What Did The Invention Of The? `` Free Lunch? Essay

What Did The Invention Of The? `` Free Lunch? Essay

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In the introduction Mokyr supports the idea of “‘free lunch,’” that is, an increase in output that is not commensurate with the increase in effort and cost necessary to bring it about.”1 He believes that four processes work together to make economic advances; investment, trade, the correct amount of population growth and technological innovations, and he chooses to focus solely on technological advances. There is a “residual” part of economics that cannot be explained by a certain event in time or innovation that was made, it was simply an advance that would be called “free lunch.”2 Francis Bacon actually thought that there were two separate types of invention, one that could have been made any time in history and one that had to happened at a certain time in history due to previous innovations that had to happen first. Invention was almost irrelevant to the progress of economics, while innovation was important. Innovation was the “application of old knowledge,” while invention was the creation of “new knowledge,” but both are actually needed for a country to flourish, one cannot go without the other.3 Economist can make predicts and state ideas of why certain societies flourish in technology, but there is no one answer that is correct because it varies with each society. Innovation and invention has components that make them complementary to each other, such as; the environment and the social status. Inventions can be made in one society but may need to be altered and innovated to be used in another society. There are certain conditions that Mokyr sets up to why a society can possible be technologically advanced. There must be an abundance of innovators that must accept the physical environment and make improvements to reflect th...


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... brakes. Along with the innovations made on the stagecoaches came the creation of an international postal system. Mokyr also termed this period to be “the age of exposure effects,” due to the importing of a lot of technology, such as many different crops. The “Mathematicians and engineers discovered that they needed each other,” because the production of material to improve mathematics was proving to be too expensive. Mass production came shortly after Galileo and the discovery that “his theory of mechanics and concept of force lies at the basis of all machines.”21 The production continued to be centered in the city, until the Reformation and Counter-Reformation created wars that destroyed major production sites. This combined with the government laws and rules pushed production into the countryside where it was cheaper labor and less laws inhibiting the production.

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