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The Connected Company by Dave Gray, Thomas Vander Wal

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A Pattern Language, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, Atul Gawande, Berlin Wall, business process, call centre, Clayton Christensen, complexity theory, en.wikipedia.org, factory automation, Googley, index card, interchangeable parts, inventory management, Jeff Bezos, Kevin Kelly, loose coupling, market design, minimum viable product, more computing power than Apollo, profit maximization, Richard Florida, self-driving car, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, software as a service, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tony Hsieh, Toyota Production System, Vanguard fund, web application, WikiLeaks, Zipcar

., Service-Dominant Logic M machines, The Company as a Machine–Closed and Open Systems, The Company as a Machine, The Company as a Machine, Closed and Open Systems, Closed and Open Systems, Closed and Open Systems as closed systems, Closed and Open Systems companies as, The Company as a Machine–Closed and Open Systems, The Company as a Machine, Closed and Open Systems, Closed and Open Systems purpose of, The Company as a Machine Mackey, John, It Takes Trust to Build Relationships Mailchimp (company), Strategy by Discovery management, Leading from the Edge, Managing the connected company, Management is a Support System, Designing the System–Rely on Peer-to-Peer Reinforcement Whenever Possible, Balance the Individual Freedom with the Common Good, Build Slack into Central Resources to Ensure Availability, Rely on Peer-to-Peer Reinforcement Whenever Possible, Rely on Peer-to-Peer Reinforcement Whenever Possible, Operating the System, Critical Values in Complex Adaptive Systems, Symptoms, Tuning the System–The Job of Managers, Tuning the System, Information Transparency, Density, Rate of Flow, Structural Change, The Job of Managers, The Job of Managers, The Job of Managers as support system, Management is a Support System designing system for, Designing the System–Rely on Peer-to-Peer Reinforcement Whenever Possible, Balance the Individual Freedom with the Common Good, Build Slack into Central Resources to Ensure Availability, Rely on Peer-to-Peer Reinforcement Whenever Possible, Rely on Peer-to-Peer Reinforcement Whenever Possible leadership versus, Leading from the Edge operating the system, Operating the System, Critical Values in Complex Adaptive Systems, Symptoms, Tuning the System purpose of, Managing the connected company role of, The Job of Managers tuning the system, Tuning the System–The Job of Managers, Information Transparency, Density, Rate of Flow, Structural Change, The Job of Managers, The Job of Managers maneuver warfare, Three Types of Strategy Marriott International, Connecting an Internal Group at Marriott–Connecting an Internal Group at Marriott, Connecting an Internal Group at Marriott mass marketing, product saturation and, An Age of Abundance–An Age of Abundance, An Age of Abundance, An Age of Abundance mass production, Interchangeable Parts–Conflicting Constraints Lead to Rigidity, Interchangeable Parts, Conflicting Constraints Lead to Rigidity standardization and, Interchangeable Parts–Conflicting Constraints Lead to Rigidity, Interchangeable Parts, Conflicting Constraints Lead to Rigidity Maverick (Semler), Democratic Management at Semco McCarthy, Patrick D., Freedom to Experiment, The Nordstrom Way McDonald’s (company), Reducing Variety–Absorbing Variety, Reducing Variety, Absorbing Variety, Support–Balancing the Needs of Constituents, Balancing the Needs of Constituents reducing variety, Reducing Variety–Absorbing Variety, Reducing Variety, Absorbing Variety support structure, Support–Balancing the Needs of Constituents, Balancing the Needs of Constituents McIntyre, Tim, Cascading Effects Can be Initiated by Employees McKelvey, Bill, The Red Queen Race, Adaptive Tensions Microsoft Corporation, What is a Platform?

Smith, Adam, Dividing Work, Attractors Smith, Greg, Failure of Purpose SOA (Service-Oriented Architecture), Standards Sony, Purpose Sets the Context for Organizations to Learn, Over-Controlling the Platform SOPA (Stop Online Privacy Act), Adaptive Moves Can Create Opportunities for Others Southwest Airlines, Balancing Promise, Purpose, and Performance, Freedom to Experiment, Not Enough Autonomy Spector, Robert, Freedom to Experiment, The Nordstrom Way standards and standardization, Interchangeable Parts–Conflicting Constraints Lead to Rigidity, Conflicting Constraints Lead to Rigidity, Reducing Variety, Reducing Variety, Loose Coupling customers resisting, Reducing Variety interchangeable parts, Interchangeable Parts–Conflicting Constraints Lead to Rigidity, Conflicting Constraints Lead to Rigidity loose coupling and, Loose Coupling reducing variety by, Reducing Variety Starbucks (company), A Wake-up Call at Starbucks, A Wake-up Call at Starbucks, Something’s Happening Here, Control confidential memo leak, A Wake-up Call at Starbucks, A Wake-up Call at Starbucks, Something’s Happening Here, Control Starkweather, Gary, How Xerox Missed the PC Revolution State Department, Power in the Network Stop Online Privacy Act (SOPA),, Adaptive Moves Can Create Opportunities for Others strategy, Let a Thousand Flowers Bloom, Let a Thousand Flowers Bloom–A Portfolio of Experiments, Let a Thousand Flowers Bloom, Let a Thousand Flowers Bloom, A Portfolio of Experiments–Be Connectable to Everything, A Portfolio of Experiments, Big Bets: The Responsibility of Senior Leaders, Big Bets: The Responsibility of Senior Leaders–Be Connectable to Everything, Be Connectable to Everything, Be Connectable to Everything, Strategy by Discovery, Strategy by Discovery–Strategy by Discovery, Strategy by Discovery, Strategy by Discovery, Strategy by Discovery, Leading from the Edge–People First, People First, People First, Moral Authority being connectable, Big Bets: The Responsibility of Senior Leaders–Be Connectable to Everything, Be Connectable to Everything by discovery, Strategy by Discovery–Strategy by Discovery, Strategy by Discovery, Strategy by Discovery deliberate, Let a Thousand Flowers Bloom–A Portfolio of Experiments, A Portfolio of Experiments emergent, Let a Thousand Flowers Bloom, Let a Thousand Flowers Bloom, Strategy by Discovery, Strategy by Discovery evolving nature of, Let a Thousand Flowers Bloom for leading connected companies, Leading from the Edge–People First, People First, People First Golden Rule, Moral Authority portfolio of experiments, A Portfolio of Experiments–Be Connectable to Everything, Big Bets: The Responsibility of Senior Leaders, Be Connectable to Everything strategy decay, Strategies Don’t Last Forever strong ties, Small Worlds structural change, Structural change is necessary–Conflicting Constraints Lead to Rigidity, Conflicting Constraints Lead to Rigidity, Conflicting Constraints Lead to Rigidity, Conflicting Constraints Lead to Rigidity, Conflicting Constraints Lead to Rigidity successive approximation process, The Growth Spiral systems of systems, The Complexity Issue T Tabas, Lindsay, Balancing the Front Stage and the Back Stage tacit knowledge, Tacit and Explicit Knowledge–Learning Fields, Tacit and Explicit Knowledge, Learning Fields Target (retail stores), Every Adaptive Move by One Organization Affects Others, Net Promoter at Apple Taylor, Andy, Net Promoter at Enterprise Taylor, Bob, Cascading Effects Can be Initiated by Customers Taylor, Frederick, The Company as a Machine TED Airline, Not Enough Autonomy temperature of companies, Critical Values in Complex Adaptive Systems–Symptoms, Symptoms, Symptoms Tesler, Larry, How Xerox Missed the PC Revolution The Boy Genius Report blog, Cascading Effects Can be Initiated by Senior Executives The Elastic Enterprise (Vitari and Shaughnessy), Be Connectable to Everything The Future of Management (Hamel), Diversity Matters, It Won’t be Easy The Ghost in the Machine (Koestler), The Parable of the Watchmakers The Great Reset (Florida), The Great Reset The Living Company (de Geus), The Long-lived Company The Nordstrom Way (Spector and McCarthy), Freedom to Experiment, The Nordstrom Way The Origin of Wealth (Beinhocker), Let a Thousand Flowers Bloom The Power of Pull (Hagel and Brown), Return on Assets is Dwindling The Service Profit Chain (Heskett and Sasser), Purpose Sets the Context for Organizations to Learn, Too Much Autonomy The Seven-Day Weekend (Semler), Democratic Management at Semco The Ultimate Question (Reichheld), How Profits Can Destroy Your Company Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, Cascading Effects Can be Initiated by Customers Thompson, Gav, Disrupting Full-Service Telecom at O2 thou shalt not platform, Governance tight coupling, Service Contracts, Most Companies are Not Built for Agility about, Service Contracts train on track example, Most Companies are Not Built for Agility tipping point, We are Reaching a Complexity Tipping Point, Strategy by Discovery, Build Slack into Central Resources to Ensure Availability for complexity, We are Reaching a Complexity Tipping Point for emergent strategy, Strategy by Discovery for utilization of resources, Build Slack into Central Resources to Ensure Availability top-down, leader-driven change, Top-Down, Leader-Driven Change–Launch a Pilot Pod to Shift to a New Business Model, Top-Down, Leader-Driven Change, Common Threads, Pilot Pods, Launch a Pilot Pod to Shift to a New Business Model Torvalds, Linus, What is a Platform?

In addition, although dividing work may make the system more efficient, by dividing work into ever-more specialized tasks, we also disconnect people from the meaning and purpose of what they are doing. From their small, constrained box, people can’t see the big picture, so they must make decisions and act with a very limited perspective. Interchangeable Parts Another core idea from the age of the industrial revolution is the concept of interchangeable parts. Standardization does make it easier to mass-produce quality products. We run into problems, though, when we try to apply standards to things that inherently have a high degree of variety—for example, a customer service call. Customer problems come in all shapes and sizes, and even problems that might seem very similar on the surface can be subject to a lot of variability based on the context.

 

pages: 456 words: 123,534

The Dawn of Innovation: The First American Industrial Revolution by Charles R. Morris

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air freight, British Empire, business process, California gold rush, clean water, colonial exploitation, computer age, Dava Sobel, en.wikipedia.org, glass ceiling, hiring and firing, if you build it, they will come, interchangeable parts, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, John Harrison: Longitude, joint-stock company, lone genius, manufacturing employment, new economy, New Urbanism, On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures, purchasing power parity, QWERTY keyboard, refrigerator car, Robert Gordon, spinning jenny, Stephen Hawking, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, transcontinental railway, traveling salesman

The traditional source for the story that he claimed to manufacture interchangeable parts appears to be itself a partial fabrication.6 While he did have a rocky start on his first musket contract, so did many other contractors. The current consensus is that Whitney was quite a competent manufacturer and one of the earliest advocates for mass production by machinery, if not expressly for interchangeable parts—in short, a respectable figure, if not the demigod of legend. My own view is that in his early career Whitney was indeed something of a flimflam man; some recent work even raises doubts as to whether he invented his cotton gin (see Appendix). And I think the record supports the charge that he dangled the promise of machined interchangeable parts to gain extensions on his contracts. But it’s also true that he was a talented artisan and entrepreneur, and once he focused on actually building his weapons—about 1805, when he turned forty—he proved himself to be a good manufacturer and was regarded as such by his peers and armory officials.

Eli Whitney’s Reputational Thrill Ride For a century and a half after his death, Eli Whitney was virtually canonized as the Father of American Technology. According to the traditional story, Whitney was the inventor of the cotton gin, which transformed the antebellum South (and unfortunately reinvigorated the institution of slavery); he was the first person to machine-produce precisely fitting interchangeable parts for muskets and was the inventor of critical new machine tools, like the celebrated Whitney milling machine. The Whitney role in military manufacturing came under withering challenge in the 1960s. The revisionists charged that Whitney’s pretension to making arms with interchangeable parts was merely a ploy to justify extensions of his contracts. Indeed, he had little idea of how to manufacture muskets at all, much less how to blaze new trails in making them. He was unconscionably late in fulfilling his arms contract, in part because he spent so much of his time pursuing his cotton gin profits.5 That harsh view of Whitney as manufacturer has moderated considerably in recent years.

The practical methodologies evolved over many years, and the most important armory contribution came from John Hall, a gunsmith from Portland, Maine, and inventor of the Hall rifle. Mastering the interchangeability challenge was not part of Hall’s original business strategy. Rather, in the manner of Eli Whitney, when he was anxious to retain a much-needed government contract, he promised he would produce machine-made rifles with interchangeable parts—but he really did it.69 John Hall was born into an upper-middle-class family during the waning days of the Revolution. After his father’s death, he opened a woodworking and boat-building business, married into a politically connected family, and had a very close marriage with seven children. A stint in his state militia sparked a fascination with firearms, and he switched his business to gun making.

 

pages: 387 words: 110,820

Cheap: The High Cost of Discount Culture by Ellen Ruppel Shell

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barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, big-box store, cognitive dissonance, computer age, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, delayed gratification, deskilling, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, fear of failure, Ford paid five dollars a day, Frederick Winslow Taylor, George Akerlof, global supply chain, global village, greed is good, Howard Zinn, income inequality, interchangeable parts, inventory management, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Joseph Schumpeter, Just-in-time delivery, knowledge economy, loss aversion, market design, means of production, mental accounting, Ponzi scheme, price anchoring, price discrimination, race to the bottom, Richard Thaler, Ronald Reagan, side project, Steve Jobs, The Market for Lemons, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, trade liberalization, traveling salesman, ultimatum game, Victor Gruen, washing machines reduced drudgery, working poor, yield management

He desperately needed the gun-making contract but was so distracted by ensuing litigation that he neglected to pay much attention to the enterprise. A tireless self-promoter, he managed to take and get credit for being the first to mechanize gun manufacture through the use of interchangeable parts, a distinction for which he is known to this day. Unfortunately for schoolchildren everywhere, this distinction was unearned. As one scholar put it, “Except for Whitney’s ability to sell an undeveloped idea, little remains of his title as father of mass production.” The real hero here was Simeon North, a steady and humble maker of scythes and other small agricultural implements who pioneered both interchangeable parts and its corollary, mass production. Using a manufacturing technique that would later be linked to efficiency expert Frederick Winslow Taylor, North broke down the gun-building process into a series of basic tasks and distributed the work among a group of semiskilled laborers.

