignette towards a grand backdrop. Step-by-step, readers will begin to perceive the place we’re, how we bought right here, and the place we may be going subsequent.Hidden connections will likely be laid naked: how the barcode undermined household nook retailers; why the gramophone widened inequality; how barbed wire formed America. We’ll meet the characters who developed a few of these innovations, profited from them, or had been ruined by them. We’ll hint the financial ideas that assist to clarify their transformative results. And we’ll ask what classes we will study to make sensible use of future innovations, in a world the place the tempo of innovation will solely speed up.

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