Why Information Grows

Why Information Grows

The Evolution of Order, From Atoms to Economies

Book - 2015
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"Why do some nations prosper while others do not? Economists usually turn to measures such as gross domestic product or per capita income to answer this question, but interdisciplinary theorist Cesar Hidalgo argues that we can learn more by measuring a country's ability to make complex products. In Why Information Grows, Hidalgo combines the seemingly disparate fields of economic development and physics to present this new rubric for economic growth. He believes that we should investigate what makes some countries more capable than others. Complex products-from films to robots, apps to automobiles-are a physical distillation of an economy's knowledge, a measurable embodiment of its education, infrastructure, and capability. Economic wealth accrues when applications of this knowledge turn ideas into tangible products; the more complex its products, the more economic growth a country will experience. A radical new interpretation of global economics, Why Information Grows overturns traditional assumptions about the development of economies and the origins of wealth and takes a crucial step toward making economics less the dismal science and more the insightful one. "-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Basic Books, [2015]
ISBN: 9780465048991
Characteristics: xxi, 232 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm


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Feb 18, 2016

This book began well and kept getting better and better. The Epilogue and the unconventional Acknowledgements (which relates how the book kept changing as it was written) are worth the "price" of the book, but I am certain that they have that intellectual value only after one has read the book, chapter-by-chapter. The three key ideas, answering the question of the origins of physical order (whether natural or manmade) are: the spontaneous emergence of information in out--of-equilibrium systems, the accumulation of information [i.e., order] in solids, and the co-evolved ability of matter to compute -- not what one would expect in a book that is ostensibly about economics. Those interested in complexity and chaos will find this to be a mind-opening addition to their thoughts.


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