This “de-skilling” of the gun-making process transformed gun smithing from a masterly craft to a well orchestrated routine, thereby growing efficiencies well beyond expectations. North not only fulfilled the terms of his contract within his deadline, but was awarded another one to produce an additional twenty thousand pistols, the components of which were “to correspond so exactly that any limb or part of one pistol may be fitted to any other pistol of the twenty thousand.” The first contract known to stipulate interchangeable parts, it was a resounding step in the inexorable march toward low price. WHITNEY’S FAMOUS GIN, though not the font of mass production he claimed, nonetheless played a critical role in lowering the price of textiles. The gin separated cotton fiber from seed, cleaning more cotton in minutes than a battalion of humans could in a day. With the adaptation of James Watt’s steam engine as a power source, cotton cleaning became almost entirely mechanized, and within a few years of the gin’s patenting in 1774, the blizzard of cotton fiber spread beyond New England’s booming textile industry to Europe and as far away as Russia.

“Old Man,” high/low pricing Hitchcock, Alfred H & M home construction Home Depot Home Shopping Network Homo economicus economic model hotel industry Hounshell, David Household Registration Law (China) Hu Jindou Hull, Brent Humphrey-Hawkins Act Humpty Dumpty hyperbolic time discounting IKEA advertising by alliances with not-for-profits bookcase catalog designing to price de-skilling of labor flat packing forestry industry and number and location of stores suppliers to illusion of objectivity imports Chinese (See China) Japanese and Asian, in 1960s, markdowns of shrimp income declines in real income, early 2000s, post-World War II boom years income taxes, under Eisenhower and Kennedy India inelastic goods and services inflation of 1970s, CPI, in 2007-2008, Feds targeting of employment to fight during World War II, Ingka Holding innovation In Search of Excellence (Peters) instant rebates insula interchangeable parts International Herald Tribune inventory management iPhone iPod Ireland Irish potato famine “Is This the Worlds Cheapest Dress . . .” (Wilson) J. C. Penney Japanese imports John Wanamaker & Co. Jones, Lee Jonze, Spike Jordan, Julie Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science just-in-time distribution K. B. Toy Outlet Kahneman, Daniel Kalish, Ira Kamprad, Ingvar Kanigel, Robert Kaufman’s Kennedy, John F.

 

Propaganda and the Public Mind by Noam Chomsky, David Barsamian

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Albert Einstein, Asian financial crisis, Bretton Woods, capital controls, deindustrialization, European colonialism, experimental subject, Howard Zinn, Hyman Minsky, interchangeable parts, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, Martin Wolf, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, school vouchers, Silicon Valley, structural adjustment programs, Thomas L Friedman, Tobin tax, Washington Consensus

Talking to people, I find an enormous amount of discontent with the HMOs, specifically on the issue of choice and limitations. You can only go to a specific doctor in a specific area. Sometimes that also means for a pregnancy you have to go to a hospital twenty miles away and not the one that’s two miles away. The HMOs are businesses. They’re going to maximize profit. If it turns out that they can do it the way you maximize profit in a factory, by standardization and regulation and interchangeable parts, and treating people like interchangeable parts in a machine, of course they’ll do that. Also, the HMOs have quite high costs, naturally. They’re private businesses. A lot of the money goes into things like advertising, overhead, and layer after layer of micromanagement. You have to manage the doctors. If a doctor wants to do something, he’s got to get approval from what the right likes to call “pointy-headed bureaucrats,” though the term is used only for government.

But to talk about the U.S. model as being one of rugged individualism and entrepreneurial skills, kept away from state interference —again, it’s hard to find words to describe it. Incidentally, this goes back to the origins of U.S. history. Take the American system of mass production, of manufacturing, the big new system in the nineteenth century. The basic ideas of that were worked out in places like the Springfield Armory, where they needed interchangeable parts and careful quality control. Then it was transferred into the private sector. In fact, the Reagan administration went far beyond just protecting American industry and pouring public funds into advanced technology. It also had to overcome U.S. management failures. In the 1970s, there was a lot of concern that incompetent management meant the United States was falling behind the Japanese particularly, but the Europeans, too.

 

pages: 261 words: 16,734

Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams by Tom Demarco, Timothy Lister

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A Pattern Language, cognitive dissonance, interchangeable parts, job satisfaction, knowledge worker, Parkinson's law, performance metric, skunkworks, supply-chain management, women in the workforce

Why People Leave For the individuals considering a change in job, the reasons can be as many and varied as the personalities involved. For the organization with pathologically high turnover (anything over 30 percent), a few reasons account for most departures: • A just-passing-through mentality: Co-workers engender no feelings of long-term involvement in the job. • A feeling of disposability: Management can only think of its workers as interchangeable parts (since turnover is so high, nobody is indispensable). • A sense that loyalty would be ludicrous: Who could be loyal to an organization that views its people as parts? The insidious effect here is that turnover engenders turnover. People leave quickly, so there’s no use spending money on training. Since the company has invested nothing in the individual, the individual thinks nothing of moving on.

Then there is the awful thought that a tightly knit team may leave en masse and take all of its energy and enthusiasm over to the competition. For all these reasons, the insecure manager is threatened by cliques. He or she would feel better working with a staff of uniform plastic people, identical, interchangeable, and unbonded. The jelled work group may be cocky and self-sufficient, irritating and exclusive, but it does more to serve the manager’s real goals than any assemblage of interchangeable parts could ever do. 22. The Black Team The value of jelled teams will be obvious to you if you have already had the enjoyable experience of working on one. But just in case you haven’t, this chapter is intended to give you some sense of what they’re like. Presented below is the story of a legendary team that began to make its mark in the 1960s. Some of the lore of this team must surely be exaggerated, but it makes a good yarn, and at least most of it is true.

 

pages: 238 words: 73,824

Makers by Chris Anderson

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3D printing, Airbnb, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Apple II, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Buckminster Fuller, Build a better mousetrap, business process, crowdsourcing, dark matter, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, death of newspapers, dematerialisation, Elon Musk, factory automation, Firefox, future of work, global supply chain, global village, industrial robot, interchangeable parts, Internet of things, inventory management, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, Menlo Park, Network effects, profit maximization, race to the bottom, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Ronald Coase, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, slashdot, South of Market, San Francisco, spinning jenny, Startup school, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, The Nature of the Firm, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, Whole Earth Catalog, X Prize, Y Combinator

The invention of the Bessemer process for making steel in large quantities in the 1860s led to mass production of metal goods and eventually the assembly line. Combined with the rise of the chemical industries, petroleum refining, and the internal combustion engine and electrification, this next phase of manufacturing transformation is called by many historians the “Second Industrial Revolution.” They place it from 1850 to around the end of World War I, which includes Henry Ford’s Model-T assembly line, with its innovations of stockpiles of interchangeable parts and the use of conveyer belts, where products being produced moved to stationary workers (who each did a single task), rather than the other way around. Today, in a fully industrialized economy, we forget just how much the First and Second Industrial Revolutions changed society. We talk in terms of productivity enhancements, but consider what that means in terms of people’s lives. When we moved from hunter-gatherers to farmers, one person could feed many.

What BrickArms and its kin represent are examples of Maker business targeting niche markets, which are often underserved by traditional mass manufacturing. One of the triumphs of the twentieth-century manufacturing model was that it was optimized for scale. But this was also, at least from a twenty-first-century perspective, a liability. Henry Ford’s powerful mass-production methods of standardized interchangeable parts, assembly lines, and routinized jobs created unbeatable economics and brought high-quality goods to the common consumer. But they were also tyrannical—“any color you want as long as it’s black”—and inflexible. The price differences between small-batch and big-batch products were so great that most buyers could have either affordable products or wide choice, but not both—cheap, mass-produced products beat variety every time.

 

pages: 271 words: 77,448

Humans Are Underrated: What High Achievers Know That Brilliant Machines Never Will by Geoff Colvin

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Ada Lovelace, autonomous vehicles, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Black Swan, call centre, capital asset pricing model, computer age, corporate governance, deskilling, en.wikipedia.org, Freestyle chess, future of work, Google Glasses, Grace Hopper, industrial robot, interchangeable parts, job automation, knowledge worker, low skilled workers, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Narrative Science, new economy, rising living standards, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, theory of mind, Tim Cook: Apple, transaction costs

In some settings nonrational behaviors can cause us considerable grief, but when a team is performing at high levels, it’s in large part because ancient instincts and powerful brain chemistry are asserting their towering dominance over puny rationality. WHY TEAMS NEED TIME As we’ve observed before, we humans are not machines. We don’t entirely make sense, and this sometimes baffling quirkiness is in fact understandable and key to our effectiveness and greatest value in the changing economy. In the context of teams, it means that individuals are not interchangeable parts. We do not all bring the same social skills, and group effectiveness depends on building up social capital between group members through earning trust and helping one another. It all takes time. An important implication of these findings is that since highly effective teams are rare and valuable, not easily or quickly replicated, keeping them together, once formed, is worth a lot. Exhibit A was Apple’s top team under Steve Jobs.

The explanation, say the researchers, is “a surgeon’s familiarity with critical assets of the hospital organization . . . which may be specific employees, team structures, or operating routines.” Surgery and piloting are activities guided by strict and elaborate protocols, and the people who do them must go through years of training and rigorous certifications. Airliner cockpits and operating rooms would thus seem to be the settings in which people are as close to being interchangeable parts as they could possibly be. Yet even there, social factors, which are entirely disregarded by all those regulations and protocols, turn out to be critically important. The difference between teams whose members have learned over time how to work well together—who have built up social capital among themselves—and teams whose members have not can be literally the difference between life and death, just as it was on the savanna 100,000 years ago.

 

pages: 231 words: 72,656

A History of the World in 6 Glasses by Tom Standage

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Berlin Wall, British Empire, Colonization of Mars, Copley Medal, Edmond Halley, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, Eratosthenes, European colonialism, interchangeable parts, invention of agriculture, Isaac Newton, joint-stock company, laissez-faire capitalism, Lao Tzu, multiplanetary species, out of africa, South Sea Bubble, spice trade, spinning jenny, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, transatlantic slave trade

The preindustrial way to make something was for a craftsman to work on it from start to finish. The British industrial approach was to divide up the manufacturing process into several stages, passing each item from one stage to the next, and using laborsaving machines where possible. The American approach went even farther by separating manufacturing from assembly. Specialized machines were used to crank out large numbers of interchangeable parts, which were then assembled into finished products. This approach became known as the American system of manufactures, starting with guns, and then applied to sewing machines, bicycles, cars, and other products. It was the foundation of America's industrial might, since it made possible the mass production and mass marketing of consumer goods, which quickly became an integral part of the American way of life.

This included the apparatus and raw materials to generate the gas, two fountains to carbonate the water, a bottling machine, fifty gross of bottles, flavoring extracts, and colorings. Matthews's inventions were displayed at exhibitions and won awards around the world. They epitomized the American approach to mass production: Specialized machines handled each step of the process, the bottles and stoppers were standardized, interchangeable parts, and the resulting drink, produced cheaply in large quantities, had mass appeal. Indeed, soda water, produced on an industrial scale and consumed by rich and poor alike, seemed to capture something of the spirit of America itself. Writing in Harper's Weekly in 1891, the author and social commentator Mary Gay Humphreys observed that "the crowning merit of soda-water, and that which fits it to be the national drink, is its democracy.

 

pages: 429 words: 114,726

The Computer Boys Take Over: Computers, Programmers, and the Politics of Technical Expertise by Nathan L. Ensmenger

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barriers to entry, business process, Claude Shannon: information theory, computer age, deskilling, Firefox, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, Grace Hopper, informal economy, information retrieval, interchangeable parts, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, job satisfaction, John von Neumann, knowledge worker, loose coupling, new economy, Norbert Wiener, pattern recognition, performance metric, post-industrial society, Productivity paradox, RAND corporation, Robert Gordon, sorting algorithm, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, the market place, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thorstein Veblen, Turing machine, Von Neumann architecture, Y2K

Such tests were obviously not intended to evaluate the skills and abilities of experienced programmers; they were clearly tools for identifying the lowest common denominator among programmer talent. The explicit goal of testing programs at large employers like SDC was to reduce the overall level of skill among the programming workforce. By identifying the minimum level of aptitude required to be a competent programmer, SDC could reduce its dependence on individual programmers. It could construct a software factory out of the interchangeable parts produced by the impersonal and industrial processes of its aptitude test regimes. It is this last consequence of aptitude testing that is the most interesting and perplexing. Like all of the proposed solutions to the labor shortage in programming, aptitude testing also embodied certain assumptions about the nature of the underlying problem. At first glance, the continued emphasis that aptitude tests and personality profiles placed on innate ability and creativity appeared to have served the interests of programming professionals.

There is no single development, in either technology or in management technique, that by itself promises even one order-of-magnitude improvement in productivity, in reliability, in simplicity.54 Brook’s article provoked an immediate reaction, both positive and negative. The object-oriented programming (OOP) advocate Brad Cox insisted, for example, in his aptly titled “There Is a Silver Bullet,” that new techniques in OOP promised to bring about “a software industrial revolution based on reusable and interchangeable parts that will alter the software universe as surely as the industrial revolution changed manufacturing.”55 Whatever they might have believed about the possibility of such a silver bullet being developed in the future, though, most programmers and managers agreed that none existed in the present. In the late 1980s, almost three decades after the first high-level automatic programming systems were introduced, concern about the software crisis was greater than ever.

