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Free Solo and Economic Growth (essay)


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I enjoyed this essay:




The abilities of modern day rock climbers are far beyond those of just a generation ago. [...] Why wasn't it done long before? There is essentially no technology involved. Ok, a bit. Alex is wearing modern climbing boots, which have very sticky rubber. But that's it [...]


Once a piece of knowledge is produced it is in society's interest to pass it on as quickly as possible. [...]


The size of the group and the cost of transmitting information The key insight of modern growth theory is that, as a result of the process described above, the larger the group studying any problem, the faster knowledge advances. If 1000 people are figuring out how to climb, and each of their good ideas disseminates through the group, each member of the group gets to use new ideas more quickly than if there are 100 people doing it.  [...]


The size of the group is limited also by its ability to communicate. I locate the beginning of growth and science with Gutenberg. [...]


Which gives me hope, in the end, for growth. We just unleashed a reduction in the cost of communication larger than Gutenberg created.

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