As early as 1962, in a RAND Corporation Symposium on Programming Languages, Jack Little lamented the tendency of manufacturers to design languages “for use by some sub-human species in order to get around training and having good programmers.”63 When the Department of Defense proposed ADA as a solution to yet another outbreak of the software crisis, it was trumpeted as a means of “replacing the idiosyncratic ‘artistic’ ethos that has long governed software writing with a more efficient, cost-effective engineering mind-set.”64 As was mentioned earlier, object-oriented programming enthusiasts advocate for “a software industrial revolution based on reusable and interchangeable parts that will alter the software universe as surely as the industrial revolution changed manufacturing.”65 Once again, the desirability of such a revolution, and its attendant implications for the character and quality of programming labor, is not universally recognized; witness the recent debate about outsourcing, which ties the history of the software crisis into a much larger and longer-running one about globalism, job protection, workers’ rights, and national identity.

 

pages: 675 words: 141,667

Open Standards and the Digital Age: History, Ideology, and Networks (Cambridge Studies in the Emergence of Global Enterprise) by Andrew L. Russell

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barriers to entry, borderless world, Chelsea Manning, computer age, Edward Snowden, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Hacker Ethic, Howard Rheingold, Hush-A-Phone, interchangeable parts, invisible hand, Joseph Schumpeter, means of production, Menlo Park, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, open economy, packet switching, pre–internet, RAND corporation, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Stallman, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Steve Crocker, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, Ted Nelson, The Nature of the Firm, Thomas L Friedman, Thorstein Veblen, transaction costs, web of trust

The “American System” and the Ideological Origins of Cooperation For much of the nineteenth century, standardization in American industry occurred in an ad hoc manner within individual firms. The “American system of manufactures” that was born in the federal armories relied on the use of interchangeable parts to facilitate faster and more efficient production. As mechanical engineers moved from the armories to firms that made other products, including machine tools, farm equipment, sewing machines, and bicycles, they brought with them techniques and tools that could mechanize production, which they hoped would make manufacturing more efficient and profitable. Some firms did not embrace interchangeable parts but nevertheless developed their own standard practices in custom and batch production to make products such as locomotives, furniture, and jewelry. On the whole, there was a great deal of variety in American industrial standardization in the early and mid-nineteenth century.

The Post Office Act of 1792 defined standard postage rates, procedures, and penalties for interfering with the mails, but Congress declined to create the organizational capabilities needed to set federal standards for weights, measures, and duties until well into the 1830s. Americans never pursued standardization with the level of coordination employed by governments in Western Europe. Instead, de facto standards for American industrial production emerged from the practices of interchangeable parts manufacturing in a variety of machine tool–based industries.13 Rather than depending on the federal government to coordinate economic activity, antebellum Americans were prolific formers of private voluntary organizations. Some of these groups, such as the Chicago Board of Trade and the New England Cotton Manufacturers’ Association, facilitated stable relationships among a wide variety of market participants.

 

pages: 436 words: 125,809

The Way of the Gun: A Bloody Journey Into the World of Firearms by Iain Overton

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air freight, airport security, back-to-the-land, British Empire, Chelsea Manning, clean water, Columbine, David Attenborough, Etonian, Ferguson, Missouri, gender pay gap, gun show loophole, illegal immigration, interchangeable parts, Julian Assange, knowledge economy, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, More Guns, Less Crime, offshore financial centre, Ronald Reagan, Y2K, Yom Kippur War

He had something to show them.3 Like many American engineers, Colt had travelled to an England entranced by the displays of the Great Exhibition, and it was there that he planned to show off his design.4 What he presented fascinated the crowd: an invention with interchangeable parts.5 It was the Navy Colt Revolver. What captured the greater imaginations of these straight-backed and high-browed engineers, though, was that 80 per cent of the gun had been made on machines: a revolutionary departure from crafted metal gun parts traditionally lathed by hand.6 By the time that Colt had finished talking, many in the room were won over to this way of mass production.7 The awards board presented Colt with the prestigious Telford Gold Medal, and already the use of this manufacturing process to make guns was spreading from the Connecticut River Valley, where the majority of American firearms were once made, across the US and beyond.8 This production method, defined by its extensive use of interchangeable parts and mechanisation to produce them, became known as the ‘American System’.

As Colt said on that day: ‘When a new piece is required, a duplicate can be supplied with greater accuracy and less expense, than could be done by the most skilful manual labour, or on active service a number of complete arms may be readily made up from portions of broken ones, picked up after an action.’ 6. http://gundesigndotorg.files.wordpress.com/2013/05/barbaraeldredge_missingthemoderngun.pdf 7. Mass production using interchangeable parts was actually first achieved in 1803 by Marc Isambard Brunel. But this method of working did not catch on in general manufacturing in Britain for many decades. 8. http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune_archive/2004/10/04/8186795/index.htm 9. http://www.remington.com/pages/our-company/company-history.aspx 10. Roy G. Jinks and Sandra C. Krein, Smith & Wesson (Mount Pleasant, SC: Arcadia Publishing, 2006), p. 9. 11. http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2013/12/23/mikhail-kalashnikovak47inventordeadat94.html; http://www.theglobalist.com/20-facts-mikhail-kalashnikov-ak-47/ 12. http://www.forbes.com/global/2003/0331/020.html 13.

 

pages: 286 words: 90,530

Richard Dawkins: How a Scientist Changed the Way We Think by Alan Grafen; Mark Ridley

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Alfred Russel Wallace, Arthur Eddington, bioinformatics, cognitive bias, computer age, conceptual framework, Dava Sobel, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, epigenetics, Fellow of the Royal Society, Haight Ashbury, interchangeable parts, Isaac Newton, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, John von Neumann, loose coupling, Murray Gell-Mann, Necker cube, phenotype, profit maximization, Ronald Reagan, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, the scientific method, theory of mind, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Yogi Berra

In the sexual solution, two entire genomes come together for some length of time, then separate into two new genomes after exchanging interchangeable parts with each new genome receiving one of each part. The genome is an ephemeral collective of many Dawkinsian genes, but the rules of Mendelian inheritance ensure that what is good for one part is good for all, at least for the time that the genes are temporarily associated. (I leave to one side the complexities that arise when the ‘rules’ are broken and there is conflict within the genome.) Neither the sexual nor the asexual solution seems to apply to most complex memetic ‘texts’. Ideas recombine freely to generate each new text and there is no well-defined exchange of interchangeable parts. One idea can be adopted from a text and the remainder abandoned. Therefore, the adaptations of memes will be adaptations for the good of the individual, rarely-recombining ideas.

 

pages: 385 words: 111,807

A Pelican Introduction Economics: A User's Guide by Ha-Joon Chang

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, banks create money, Berlin Wall, bilateral investment treaty, borderless world, Bretton Woods, British Empire, call centre, capital controls, central bank independence, collateralized debt obligation, colonial rule, Corn Laws, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, discovery of the americas, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, eurozone crisis, experimental economics, Fall of the Berlin Wall, falling living standards, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, George Akerlof, Gini coefficient, global value chain, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, Haber-Bosch Process, happiness index / gross national happiness, high net worth, income inequality, income per capita, interchangeable parts, interest rate swap, inventory management, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, laissez-faire capitalism, land reform, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, market clearing, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, means of production, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, Northern Rock, obamacare, offshore financial centre, oil shock, open borders, post-industrial society, precariat, principal–agent problem, profit maximization, profit motive, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, road to serfdom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, Scramble for Africa, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, sovereign wealth fund, spinning jenny, structural adjustment programs, The Great Moderation, The Market for Lemons, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, trade liberalization, transaction costs, transfer pricing, trickle-down economics, Washington Consensus, working-age population, World Values Survey

Unlike the technologies of the Industrial Revolution, which had been invented by practical men with good intuition, these new technologies were developed through the systematic application of scientific and engineering principles. This meant that, once something was invented, it could be replicated and improved upon very quickly. In addition, organization of the production process was revolutionized in many industries by the invention of the mass production system. The use of a moving assembly line (conveyor belt) and interchangeable parts dramatically lowered production costs. This system of production is the backbone (if not the entirety) of our production system today, despite frequent talks of its demise since the 1980s. New economic institutions emerge to deal with growing production scale, risk, and instability During its ‘high noon’, capitalism acquired the basic institutional shape that it has today – the limited liability company, bankruptcy law, the central bank, the welfare state, labour laws and so on.

By working with the suppliers to raise the quality of the parts they deliver (the so-called ‘zero defect movement’), it vastly reduces the need for rework and fine-tuning at the end of the assembly line which had plagued Fordist factories. It also uses machines that allow quick change-overs between different models (e.g., by allowing a quick exchange of dies) and thus can offer a much greater variety of products than the Fordist system does. Unlike the Fordist system, the Toyota system does not treat workers as interchangeable parts. It equips workers with multiple skills and allows them to exercise a lot of initiative in deciding work arrangements and suggesting minor technological improvements. Improvements thus generated are believed to have been crucial in establishing Japanese technological superiority in industries in which quality is important. Productive capabilities beyond the firm level are also very important Important as they are, improved technologies and better organizational skills at the firm level are not the only things that determine an economy’s productive capabilities.

 

pages: 353 words: 91,211

The Shock of the Old: Technology and Global History Since 1900 by David Edgerton

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agricultural Revolution, anti-communist, British Empire, conceptual framework, deglobalization, dematerialisation, desegregation, deskilling, global village, Haber-Bosch Process, interchangeable parts, knowledge economy, Mahatma Gandhi, manufacturing employment, means of production, megacity, microcredit, new economy, post-industrial society, Productivity paradox, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, spinning jenny, Upton Sinclair, urban planning, V2 rocket

The attractions of the early petrol car were that it could be used out of range and that it was amenable to a do-it-yourself maintenance culture. The latter was a factor in the relative decline of the electric car, except in some cases of centrally-controlled fleets.15 The Model T Ford, in production from 1908 to the late 1920s, easily out-produced all other cars in its time, and provides some particularly stark examples of the significance of maintenance. A key feature of the car was that it was made from interchangeable parts. This allowed the assembly to be carried out without fitters, and it also had implications for maintenance. Henry Ford himself noted that the Model T was designed for ease of maintenance; no special skill was required for repair or replacement: I believed then, although I said very little about it because of the novelty of the idea that it ought to be possible to have parts so simple and so inexpensive that the menace of expensive hand repair work would be entirely eliminated.

The tools used in this vast complex were rudimentary – there were hammers, spanners in incomplete sets, files and screwdrivers. Adjustable spanners did not last long; anvils were improvised.20 The number of machine tools in this vast complex was in single figures.21 The most elaborate tool in common use was the electric welding kit, which would be central to the manufacturing side of the magazine. How could such a place maintain and repair the products of an industry which was all interchangeable parts, precision engineering and elaborate maintenance manuals? The answer is that in some sense it did not – these magazines could not maintain such cars, lorries and buses so that they remained as they had been when made. There was a mismatch between the car or truck as new and the support infrastructure available. New, imported motor vehicles were degraded by accidents, shortages of lubricants and, importantly, lack of maintenance.

 

pages: 116 words: 32,712

Making a Killing: The Deadly Implications of the Counterfeit Drug Trade by Roger Bate

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global supply chain, interchangeable parts, RFID, supply-chain management

Other problems, from petty theft of drugs by nurses and doctors to widespread “leakage,” reveal myriad vast holes through which fake and substandard drugs enter middle-income and poor countries.9 Solutions to such problems may be rooted in reducing corruption in the public sector rather than attempting to combat fake drugs directly.10 Complex Supply Chains Encourage Fakes It stands to reason that any complex system with many interchangeable parts is especially susceptible to being breached—it has more vulnerabilities than a simpler system. This applies to the pharmaceutical supply chain. Having a secure source of sound drugs is no guarantee of safety if the supply chain is full of weaknesses and holes. Today’s supply chains offer many openings to counterfeiters, from diffuse and little-regulated wholesale systems in the United States and the EU to misguided trade barriers in developing countries.

 

Nuclear War and Environmental Catastrophe by Noam Chomksy

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British Empire, cuban missile crisis, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, energy security, Howard Zinn, interchangeable parts, invisible hand, Malacca Straits, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, South China Sea, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, University of East Anglia, uranium enrichment, WikiLeaks

China provides a support system for development of green technology.67 The United States does too, but a lot is for the support of military technology. That’s actually a change from the past, a regression from the past. The actual US economy since the colonies has relied quite substantially on government intervention. That goes right back to the earliest days of independence, and for advanced industry in the latter part of the nineteenth century. The American system of mass production, interchangeable parts, quality control, and so on—which kind of astonished the world—was largely designed in government armories. The railroad system, which was the biggest capital investment and, of course, extremely significant for economic development and expansion, was managed by the Army Corps of Engineers. It was too complicated for private business. Taylorism, the management technique that essentially turns workers into robots, came out of government and military production.

 

Programming Android by Zigurd Mednieks, Laird Dornin, G. Blake Meike, Masumi Nakamura

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anti-pattern, business process, conceptual framework, create, read, update, delete, database schema, Debian, domain-specific language, en.wikipedia.org, fault tolerance, Google Earth, interchangeable parts, iterative process, loose coupling, MVC pattern, revision control, RFID, web application

AVDs are configured by the SDK and AVD Manager, which sets parameters such as the size of emulated storage devices and screen dimensions, and which enables you to specify which Android system image will be used with which emulated device. AVDs enable you to test your software on a broader range of system characteristics than you are likely to be able to acquire and test on physical devices. Because QEMU-based hardware emulators, system images, and the parameters of AVDs are all interchangeable parts, you can even test devices and system images before hardware is available to run them. QEMU QEMU is the basis of AVDs. But QEMU is a very general tool that is used in a wide range of emulation systems outside the Android SDK. While you will configure QEMU indirectly, through the SDK and AVD Manager, you may someday need to tweak emulation in ways unsupported by the SDK tools, or you may be curious about the capabilities and limitations of QEMU.

Instead of relying on the user to directly start each application, the components themselves invoke one another to perform interactions on behalf of the user. Activities, Intents, and Tasks An Android activity is both a unit of user interaction—typically filling the whole screen of an Android mobile device—and a unit of execution. When you make an interactive Android program, you start by subclassing the Activity class. Activities provide the reusable, interchangeable parts of the flow of UI components across Android applications. How, then does one activity invoke another, and pass information about what the user wants to do? The unit of communication is the Intent class. An Intent represents an abstract description of a function that one activity requires another activity to perform, such as taking a picture. Intents form the basis of a system of loose coupling that allows activities to launch one another.

 

pages: 655 words: 141,257

Programming Android: Java Programming for the New Generation of Mobile Devices by Zigurd Mednieks, Laird Dornin, G. Blake Meike, Masumi Nakamura

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anti-pattern, business process, conceptual framework, create, read, update, delete, database schema, Debian, domain-specific language, en.wikipedia.org, fault tolerance, Google Earth, interchangeable parts, iterative process, loose coupling, MVC pattern, revision control, RFID, web application

AVDs are configured by the SDK and AVD Manager, which sets parameters such as the size of emulated storage devices and screen dimensions, and which enables you to specify which Android system image will be used with which emulated device. AVDs enable you to test your software on a broader range of system characteristics than you are likely to be able to acquire and test on physical devices. Because QEMU-based hardware emulators, system images, and the parameters of AVDs are all interchangeable parts, you can even test devices and system images before hardware is available to run them. QEMU QEMU is the basis of AVDs. But QEMU is a very general tool that is used in a wide range of emulation systems outside the Android SDK. While you will configure QEMU indirectly, through the SDK and AVD Manager, you may someday need to tweak emulation in ways unsupported by the SDK tools, or you may be curious about the capabilities and limitations of QEMU.

Instead of relying on the user to directly start each application, the components themselves invoke one another to perform interactions on behalf of the user. Activities, Intents, and Tasks An Android Activity is both a unit of user interaction—typically filling the whole screen of an Android mobile device—and a unit of execution. When you make an interactive Android program, you start by subclassing the Activity class. Activities provide the reusable, interchangeable parts of the flow of UI components across Android applications. How, then does one activity invoke another, and pass information about what the user wants to do? The unit of communication is the Intent class. An Intent represents an abstract description of a function that one activity requires another activity to perform, such as taking a picture. Intents form the basis of a system of loose coupling that allows activities to launch one another.

 

pages: 607 words: 133,452

Against Intellectual Monopoly by Michele Boldrin, David K. Levine

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accounting loophole / creative accounting, agricultural Revolution, barriers to entry, cognitive bias, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Dean Kamen, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping, en.wikipedia.org, Ernest Rutherford, experimental economics, financial innovation, informal economy, interchangeable parts, invention of radio, invention of the printing press, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jean Tirole, John Harrison: Longitude, Joseph Schumpeter, linear programming, market bubble, market design, mutually assured destruction, Nash equilibrium, new economy, open economy, pirate software, placebo effect, price discrimination, profit maximization, rent-seeking, Richard Stallman, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, software patent, the market place, total factor productivity, trade liberalization, transaction costs, Y2K

Between 1794 and 1807, they went around the South bringing to court everyone in sight, yet received little compensation for their strenuous efforts. In the meanwhile, and thanks also to all that “pirating”, the Southern cotton-growing and cotton-ginning sector grew at a healthy pace. Ironically, Eli Whitney did eventually become a rich man – not through his efforts at monopolization, but through the wonders of competitive markets. In 1798, he invented a way to manufacture muskets by machine, having developed the idea of interchangeable parts and standardized production. Having probably learned his lesson, he did not bother to seek patent protection this time, but instead set up a shop in Whitneyville, near New Haven. Here he manufactured his muskets and sold them to the U.S. Army. So it was not as a monopolist of the cotton gin, but rather as the competitive manufacturer of muskets, that Whitney finally became rich. Agriculture Among economists the reaction to the idea that economic progress is the fruit of competition is varied.

See also copyright; suggestions for short-run improvements intellectual property; non-compete in, 248–251 clauses; patents threat of to freedom and prosperity, 97, and costs of innovation, 150–151 264 discouragement of imitation by, 146 types of, 8 discouragement of new entrants by, 185 as unnecessary evil, 6–7 P1: KXF head margin: 1/2 gutter margin: 7/8 CUUS245-IND cuus245 978 0 521 87928 6 April 29, 2008 10:0 Index 293 use of private contracts to enforce, Levine, D. K., 129 252–253 Levinstein and Co., 88 voluntary relinquishment of, 17, 18 Library of Babel, The (Borges), 154 intellectual property law, 157, 260. See also licenses, revenues from, 76 patent law licensing, 250–251 interchangeable parts, 51 life-cycle of industries, literature on, 64 intermediaries for trading patents, Lilienthal, Otto, 206 Internet Linux, 18, 21–22, 248–249. See also pornography and growth of, 37 open-source software web browser, 17 literacy, 23 Internet radio, 251 literature, 31. See also books; publishing investment industry in countries with low intellectual Lo, Shih-Tse., 194–195 property protection, 186 Lodge, Oliver, 203, 204 and intellectual property protection, 192, long-run, 159 195–197 risks in relying on intellectual property machinery, 191 for, 196 Machlup, Fritz, 11, 243 investment bankers, 57–59 mail-order business, 47 IP-efficiency, 4 Manes, Stephen, 5 IP-inefficiency, 69, 70, 75, 78 Mann, R., 197 Iraq, 81 Marconi, Guglielmo, 203–206 Iraq Study Group, 25–26 marginal cost, 131, 133, 159 Italy marketing, 60, 233 Benetton, 56–57 market size, increase in, 174–176 pharmaceutical industry in, 216, 222–223 market without patent or copyright, 126 Massachusetts, labor law in, 199–200 Jackson, Henry B., 203–204 Maurer, Stephen, 201–202 Jensen’s Inequality, 90 medical discoveries, fundamental, 228–230 medical equipment industry, 62–63 Kamen, Dean, 138–139 medicine.

 

pages: 249 words: 77,027

Glock: The Rise of America's Gun by Paul M. Barrett

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airport security, forensic accounting, hiring and firing, interchangeable parts, offshore financial centre, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, union organizing

Two years later, Walker, by then an officer in the Army, collaborated with Colt to develop a .41-caliber model. The US government ordered one thousand of the “Walker Colts” for use in the Mexican-American War, allowing Sam Colt to get his company aloft. Colt built one of the most advanced factories of the era, a facility in Hartford that was the first in the firearm field to take full advantage of mass-production techniques, such as the manufacture of interchangeable parts. It was only in the 1850s that urban police departments in the United States began to allow officers to carry handguns, especially following the riots that accompanied the economic panic of 1857. Eager to serve this new market, Colt came out with the New Model Police Revolver, one of the last new products his factory made before its founder’s death in 1862. The Police Revolver was an inexpensive, lightweight six-shooter with a three-and-a-half-inch barrel, making it easy to conceal.

 

pages: 294 words: 80,084

Tomorrowland: Our Journey From Science Fiction to Science Fact by Steven Kotler

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Albert Einstein, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Burning Man, carbon footprint, Colonization of Mars, crowdsourcing, Dean Kamen, epigenetics, gravity well, haute couture, interchangeable parts, Kevin Kelly, life extension, Louis Pasteur, North Sea oil, Oculus Rift, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, personalized medicine, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Stewart Brand, theory of mind, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks

“Despite its significant financial resources, dedicated personnel, motivation, and freedom from the scrutiny of the Japanese authorities, Aum was unable to achieve its objectives.” That was then. Now, two trends have changed the game. The first emerged in 2004, when the International Genetically Engineered Machines (iGEM) competition was founded at MIT. iGem’s goal is for teams of high school and college students to build simple biological systems from standardized, interchangeable parts. These standardized parts, known as BioBricks, are chunks of DNA code with clearly defined structures and functions, allowing them to be easily linked together in new combinations, a little like a set of genetic LEGO bricks. These designs are collected in the Registry of Standard Biological Parts, an open-source database accessible to anyone who is curious. Over the years, iGEM teams have not only pushed technical barriers but creative ones as well, turning bacterial cells into everything from photographic films to hemoglobin-producing blood cells to miniature hard drives, complete with data encryption.

 

pages: 251 words: 66,396

The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don't Work and What to Do About It by Michael E. Gerber

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business process, interchangeable parts, Silicon Valley

He began to think about his business like an engineer working on a pre-production prototype of a mass-produceable product. He began to reengineer McDonald’s decades before the word and the process came into fashion. He began to think about McDonald’s just like Henry Ford must have thought about the Model T. How could the components of the prototype be constructed so that it could be assembled at a very low cost with totally interchangeable parts? How could the components be constructed so that the resulting business system could be replicated over and over again, each business working—just like the Model T—as reliably as the thousands that preceded it? What Ray Kroc did was to apply the thinking behind the Industrial Revolution to the process of Business Development, and to a degree never before experienced in a business enterprise.

 

pages: 537 words: 200,923

City: Urbanism and Its End by Douglas W. Rae

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agricultural Revolution, barriers to entry, business climate, City Beautiful movement, complexity theory, desegregation, edge city, ghettoisation, income per capita, informal economy, interchangeable parts, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, manufacturing employment, New Economic Geography, new economy, New Urbanism, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Saturday Night Live, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the market place, urban planning, urban renewal, War on Poverty, white flight, Works Progress Administration

From the 1840s onward, Jerome had used steam and skilled labor to stamp out the metal gears for clocks previously made singly as castings, thereby precipitously driving down the world price of shelf clocks. Jerome Manufacturing sent its products into markets across the globe and sold them in the hundreds of thousands on the basis of value for money. Here is a telling story about his pricing policy and its relation to British markets: Around 1840 Chauncey Jerome, a Connecticut clock maker, used interchangeable parts to produce a one-day brass clock for less than fifty cents. He exported some to England in 1842. English customs reserves the right to confiscate goods at their invoice valuations to protect themselves against undervaluation. The clocks were clearly undervalued by English standards, and they were confiscated. This was fine with Jerome; he had sold his shipment at full price quickly and easily.

This is a manufactory of india 53 U R B A N I S M rubber shoes, in which machinery is applied as far as practicable, and with 175 hands 2,000 pair are daily produced.48 The authors were seeing characteristic Yankee ingenuity applied to complex manufacturing under conditions of cheap energy and expensive labor—with the substitution of machine force for hand craft at every turn, and with increasing reliance on the so-called American system of interchangeable parts. For New Haven, as for many cities sharing its strategic position, this was only the beginning of economic expansion. RAILROAD DEVELOPMENT AND CASCADING CENTRAL CITY INVESTMENT Trains became pivotal at this stage. Steam-powered rail transport appears to have had several birthdays between 1803 and 1812 in the United Kingdom, but the first commercially useful U.S. railroad was evidently the Mauch Chunk Railroad, which carried Pennsylvania coal, as early as 1826.

 

pages: 224 words: 12,941

From Gutenberg to Google: electronic representations of literary texts by Peter L. Shillingsburg

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British Empire, computer age, double helix, HyperCard, hypertext link, interchangeable parts, invention of the telephone, means of production, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, Saturday Night Live, Socratic dialogue

The disadvantage of industry standards, generally speaking, is that as research and development take place, regardless of the field, situations will arise in which one will want to do something that was not foreseen when the standards were set and that is not allowed by those standards. The advantage of standards, if they are flexible and versatile enough, is that they make it possible to share services and interchange parts without affecting the functionality of the whole or of other parts. A modular approach to the functions of an electronic edition/archive/knowledge site may help us achieve the flexibility and compatibility we want. An outline of the editorial and reader functions and the types of materials and sets of information that affect either the editing or the reading process is set out here as an indication of the areas for which software is needed.

 

pages: 406 words: 88,820

Television disrupted: the transition from network to networked TV by Shelly Palmer

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barriers to entry, call centre, disintermediation, en.wikipedia.org, hypertext link, interchangeable parts, invention of movable type, James Watt: steam engine, linear programming, market design, pattern recognition, recommendation engine, Saturday Night Live, shareholder value, Skype, spectrum auction, Steve Jobs, subscription business, Telecommunications Act of 1996, Vickrey auction, yield management

During this technological transition, Armies and Navies were still using tactics developed at a time when you needed to see your enemy to kill them. Unfortunately, the generals of the day did not fully understand the power and accuracy of the newer weapons they were using. The Model 1861 Springfield Musket was one of the shoulder arms of choice for the Civil War foot soldier. It had a rifled bore, interchangeable parts, percussion cap ignition and it was extremely accurate and dependable. Weighing just 9.25 lbs, this 58.5 inch workhorse came with a particularly nasty, triangular 21-inch socket bayo-net. The unique attribute of this most lethal weapon was the .58 calibre conical minie ball that it fired at a remarkable 950 feet per second. This weapon was deadly accurate at 800 yards and passably accurate at 1,000 yards.

 

pages: 422 words: 113,525

Whole Earth Discipline: An Ecopragmatist Manifesto by Stewart Brand

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agricultural Revolution, back-to-the-land, biofilm, borderless world, Buckminster Fuller, business process, Cass Sunstein, clean water, Community Supported Agriculture, conceptual framework, Danny Hillis, dark matter, decarbonisation, demographic dividend, demographic transition, Elon Musk, Exxon Valdez, failed state, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, glass ceiling, Google Earth, Hans Rosling, Hernando de Soto, informal economy, interchangeable parts, invention of agriculture, invention of the steam engine, Jane Jacobs, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, Kibera, land tenure, M-Pesa, Marshall McLuhan, megacity, microbiome, New Urbanism, out of africa, Paul Graham, peak oil, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, smart grid, stem cell, Stewart Brand, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, Thomas Malthus, University of East Anglia, uranium enrichment, urban renewal, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, working-age population, Y2K

The idea is to “play Nature,” to reverse-engineer the tangled genetic code of eons and “refactor” it—write fresh genetic code that is manageable, that actually does have intelligent design instead of the infinity of moronic kludges and patches that timeless evolution confers. George Church, a leading molecular geneticist at Harvard, says that biology is at last becoming “an engineering discipline, with interchangeable parts, hierarchical design, interoperable systems, specification sheets—stuff that only an engineer could love.” Rob Carlson reports that the minimalist approach to genome design is paying off: “Most synthetic DNA constructs are usually composed of just a few genes, with cutting edge designs topping out at about 15 genes. Amyris Biotechnologies is using genetic circuits of this size in modified microbes to process sugar into useful compounds, including malaria drugs, jet fuel, diesel, and gasoline analogues.”

 

pages: 313 words: 84,312

We-Think: Mass Innovation, Not Mass Production by Charles Leadbeater

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1960s counterculture, Andrew Keen, barriers to entry, bioinformatics, c2.com, call centre, citizen journalism, clean water, cloud computing, complexity theory, congestion charging, death of newspapers, Debian, digital Maoism, double helix, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, frictionless, frictionless market, future of work, game design, Google Earth, Google X / Alphabet X, Hacker Ethic, Hernando de Soto, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, interchangeable parts, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Jean Tirole, jimmy wales, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, lone genius, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, microcredit, new economy, Nicholas Carr, online collectivism, planetary scale, post scarcity, Richard Stallman, Silicon Valley, slashdot, social web, software patent, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Whole Earth Catalog, Zipcar

Most creativity emerges when different points of view are held in reciprocal tension, so that they play off one another, eventually evolving into a new idea. The idea for Henry Ford’s revolutionary moving assembly line did not simply spring to life in his head in a darkened room after months of inner reflection. Ford’s innovation came from a team who borrowed and blended ideas and techniques: from a machine-tool industry that used interchangeable parts; from meat-packing which used a moving line to cut up carcasses; and – for scheduling techniques – from the railroads. Most advances in 20th-century science came from creative conversations that blended ideas. Werner Heisenberg’s conversations with Neils Bohr and other physicists in Copenhagen in the 1920s paved the way for quantum mechanics and other theories that led not just to the nuclear bomb but to many advances in modern electronics.

 

pages: 363 words: 94,139

Jony Ive: The Genius Behind Apple's Greatest Products by Leander Kahney

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Apple II, banking crisis, British Empire, Dynabook, global supply chain, interchangeable parts, Jony Ive, race to the bottom, RFID, side project, Silicon Valley, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, the built environment, thinkpad, Tim Cook: Apple

Soon after completing the Lindy project, Jony had an idea to simplify the design of Apple’s bulky cathode-ray tube (CRT) monitors, which were perhaps the least sexy of Apple’s products and among the most expensive to manufacture. Because of their size and complexity, the molds for each of the plastic monitor housings—and there were dozens of models at the time—could cost more than a million dollars to tool. To save money, Jony came up with the idea of a new case design with interchangeable parts, which could be adapted for several monitor sizes. Previously, monitor cases came in two parts: the bezel (a face frame that cradles the front of the cathode-ray tube) and the bucketlike housing that encloses and protects the CRT’s back. Jony’s idea was to split the case into four parts: the bezel, a mid-bucket and a two-part back bucket. The modular design would allow the mid- and back bucket to remain the same across the product line.

 

pages: 317 words: 107,653

A Place of My Own: The Architecture of Daydreams by Michael Pollan

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A Pattern Language, back-to-the-land, Benoit Mandelbrot, dematerialisation, Frank Gehry, interchangeable parts, Marshall McLuhan, Mercator projection, place-making, Stewart Brand, telemarketer, The Great Good Place, urban renewal

Balloon framing doesn’t acquaint you with the particularities of wood in the way post-and-beam framing does, and it’s easy to forget these are trees you’re working with. It’s geometry you worry about—with so many more elements to keep square—rather than the idiosyncrasies of wood. In this sense two-by-four framing is a more abstract kind of work than timber framing, with an industrial rhythm that places a far greater premium on the repetitive task and the interchangeable part. Which is why an amateur like me could frame a knee wall in an afternoon without help from anyone. What I was discovering in the course of framing my little building, an entire culture had discovered in the middle of the last century. Contemporary accounts of the new technology brim with a kind of giddiness at the rapid feats of construction it had suddenly made possible—houses put up in days, whole towns rising in weeks.

 

pages: 355 words: 63

The Elusive Quest for Growth: Economists' Adventures and Misadventures in the Tropics by William R. Easterly

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Andrei Shleifer, business climate, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, clean water, colonial rule, correlation does not imply causation, financial repression, Gini coefficient, Hernando de Soto, income inequality, income per capita, inflation targeting, interchangeable parts, inventory management, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, large denomination, manufacturing employment, Network effects, New Urbanism, open economy, Productivity paradox, purchasing power parity, rent-seeking, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, total factor productivity, trade liberalization, urban sprawl, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Yogi Berra, Yom Kippur War

On the Continent, in contrast, the Germans introduced their Tecknische Hockscku2e.22The American spinning industry went ahead with the introduction of the new technique of ring spinning, while Lancashire stuck with the old technology of mule spinning.23After three worker strikes in the 1850s, the English prohibited the introduction of the sewing machine into shoemaking in Northampton. Workers in the Birminghamgun-makingindustry blocked the introduction of the great breakthrough of interchangeable parts. English workers also blocked newmachinery in carpetmaking, glassmaking, and metal~orking.~~ Thenwe see the same thing happening to America, losing its lead to Japan in the 1970s and 1980s. Now Japan is stagnating, and America-after a big shakeup-is in the lead again, although both America and Japan are growing more slowly than they were a few decades ago. We can think of the conflict between the old and the new technology as an intergenerational conflict.The old are those who were trained in the old technology, and their skills may be highly specific to that technology; they have every incentive to oppose new technologies.

 

pages: 326 words: 106,053

The Wisdom of Crowds by James Surowiecki

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AltaVista, Andrei Shleifer, asset allocation, Cass Sunstein, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, experimental economics, Frederick Winslow Taylor, George Akerlof, Howard Rheingold, I think there is a world market for maybe five computers, interchangeable parts, Jeff Bezos, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, lone genius, Long Term Capital Management, market bubble, market clearing, market design, moral hazard, new economy, offshore financial centre, Picturephone, prediction markets, profit maximization, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, Richard Thaler, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, short selling, Silicon Valley, South Sea Bubble, The Nature of the Firm, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Toyota Production System, transaction costs, ultimatum game, Yogi Berra

In economic terms, after all, anything tailor-made has the advantage of locking in customers. If someone bought a lathe from a machinist, that person had to come back to the machinist for screw repairs or replacements. But if screws became interchangeable, customers would need the craftsmen less and would worry about the price more. Sellers understood the fear. But he also believed that interchangeable parts and mass production were inevitable, and the screw he designed was meant to be easier, cheaper, and faster to produce than any other. His screws fit the new economy, where a premium was placed on speed, volume, and cost. But because of what was at stake, and because the machinist community was so tight-knit, Sellers understood that connections and influence would shape people’s decisions.

 

pages: 391 words: 105,382

Utopia Is Creepy: And Other Provocations by Nicholas Carr

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Air France Flight 447, Airbnb, AltaVista, Amazon Mechanical Turk, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Bernie Sanders, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, centralized clearinghouse, cloud computing, cognitive bias, collaborative consumption, computer age, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, deskilling, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, factory automation, failed state, feminist movement, Frederick Winslow Taylor, friendly fire, game design, global village, Google bus, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Googley, hive mind, impulse control, indoor plumbing, interchangeable parts, Internet Archive, invention of movable type, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, job automation, Kevin Kelly, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Menlo Park, mental accounting, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, oil shale / tar sands, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Republic of Letters, robot derives from the Czech word robota Czech, meaning slave, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, SETI@home, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Singularitarianism, Snapchat, social graph, social web, speech recognition, Startup school, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, technoutopianism, the medium is the message, theory of mind, Turing test, Whole Earth Catalog, Y Combinator

The web has given the world a place where the audience is the publisher and what we are witnessing (and hopefully participating in) is the personalization of media. It will manifest itself in many strange and wonderful ways. And I am embracing it; for me, for my kids, and for the rest of my life. I guess you see what you want to see. When I look around MySpace I don’t see much that’s strange and wonderful—or deeply disturbing, either. I wish I did. What I see is a dreary sameness, a vast assemblage of interchangeable parts. Everything feels secondhand: the pimps-and-hoes poses before the cameraphone, the cliché-choked babbling. It’s sad to see so much effort put into self-expression with so little to express. Humanity in the raw? No, this is humanity boiled to blandness in the tin pot of personalization. There was another blogger who responded to Scott Karp’s post by comparing the effect of MySpace to that of Elvis’s gyrating hips back in the fifties.

 

pages: 323 words: 90,868

The Wealth of Humans: Work, Power, and Status in the Twenty-First Century by Ryan Avent

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3D printing, Airbnb, American energy revolution, autonomous vehicles, Bakken shale, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, BRICs, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, collective bargaining, computer age, dark matter, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, Edward Glaeser, Erik Brynjolfsson, eurozone crisis, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, falling living standards, first square of the chessboard, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, Ford paid five dollars a day, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, future of work, gig economy, global supply chain, global value chain, hydraulic fracturing, income inequality, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, interchangeable parts, Internet of things, inventory management, invisible hand, Jacquard loom, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, knowledge economy, low skilled workers, lump of labour, Lyft, manufacturing employment, means of production, new economy, performance metric, pets.com, price mechanism, quantitative easing, Ray Kurzweil, rent-seeking, reshoring, rising living standards, Robert Gordon, Ronald Coase, savings glut, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, single-payer health, software is eating the world, supply-chain management, supply-chain management software, TaskRabbit, The Nature of the Firm, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, trade liberalization, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, very high income, working-age population

At the time, Ford bought most of the parts used in his cars from suppliers. The trained mechanics would then go to work on the parts, reshaping them to fit each automobile: cutting, smithing and welding, repeatedly, in a process that was slow and very expensive.4 Henry Ford was famously determined to wring inefficiency out of this process. He settled on one design of automobile and mass-produced identical, interchangeable parts to a high degree of precision. He then borrowed an idea from the meat-processing industry. At the time, meat packers in Chicago worked along a ‘disassembly line’. Carcasses hanging on hooks attached to a powered belt travelled past successive butchery stations. At each, lines of cleaver-wielding workers hacked off specific cuts of meat. As the animal moved through the factory its carcass grew smaller and smaller, while the meat removed from it was packaged and prepared for sale.

 

pages: 332 words: 89,668

Two Nations, Indivisible: A History of Inequality in America: A History of Inequality in America by Jamie Bronstein

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, back-to-the-land, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, big-box store, blue-collar work, Branko Milanovic, British Empire, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, clean water, cognitive dissonance, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, Community Supported Agriculture, corporate personhood, crony capitalism, deindustrialization, desegregation, Donald Trump, ending welfare as we know it, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, Gini coefficient, income inequality, interchangeable parts, invisible hand, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, labor-force participation, land reform, land tenure, low skilled workers, low-wage service sector, minimum wage unemployment, moral hazard, mortgage debt, New Urbanism, non-tariff barriers, obamacare, occupational segregation, Occupy movement, oil shock, Plutocrats, plutocrats, price discrimination, race to the bottom, rent control, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Scientific racism, Simon Kuznets, single-payer health, strikebreaker, too big to fail, trade route, transcontinental railway, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, trickle-down economics, universal basic income, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile, urban renewal, wage slave, War on Poverty, women in the workforce, working poor, Works Progress Administration

Many also expressed fears that African Americans would somehow come to dominate the political system or that political integration was a gateway to social integration and miscegenation. Ironically, at the same time that these conventions excluded blacks and women from political participation, they began to acknowledge the personhood of corporations.89 For most antebellum Americans, the exclusion of enslaved African Americans required little justification. Historian Edward Baptist emphasizes that enslaved African Americans were considered to be completely interchangeable parts in the system of Southern agricultural production no matter what skills they might possess. For example, when it served their financial calculations, plantation owners forced slaves to migrate away from their families. By the 1820s, slave traders had become professionalized, purchasing enslaved people in large numbers from the upper South and selling them to areas like Georgia and Louisiana in which there was large demand for forced labor.90 Whether working as cotton field hands or overseeing other crops, slaves generally worked under the gang labor system, from sunup to sundown, between five and six days a week.91 To maintain productivity, planters used physical punishment to create levels of productivity among enslaved workers that would later be unknown among free workers doing the same tasks.92 Economic inequality was especially severe in the antebellum South.

 

pages: 338 words: 92,465

Reskilling America: Learning to Labor in the Twenty-First Century by Katherine S. Newman, Hella Winston

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blue-collar work, collective bargaining, deindustrialization, desegregation, factory automation, interchangeable parts, invisible hand, job-hopping, knowledge economy, low skilled workers, performance metric, reshoring, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, two tier labour market, union organizing, upwardly mobile, War on Poverty, Wolfgang Streeck, working poor

They brought together nine teams, partnering CTE and math teachers from schools and districts throughout the state who worked together to formulate a new curriculum in the “Industrial and Engineering Systems career area.” Aimed at students interested in manufacturing, construction, and engineering, the curriculum embeds as much math as possible into the kinds of practice problems real workers in these fields encounter. For example, they wanted students to figure out how “manufacturers determine the precision of measurement needed for the production of interchangeable parts,” or how to use what they learned about energy transfer and conservation to determine what kind of insulation is most efficient and cost-effective in a building.13 Instructors designed problem sets that required students to figure out how three-dimensional items are produced from two-dimensional patterns, how to use math to design a set of stairs within a specified area, or how to calculate the electrical power needs of an office tower.

 

pages: 488 words: 144,145

Inflated: How Money and Debt Built the American Dream by R. Christopher Whalen

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Albert Einstein, bank run, banking crisis, Black Swan, Bretton Woods, British Empire, California gold rush, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, conceptual framework, corporate governance, cuban missile crisis, currency peg, debt deflation, falling living standards, fiat currency, financial deregulation, financial innovation, financial intermediation, floating exchange rates, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, global reserve currency, housing crisis, interchangeable parts, invention of radio, Kenneth Rogoff, laissez-faire capitalism, liquidity trap, means of production, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, non-tariff barriers, oil shock, payday loans, Plutocrats, plutocrats, price stability, pushing on a string, quantitative easing, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, special drawing rights, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, too big to fail, trade liberalization, transcontinental railway, Upton Sinclair, women in the workforce

The businessmen were enthroned, the arbiters of taste, the prelates of a civilization that had salesmanship as its art.29 The imagery raised about the growing role of the machine and of mass production of all types of goods in American life is an important part of understanding why the WWI period was such a powerful inflection point for the country. Whereas the English model of industry placed the primary focus on building complex and exquisite tools used by craftsmen to manufacture goods by hand, the American model of industry focused instead on adding speed and productivity to the procedure of transformation from raw material to finished products. The growing use of standardization and interchangeable parts in American industry in the later part of the nineteenth century allowed the country to increase production rapidly to meet the needs of WWI—something that never would have been possible in the United Kingdom or in Europe. The “American System” of mass production provided a source of inexpensive consumer goods, from clothes to automobiles to aircraft, the like of which the world had never seen.30 Henry Ford is held up as the great icon of mass production during this early period of American industrialization, but his company actually began its operations assembling kits manufactured to Ford’s design by the Dodge Brothers.

 

pages: 489 words: 111,305

How the World Works by Noam Chomsky, Arthur Naiman, David Barsamian

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affirmative action, anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business climate, capital controls, clean water, corporate governance, deindustrialization, Fall of the Berlin Wall, feminist movement, glass ceiling, Howard Zinn, income inequality, interchangeable parts, Isaac Newton, joint-stock company, labour market flexibility, land reform, Monroe Doctrine, offshore financial centre, Plutocrats, plutocrats, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, single-payer health, strikebreaker, Telecommunications Act of 1996, transfer pricing, union organizing, War on Poverty, working poor

An aerospace industry analyst at Merrill Lynch pointed out that “this effort to broaden the industrial base that supports the military has been going on for a couple of years, but the Pentagon’s decision [about the new Joint Strike fighter] was a major milestone in this trend.” In fact, “this effort” has been has going on not for “a couple of years” but for half a century, and its roots lie much deeper, in the crucial role of the military in developing the basic elements of the “American system of manufacturing” (standardization and interchangeable parts) in the 19th century. In other words, a major purpose of military production and procurement, along with research and development in government labs or publicly funded private industry (by the Department of Energy and other agencies, as well as the Pentagon) is to subsidize private corporations. The public is simply being deluded about how they’re paying for high technology. By now this stuff is described almost openly—usually on the business pages but sometimes even on the front page.

 

pages: 872 words: 135,196

The Market for Force: The Consequences of Privatizing Security by Deborah D. Avant

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barriers to entry, corporate social responsibility, failed state, hiring and firing, interchangeable parts, Mikhail Gorbachev, Peace of Westphalia, private military company, profit motive, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, rolodex, the market place, The Nature of the Firm, trade route, transaction costs

Regional Organizations and the Consolidation of Democracy,” American Journal of Political Science Vol. 46, No. 3 (July 2002): 611–22. 114 The Market for Force The US government has a long history of contracting for military services.166 Up until the beginning of World War II, most of these services were in the area of logistics support and weapons procurement. Contractors were used to supply basic rations, make uniforms, transport supplies, etc.167 Also, as the arms industry began to grow, the government turned to private suppliers for small arms, bayonets, and ramrods (the most famous of these contractors was Eli Whitney, who supplied interchangeable parts.)168 During World War II, the US government contracted out additional services such as constructing airfields and training pilots.169 With the advent of the Cold War, US interest in stabilizing foreign governments under siege from communist insurgent forces opened more opportunities for private firms. In many cases, the stabilization of foreign governments included military assistance and training and some of this was contracted out.

 

pages: 476 words: 132,042

What Technology Wants by Kevin Kelly

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Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, Buckminster Fuller, c2.com, carbon-based life, Cass Sunstein, charter city, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, computer vision, Danny Hillis, dematerialisation, demographic transition, double entry bookkeeping, en.wikipedia.org, Exxon Valdez, George Gilder, gravity well, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, interchangeable parts, invention of air conditioning, invention of writing, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, John Conway, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, Lao Tzu, life extension, Louis Daguerre, Marshall McLuhan, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, new economy, out of africa, performance metric, personalized medicine, phenotype, Picturephone, planetary scale, RAND corporation, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, refrigerator car, Richard Florida, Silicon Valley, silicon-based life, Skype, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, Ted Kaczynski, the built environment, the scientific method, Thomas Malthus, Vernor Vinge, Whole Earth Catalog, Y2K

Via peer-reviewed correspondence and, later, journals, science offered a method of extracting reliable information, testing it, and then linking it to a growing body of other tested, interlinked facts. This newly ordered information—what we call science—could then be used to restructure the organization of matter. It birthed new materials, new processes for making stuff, new tools, and new perspectives. When the scientific method was applied to craft, we invented mass production of interchangeable parts, the assembly line, efficiency, and specialization. All these forms of informational organization launched the incredible rise in standards of living we take for granted. Finally, the latest transition in the organization of knowledge is happening now. We inject order and design into everything we manufacture. We are also adding microscopic chips that can perform small amounts of computation and communication.

 

pages: 532 words: 155,470

One Less Car: Bicycling and the Politics of Automobility by Zack Furness, Zachary Mooradian Furness

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active transport: walking or cycling, affirmative action, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, back-to-the-land, Build a better mousetrap, Burning Man, car-free, carbon footprint, clean water, colonial rule, conceptual framework, dumpster diving, Enrique Peñalosa, European colonialism, feminist movement, ghettoisation, Golden Gate Park, interchangeable parts, intermodal, Internet Archive, Jane Jacobs, market fundamentalism, means of production, Naomi Klein, New Urbanism, peak oil, place-making, post scarcity, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, sustainable-tourism, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Thomas L Friedman, Thorstein Veblen, urban planning, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, working poor, Yom Kippur War

Cycling historian ross petty develops a number of these concepts in his careful research, including bicyclists’ collective role in the development of U.S. traffic laws, the bicycle industry’s development of mass marketing, and the use of bicycles by U.S. postal Service and Western Union employees.7 Glen norcliffe similarly explicates the influence of Colonel albert pope’s innovative model of mass production on the ensuing automobile industry, specifically crediting pope with a number of the innovations typically attributed to famed automobile mogul, and failed colonialist Henry Ford, including the modernization of the labor process, the vertical integration of production, the creation of machines with interchangeable parts, and the construction of mass markets for transportation technologies.8 as much as this body of work helps to explain how the bicycle era “prepared the way for the automobile,” there have been few attempts to critically interrogate the cultural formations linking the bicycle era and the automobile age.9 norcliffe provides a valuable point of entry for this task because he locates the meaning of bicycle technologies and the practice of cycling in the broader context of modernization, suggesting that the dominant paradigm of modernity—namely, scientific rationalism, a focus on individual autonomy, and a fascination with newness—prompted the technological innovations that gave rise to the bicycle and subsequently framed it as a symbol of modern life: a technological expression of progress.10 Bicycles, according to his argument, gained meaning within this cultural context just as cycling—a performative and spectacular expression of the modern ethos—became one of the principal means by which modernity was “locally embedded” in north america.11 norcliffe helps to construct a more complex view of bicycles and cycling that ultimately draws attention to mobility as a crucial paradigm for thinking through the pitfalls and prospects of modernity, though he falls into the pattern of most cycling historians who either perpetuate a sharp division between the cultural assemblages of the bicycle and those of the automobile, or largely ignore the twentieth century altogether.12 recent scholarship on automobility complements cycling history because it effectively maps the cultural trajectories that inform and are informed by mobile practices and mobile ontologies in the modern era.

 

pages: 574 words: 164,509

Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies by Nick Bostrom

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agricultural Revolution, AI winter, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, anthropic principle, anti-communist, artificial general intelligence, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, bioinformatics, brain emulation, cloud computing, combinatorial explosion, computer vision, cosmological constant, dark matter, DARPA: Urban Challenge, data acquisition, delayed gratification, demographic transition, Douglas Hofstadter, Drosophila, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, fear of failure, Flash crash, Flynn Effect, friendly AI, Gödel, Escher, Bach, income inequality, industrial robot, informal economy, information retrieval, interchangeable parts, iterative process, job automation, John von Neumann, knowledge worker, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mutually assured destruction, Nash equilibrium, Netflix Prize, new economy, Norbert Wiener, NP-complete, nuclear winter, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, performance metric, phenotype, prediction markets, price stability, principal–agent problem, race to the bottom, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, reversible computing, social graph, speech recognition, Stanislav Petrov, statistical model, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, strong AI, superintelligent machines, supervolcano, technological singularity, technoutopianism, The Coming Technological Singularity, The Nature of the Firm, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, transaction costs, Turing machine, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, World Values Survey

Yet the matter is not so cut-and-dried. Humans and human-like beings are complex; but artificial agents could have relatively simple architectures. Artificial agents could also have simple and explicitly characterized motivations. Furthermore, digital agents in general (whether emulations or artificial intelligences) are copyable: an affordance that may revolutionize management, much like interchangeable parts revolutionized manufacturing. These differences, together with the opportunity to work with agents that are initially powerless and to create institutional structures that use the various abovementioned control measures, might combine to make it possible to achieve particular institutional outcomes—such as a system that does not revolt—more reliably than if one were working with human beings under historical conditions.

 

pages: 588 words: 131,025

The Patient Will See You Now: The Future of Medicine Is in Your Hands by Eric Topol

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23andMe, 3D printing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Anne Wojcicki, Atul Gawande, augmented reality, bioinformatics, call centre, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, computer vision, conceptual framework, connected car, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, dark matter, data acquisition, disintermediation, don't be evil, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Firefox, global village, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, interchangeable parts, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, license plate recognition, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microbiome, Nate Silver, natural language processing, Network effects, Nicholas Carr, obamacare, pattern recognition, personalized medicine, phenotype, placebo effect, RAND corporation, randomized controlled trial, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia, Snapchat, social graph, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Turing test, Uber for X, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, X Prize

Jan Walker, one of the project’s researchers said, “In a way we feel like we are in the Model T stage of this type of transparency. OpenNotes is like a new medicine that is beneficial to most patients but will harm some; how can we identify those patients and then address the situation openly and honestly?”11 The Model T analogy may be too optimistic. At least that car was practical, affordable, versatile, and transformational. It was a single product with interchangeable parts—to reduce waste and make it possible for unskilled workers to mass-assemble cars. In contrast, we have over one thousand certified EMR vendors in the United States, each with proprietary software that usually won’t work with records created by different software. With the fragmentation of health care in the United States, the majority of individuals see physicians in multiple health systems with different EMR vendors.

 

pages: 372 words: 152

The End of Work by Jeremy Rifkin

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banking crisis, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, blue-collar work, cashless society, collective bargaining, computer age, deskilling, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, employer provided health coverage, Erik Brynjolfsson, full employment, future of work, general-purpose programming language, George Gilder, global village, hiring and firing, informal economy, interchangeable parts, invention of the telegraph, Jacques de Vaucanson, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, land reform, low skilled workers, means of production, new economy, New Urbanism, pink-collar, post-industrial society, Productivity paradox, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, speech recognition, strikebreaker, technoutopianism, Thorstein Veblen, Toyota Production System, trade route, trickle-down economics, women in the workforce, working poor, working-age population, Works Progress Administration

Ellis's car, like the few hundred other automobiles made each year by Panhard and Levassor, was unique and drawn up to meet the very exacting standards of an individual customer. Ellis became the first Englishman to own an automobile. 13 Less than twenty years later Henry Ford was producing thousands of identical cars each day at a fraction of the cost Ellis paid for his handcrafted vehicle. Ford was the first automaker to mass produce a standardized product using interchangeable parts. Because the individual components were always cut and shaped exactly the same, they could be attached to each other quickly and simply, without requiring a skilled craftsman to put them together. To quicken the process of attachment, Ford introduced a moving assembly line to the factory floor-an innovation he first observed in the giant slaughterhouses of the Chicago stockyards. By bringing the car directly to the worker, he shaved precious time off the production process and was able to control the pace of movement in the factory.

 

pages: 509 words: 153,061

The Gamble: General David Petraeus and the American Military Adventure in Iraq, 2006-2008 by Thomas E. Ricks

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amateurs talk tactics, professionals talk logistics, Berlin Wall, facts on the ground, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, friendly fire, interchangeable parts, open borders, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, traveling salesman

There were plenty of people at the Pentagon paid to take care of the Army. Casey’s mission was very different, he said. His job was to win the war. “Not all generals are up to the task,” he advised, knowing, for example, that well over a dozen division commanders had been relieved during World War II. Yet the Bush administration handled its generals as though they were all equally successful, interchangeable parts. “Not a single general has been removed for ineffectiveness during the course of this war.” The Army needed a push here, he noted. “The current promotion system does not take into account actual effectiveness in counterinsurgency. We need not great guys but effective guys. Routine promotion and assignment systems for generals in wartime is a disaster.” Keane, speaking second, was also emphatic.

 

pages: 377 words: 21,687

Digital Apollo: Human and Machine in Spaceflight by David A. Mindell

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1960s counterculture, computer age, deskilling, fault tolerance, interchangeable parts, Mars Rover, more computing power than Apollo, Norbert Wiener, Silicon Valley, Stewart Brand, telepresence, telerobotics

A new idea developed at the IL, called ‘‘Q-guidance,’’ allowed much of the computational load to be undertaken by ground-based digital computers ahead of time, enabling use of simpler machines in the missile itself.12 The Polaris electronics were not particularly complex, but making them work with the required reliability, robustness, and light weight challenged Hall and his IL engineers. They recognized the effective use of electronics to be as much about mechanical packaging as about circuit design.13 Hall explored new areas in construction, stacking modules like ‘‘welded cordwood,’’ and wire-wrapping the interconnections. Hall also designed the computer circuits so they all shared a single type of germanium transistor—effectively implementing the interchangeable-parts philosophy that had characterized mechanical manufacturing for more than a century. Transistors, barely a ‘‘Braincase on the tip of a firecracker’’ 99 decade old at this point, could still be suspect in reliability, requiring rigorous qualification to be included in military hardware. In Hall’s design, only one type of transistor would have to meet the intense testing and support criteria for the missile.

 

pages: 436 words: 141,321

Reinventing Organizations: A Guide to Creating Organizations Inspired by the Next Stage of Human Consciousness by Frederic Laloux, Ken Wilber

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Albert Einstein, augmented reality, blue-collar work, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, carbon footprint, conceptual framework, corporate social responsibility, crowdsourcing, failed state, future of work, hiring and firing, index card, interchangeable parts, invisible hand, job satisfaction, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Kenneth Rogoff, meta analysis, meta-analysis, pattern recognition, post-industrial society, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, randomized controlled trial, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, the market place, the scientific method, Tony Hsieh

Bosses are good at making these decisions. Workers do not want to be responsible for their actions or for decisions that affect the performance of the organization. Workers need care and protection, just as children need the care of their parents. Workers should be compensated by the hour or by the number of “pieces” produced. Bosses should be paid a salary and possibly receive bonuses and stock. Workers are like interchangeable parts of machines. One “good” worker is pretty much the same as any other “good” worker. Workers need to be told what to do, when to do it, and how to do it. Bosses need to hold them accountable.45 These assumptions sound harsh when they are put into words, and yet they are the basis for the structures and practices we have in organizations today. If this view of employees is true, leaders are prudent to build in controls, rewards, and punishments; only a fool would trust workers to make decisions using the advice process.

 

Jennifer Morgue by Stross, Charles

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call centre, correlation does not imply causation, disintermediation, dumpster diving, Etonian, haute couture, interchangeable parts, Maui Hawaii, mutually assured destruction, planetary scale, RFID, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, stem cell, telepresence, traveling salesman, Turing machine

What do they have to do with things" "If you'd ever studied knife fighting, one of the things your instructors would have drilled into you is that you always clean your blade after using it, and if possible sharpen and lubricate it, before you put it away. Because if you want j to use it again some time, you don't want to find it stuck to the scabbard, or blunt, or rusted. When you use a tool, you take care to maintain it, boy, that's common sense. From the organization's point of view ... well, you're not just an interchangeable part, a human resource: we can't go to the nearest employment center and hire a replacement for you just like that. You've got a unique skill mix that would be very difficult to locate — but don't let it go to your head just yet — which is why we're willing to take some pains to help you get over it. We used you, it's true. And we used Dr. O'Brien, and you're both going to have to get used to it, and what's more important to you right now — because you expect to be used for certain types of jobs now and again — is that we didn't use you the way you expected to be used.

 

pages: 369 words: 121,161

Alistair Cooke's America by Alistair Cooke

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Albert Einstein, Alistair Cooke, British Empire, double entry bookkeeping, full employment, Hernando de Soto, imperial preference, interchangeable parts, joint-stock company, Maui Hawaii, Ralph Nader, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, strikebreaker, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transcontinental railway, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, urban sprawl, wage slave, Works Progress Administration

But for nearly three years there were no muskets at all, and he was a joke in New England and something of a fraud in Washington. But Whitney had seen a labor problem where formerly there was none, and he had aired the method of solving it. Within ten years a man named Hall, subsidized by the government in one of its ordnance factories, produced the assembly line product. The production of interchangeable parts – screws and threads for muskets, tackle blocks, and planking for ships – had already been accomplished in England and France. Yet these were still being handled by skilled men, and Whitney’s standardized parts could be fitted by drones with no other skill. He had, in fact, introduced in his factories a wholly new system: division of labor, a system unwelcome in Europe since it threatened the craftsmen and the long tradition of apprenticeship.

 

pages: 464 words: 127,283

Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia by Anthony M. Townsend

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1960s counterculture, 4chan, A Pattern Language, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, anti-communist, Apple II, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Burning Man, business process, call centre, carbon footprint, charter city, chief data officer, clean water, cleantech, cloud computing, computer age, congestion charging, connected car, crack epidemic, crowdsourcing, DARPA: Urban Challenge, data acquisition, Deng Xiaoping, East Village, Edward Glaeser, game design, garden city movement, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, George Gilder, ghettoisation, global supply chain, Grace Hopper, Haight Ashbury, Hedy Lamarr / George Antheil, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, interchangeable parts, Internet Archive, Internet of things, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, Jane Jacobs, jitney, John Snow's cholera map, Khan Academy, Kibera, knowledge worker, load shedding, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, mobile money, mutually assured destruction, new economy, New Urbanism, Norbert Wiener, Occupy movement, openstreetmap, packet switching, patent troll, place-making, planetary scale, popular electronics, RFC: Request For Comment, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia, smart grid, smart meter, social graph, social software, social web, special economic zone, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, technoutopianism, Ted Kaczynski, telepresence, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, too big to fail, trade route, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Upton Sinclair, uranium enrichment, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, Vannevar Bush, working poor, working-age population, X Prize, Y2K, zero day, Zipcar

For Varian, the big breakthroughs of the industrial revolution happened only after, and only because of, a new substrate of interoperable technological components that were invented first. In a 2008 interview, he described this process of “combinatorial innovation”: “if you look historically, you’ll find periods in history where there would be the availability of . . . different component parts that innovators could combine or recombine to create new inventions. In the 1800s, it was interchangeable parts. In 1920, it was electronics. In the 1970s, it was integrated circuits. Now what we see is a period where you have Internet components, where you have software, protocols, languages, and capabilities to combine these component parts in ways that create totally new innovations.”37 Focusing on the inputs to technology innovation instead of the outputs tells a very different story of how earlier breakthroughs came about, the technological and economic significance of the Internet, and the prospects for a new age of innovation in our own future.

 

pages: 404 words: 118,759

The Bohemians: Mark Twain and the San Francisco Writers Who Reinvented American Literature by Ben Tarnoff

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California gold rush, interchangeable parts, Maui Hawaii, new economy, New Journalism, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ronald Reagan, South of Market, San Francisco, South Sea Bubble, transcontinental railway, traveling salesman

Dime novels were the lowbrow equivalents of Harte’s tales: lurid morsels of frontier melodrama, wrapped in cheap paper and popular in eastern cities. They offered parables of rugged individualism and wide-open spaces to urban readers whose lives were increasingly absent of both. They appealed to an era in which tenements and factories and corporations and bureaucracy were aggregating human beings into a mass of interchangeable parts. They provided a national epic of conquest, of white settlers subduing the wilderness and the Indians, to men whose masculinity seemed to be crumbling under the assault of the machine age. As the nineteenth century wore on, America’s infatuation with the “Wild West” would only grow. This set the scene for Harte’s success with eastern readers. What distinguished his stories from their pop-cultural competitors wasn’t just the quality of the writing.

 

pages: 742 words: 137,937

The Future of the Professions: How Technology Will Transform the Work of Human Experts by Richard Susskind, Daniel Susskind

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23andMe, 3D printing, additive manufacturing, AI winter, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, Andrew Keen, Atul Gawande, Automated Insights, autonomous vehicles, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, Bill Joy: nanobots, business process, business process outsourcing, Cass Sunstein, Checklist Manifesto, Clapham omnibus, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, computer age, computer vision, conceptual framework, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, death of newspapers, disintermediation, Douglas Hofstadter, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Filter Bubble, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, full employment, future of work, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Hacker Ethic, industrial robot, informal economy, information retrieval, interchangeable parts, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, James Hargreaves, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Joseph Schumpeter, Khan Academy, knowledge economy, lump of labour, Marshall McLuhan, Narrative Science, natural language processing, Network effects, optical character recognition, personalized medicine, pre–internet, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, semantic web, Skype, social web, speech recognition, spinning jenny, strong AI, supply-chain management, telepresence, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, Turing test, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, young professional

And, in Chapter 7, we address several major topics—the potential and limitations of increasingly capable machines, the impact of technology on employment, and whether emerging models of sharing expertise are in fact feasible. We conclude by asking and answering the question—what future should we want? 1 See Chapters 2 and 3 for references and further details of these examples. 2 We use the terms ‘increasingly capable systems’ and ‘increasingly capable machines’ interchangeably throughout the book. More generally, unless the context indicates otherwise, we also use ‘systems’ and ‘machines’ interchangeably. Part I Change 1 The Grand Bargain There are two possible futures for the professions. The first is reassuringly familiar. It is a more efficient version of what we already have today. On this model, professionals continue working much as they have done since the middle of the nineteenth century, but they heavily standardize and systematize their routine activities. They streamline their old ways of working.

 

pages: 528 words: 146,459

Computer: A History of the Information Machine by Martin Campbell-Kelly, William Aspray, Nathan L. Ensmenger, Jeffrey R. Yost

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Ada Lovelace, air freight, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, barriers to entry, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, borderless world, Buckminster Fuller, Build a better mousetrap, Byte Shop, card file, cashless society, cloud computing, combinatorial explosion, computer age, deskilling, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, fault tolerance, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial independence, Frederick Winslow Taylor, game design, garden city movement, Grace Hopper, informal economy, interchangeable parts, invention of the wheel, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John von Neumann, linked data, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, natural language processing, Network effects, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, Occupy movement, optical character recognition, packet switching, PageRank, pattern recognition, pirate software, popular electronics, prediction markets, pre–internet, QWERTY keyboard, RAND corporation, Robert X Cringely, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, the market place, Turing machine, Vannevar Bush, Von Neumann architecture, Whole Earth Catalog, William Shockley: the traitorous eight, women in the workforce, young professional

The advocates of software engineering emphasized the need to impose industrial discipline on informal and idiosyncratic craft practices of programmers. They rejected the notion that large software projects were inherently unmanageable and recommended, instead, that software developers adopt methods and techniques borrowed from traditional manufacturing. The ultimate goal would be a kind of “software factory” complete with interchangeable parts (or “software components”), mechanized production, and a largely deskilled and routinized workforce. The tools used to achieve this goal included structured design, formal methods, and development models. The most widely adopted engineering practice was the use of a “structured design methodology.” Structured design reflected the belief that the best way to manage complexity was to limit the software writer’s field of view.

 

pages: 1,205 words: 308,891

Bourgeois Dignity: Why Economics Can't Explain the Modern World by Deirdre N. McCloskey

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Admiral Zheng, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, BRICs, British Empire, butterfly effect, Carmen Reinhart, clockwork universe, computer age, Corn Laws, dark matter, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Donald Trump, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, European colonialism, experimental economics, financial innovation, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, George Akerlof, germ theory of disease, Gini coefficient, greed is good, Howard Zinn, income per capita, interchangeable parts, invention of agriculture, invention of air conditioning, invention of writing, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John Snow's cholera map, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, means of production, Naomi Klein, New Economic Geography, New Urbanism, purchasing power parity, rent-seeking, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Scientific racism, Scramble for Africa, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Simon Kuznets, Slavoj Žižek, spinning jenny, Steven Pinker, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, total factor productivity, transaction costs, tulip mania, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, urban renewal, V2 rocket, very high income, working poor, World Values Survey, Yogi Berra

You can argue correctly that boring of cannon led to precision boring of steam cylinders, but until the late nineteenth-century the metal bored was not low-carbon “steel”: it was bronze available all over Eurasia and Africa, or cast iron produced in bulk, a technique invented by the Chinese or the Bantu Africans, take your pick. Asians bored cannon, too (and indeed steel made in modest bulk was an Indian invention around 300 B.C.E.). Muskets and pistols had little to do with industrialization (interchangeable parts could have come from any mass produced mechanical device—clocks, for example). Precision scientific instruments and clockmaking had more to do with ingenious cast and wrought iron (wrought iron is iron with very small amounts of carbon, but also with impurities in the form of embedded slag), and expensive steel machine parts such as springs on a tiny scale, than military production did. And anyway the cotton textile machinery was first made largely out of wood, and only later out of iron, and only 164 late in the nineteenth century did it come to made out of the newly cheapened steel.

 

The Future of Technology by Tom Standage

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air freight, barriers to entry, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, Clayton Christensen, computer vision, connected car, corporate governance, disintermediation, distributed generation, double helix, experimental economics, full employment, hydrogen economy, industrial robot, informal economy, interchangeable parts, job satisfaction, labour market flexibility, market design, Menlo Park, millennium bug, moral hazard, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, optical character recognition, railway mania, rent-seeking, RFID, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, Skype, smart grid, software as a service, spectrum auction, speech recognition, stem cell, Steve Ballmer, technology bubble, telemarketer, transcontinental railway, Y2K

The craftsmen who made them liked it this way, because many of their customers were, in effect, locked in. Yet it was one of these craftsmen’s leaders who set America’s machine-tool industry on the path of standardisation. In 1864, William Sellers proposed a “uniform system of screw threads”, which later became widely adopted. Without standardised, easy-to-make screws, Mr Sellers’ argument went, there could be no interchangeable parts and thus no mass production. Not every technology sector had such far-sighted leaders. But railways, electricity, cars and telecommunications all learned to love standards as they came of age. At a certain point in their history, it became clear that rather than just fighting to get the largest piece of the pie, the companies within a sector needed to work together to make the pie bigger.

 

pages: 797 words: 227,399

Robotics Revolution and Conflict in the 21st Century by P. W. Singer

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agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Atahualpa, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bill Joy: nanobots, blue-collar work, borderless world, clean water, Craig Reynolds: boids flock, cuban missile crisis, en.wikipedia.org, Ernest Rutherford, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Firefox, Francisco Pizarro, Frank Gehry, friendly fire, game design, George Gilder, Google Earth, Grace Hopper, I think there is a world market for maybe five computers, if you build it, they will come, illegal immigration, industrial robot, interchangeable parts, invention of gunpowder, invention of movable type, invention of the steam engine, Isaac Newton, Jacques de Vaucanson, job automation, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Law of Accelerating Returns, Mars Rover, Menlo Park, New Urbanism, pattern recognition, private military company, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, robot derives from the Czech word robota Czech, meaning slave, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Reagan, Schrödinger's Cat, Silicon Valley, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, strong AI, technological singularity, The Coming Technological Singularity, The Wisdom of Crowds, Turing test, Vernor Vinge, Wall-E, Yogi Berra

But to the scientists and businessmen gathered in the hotel conference room in Georgetown, they were the real stars of the robotics industry convention. The four had recently served in Iraq and had used their robots nearly every single day. The “Warfighters’ Perspectives” panel was the ultimate opportunity for customer feedback. For the next ninety minutes, the soldiers talked about their experiences with robots in Iraq and various suggestions they had for improvement. They asked for better batteries and interchangeable parts that could be fixed in the field, rather than always having to send a broken robot to the robot repair yard. Army staff sergeant Robert Shallbetter even offered feedback on the robots’ colors. Having robots painted black made them stand out as targets and the 140-degree heat in Iraq made them hard to even touch. Plus, “Heat and computers don’t mix well.” The audience’s ears perked up when the soldiers began to talk about which robots they liked more, knowing that this sort of feedback could determine their programs’ and companies’ futures.

 

pages: 540 words: 168,921

The Relentless Revolution: A History of Capitalism by Joyce Appleby

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1919 Motor Transport Corps convoy, agricultural Revolution, anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, Bartolomé de las Casas, Bernie Madoff, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, call centre, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, Columbian Exchange, corporate governance, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, Doha Development Round, double entry bookkeeping, epigenetics, equal pay for equal work, European colonialism, facts on the ground, failed state, Firefox, Ford paid five dollars a day, Francisco Pizarro, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, Gordon Gekko, Henry Ford's grandson gave labor union leader Walter Reuther a tour of the company’s new, automated factory…, Hernando de Soto, hiring and firing, illegal immigration, informal economy, interchangeable parts, interest rate swap, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, land reform, Livingstone, I presume, Long Term Capital Management, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Wolf, moral hazard, Ponzi scheme, profit maximization, profit motive, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, refrigerator car, Ronald Reagan, Scramble for Africa, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, special economic zone, spice trade, spinning jenny, strikebreaker, the built environment, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Thorstein Veblen, total factor productivity, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, transatlantic slave trade, transcontinental railway, union organizing, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, urban renewal, War on Poverty, working poor, Works Progress Administration, Yogi Berra, Yom Kippur War

The human loss in dollars and disappointments was significant, but the young economy was resilient enough to snap back. The lifting of colonial restrictions on manufacturing unloosed as well Yankee ingenuity. In the generation born after the Revolution many a poor boy discovered his talent for making clocks, buttons, industrial wire, textiles, shoes, hats, pianos, vulcanized rubber, and steam engines of various kinds. Eli Whitney, who invented the cotton gin, also originated the principle of interchangeable parts in manufacturing when he got a contract to build rifles for the army. Specialization offered commercial opportunities to whole communities. Wethersfield, Connecticut, for instance, annually sent to market one and a half million onions.16 Levi Dickinson invented a broom from corn. By 1833 the townspeople of Hadley, Massachusetts, were producing half a million brooms a year. One English traveler noted that he had never “overheard Americans conversing without the word DOLLAR being pronounced.”

 

pages: 603 words: 182,781

Aerotropolis by John D. Kasarda, Greg Lindsay

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3D printing, air freight, airline deregulation, airport security, Akira Okazaki, Asian financial crisis, back-to-the-land, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, big-box store, blood diamonds, borderless world, British Empire, call centre, carbon footprint, Clayton Christensen, cleantech, cognitive dissonance, conceptual framework, credit crunch, David Brooks, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, edge city, Edward Glaeser, failed state, food miles, Ford paid five dollars a day, Frank Gehry, fudge factor, full employment, future of work, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, George Gilder, global supply chain, global village, gravity well, Haber-Bosch Process, Hernando de Soto, hive mind, if you build it, they will come, illegal immigration, inflight wifi, interchangeable parts, intermodal, invention of the telephone, inventory management, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, Kangaroo Route, knowledge worker, kremlinology, labour mobility, Marshall McLuhan, Masdar, McMansion, megacity, Menlo Park, microcredit, Network effects, New Economic Geography, new economy, New Urbanism, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, Peter Thiel, pets.com, pink-collar, pre–internet, RFID, Richard Florida, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, Seaside, Florida, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spice trade, spinning jenny, stem cell, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, sustainable-tourism, telepresence, the built environment, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Nature of the Firm, thinkpad, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, Tony Hsieh, trade route, transcontinental railway, transit-oriented development, traveling salesman, trickle-down economics, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, walkable city, white flight, Yogi Berra

Today, it’s opening day at Wrigley, and tomorrow it will be spring break for Chinese students in Hong Kong, Iranian reunions in Dubai, and breadwinners flying home on weekends to Mumbai. The aerotropolis is a time machine. Time is the ultimately finite commodity setting the exchange rates for all the choices we make. Monstrous in size, infinitely scalable, and endlessly repetitive—machines for living with interchangeable parts—Kasarda’s aerotropoli are as foreign to us as O’Hare or Heathrow would have been to a passenger aboard a clipper ship. But they may be necessary to make these occasions as common and as memorable for families in Chennai as in Chicago, and they won’t be denied. Cubs win! The song “Go Cubs Go” echoes off the scoreboard as my mother and I sway back and forth, singing along. An hour later, I’m on a plane bound for New York.

 

pages: 552 words: 168,518

MacroWikinomics: Rebooting Business and the World by Don Tapscott, Anthony D. Williams

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accounting loophole / creative accounting, airport security, Andrew Keen, augmented reality, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, bioinformatics, Bretton Woods, business climate, business process, car-free, carbon footprint, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, clean water, Climategate, Climatic Research Unit, cloud computing, collaborative editing, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, colonial rule, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, demographic transition, distributed generation, don't be evil, en.wikipedia.org, energy security, energy transition, Exxon Valdez, failed state, fault tolerance, financial innovation, Galaxy Zoo, game design, global village, Google Earth, Hans Rosling, hive mind, Home mortgage interest deduction, interchangeable parts, Internet of things, invention of movable type, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Jaron Lanier, jimmy wales, Joseph Schumpeter, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Marshall McLuhan, medical bankruptcy, megacity, mortgage tax deduction, Netflix Prize, new economy, Nicholas Carr, oil shock, online collectivism, open borders, open economy, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer lending, personalized medicine, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, scientific mainstream, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart grid, smart meter, social graph, social web, software patent, Steve Jobs, text mining, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, transfer pricing, University of East Anglia, urban sprawl, value at risk, WikiLeaks, X Prize, young professional, Zipcar

All that’s about to change, insists Jason Kelly, cofounder of OpenWetWare and a new company called Ginkgo BioWorks that has been set up to capitalize on the field of synthetic biology. “A lot of what has been done to date is really just tinkering,” he says. “You sort of get in there and you hack around. You make some changes that are really unpredictable. You don’t know what’s going to happen.” Kelly argues that what genetic engineering really needs now is a set of standardized, interchangeable parts with standardized interfaces for assembly. A bit like Lego bricks, these components would be engineered so that the whole library of complementary BioBricks could fit seamlessly together in a more complex life form, perhaps something as complex as a human. If successful, it will pave the way for advances in medicine, agriculture, and energy we scarcely anticipate today. “Biology is a ridiculously powerful technology,” says Kelly, “it’s just we’ve been really horrible at engineering.”

 

pages: 879 words: 233,093

The Empathic Civilization: The Race to Global Consciousness in a World in Crisis by Jeremy Rifkin

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agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, back-to-the-land, British Empire, carbon footprint, collaborative economy, death of newspapers, delayed gratification, distributed generation, en.wikipedia.org, energy security, feminist movement, global village, hydrogen economy, illegal immigration, income inequality, income per capita, interchangeable parts, Internet Archive, invention of movable type, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, labour mobility, Mahatma Gandhi, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Milgram experiment, new economy, New Urbanism, Norbert Wiener, out of africa, Peace of Westphalia, peak oil, planetary scale, Simon Kuznets, Skype, smart grid, smart meter, supply-chain management, surplus humans, the medium is the message, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, transaction costs, upwardly mobile, uranium enrichment, working poor, World Values Survey

Separating the alphabet into standardized units of type that were uniform, interchangeable, and reusable made print the first modern industrial process. With print, objects are uniformly spaced by positioning type on a chase and locking the chase onto a press. The composite type then can be reproduced over and over, each copy identical and indistinguishable from the original. Assembly, uniform and interchangeable parts, predictable positioning of objects in space, and mass production were the foundation stones of the industrial way of life. Print organizes phenomena in an orderly, rational, and objective way, and in so doing encourages linear, sequential, and causal ways of thinking. The very notion of “composing” one’s thoughts conjures up the idea of well-thought-out linear progression of ideas, one following the other in logical sequence, a mode of thought very different from that in oral cultures, where redundancy and discontinuity in thought often are the rules.

 

The Chomsky Reader by Noam Chomsky

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anti-communist, Bolshevik threat, British Empire, business climate, cognitive dissonance, conceptual framework, cuban missile crisis, Deng Xiaoping, European colonialism, feminist movement, Howard Zinn, interchangeable parts, land reform, land tenure, means of production, Monroe Doctrine, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, strikebreaker, theory of mind, Thomas L Friedman, union organizing, War on Poverty, éminence grise

Libertarian socialists, at least, looked forward to a “federation of free communities which shall be bound to one another by their common economic and social interests and arrange their affairs by mutual agreement and free contract,” “a free association of all productive forces based upon co-operative labor, which would have for its sole purpose the satisfying of the necessary requirements of every member of society.” In such a society, there is no reason why rewards should be contingent on some collection of personal attributes, however selected. Inequality of endowment is simply the human condition—a fact for which we may be thankful; one vision of hell is a society of interchangeable parts. It carries with it no implications concerning social rewards. In a socialist society, as envisioned by the authentic left, a central purpose will be that the necessary requirements of every member of society be satisfied. We may assume that these “necessary requirements” will be historically conditioned in part, and will develop along with the expansion and enrichment of material and intellectual culture.

 

pages: 851 words: 247,711

The Atlantic and Its Enemies: A History of the Cold War by Norman Stone

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affirmative action, anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, bank run, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bonfire of the Vanities, Bretton Woods, British Empire, central bank independence, Deng Xiaoping, desegregation, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, European colonialism, facts on the ground, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, Henry Ford's grandson gave labor union leader Walter Reuther a tour of the company’s new, automated factory…, illegal immigration, income per capita, interchangeable parts, Jane Jacobs, Joseph Schumpeter, labour mobility, land reform, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, new economy, North Sea oil, oil shock, Ponzi scheme, price mechanism, price stability, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, special drawing rights, Steve Jobs, strikebreaker, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, trade liberalization, trickle-down economics, V2 rocket, War on Poverty, Washington Consensus, Yom Kippur War, éminence grise

It had quite long origins: even in the 1830s, Stendhal, for instance, has throw-away and dismissive lines about American business and dollar worship, and the Teamsters, a famous union mainly on the docks, took their name from the mule-drivers of yore. In the 1850s Sam Colt was able to assemble a first-class gun in thousands, because he made each part the same, to within a thirty-second of an inch to start with, and then a five-hundredth, so that they were interchangeable, and Linus Yale, of locks fame, goes back to that period. Machines were soon made with interchangeable parts, and the tools that produced these became an American specialty, keeping British war industries going in both of the world wars. Henry Ford famously transferred this to motor cars that were therefore cheap. Various explanations have been offered: unskilled immigrant labour, needing to be given simple and repetitive tasks within their capacity; expensive labour, putting pressure on firms to diminish their costs by use of machinery; practical education, such as was plentifully on offer; the peculiarly classless atmosphere in the USA, where ordinary workmen would co-operate on friendly terms with an owner when it came to reporting faults and taking an interest in machines, whereas elsewhere workmen regarded them as an enemy and in Britain were notoriously reluctant to accept them, because they would be tended by fewer workmen and might depress wage rates.

 

pages: 823 words: 206,070

The Making of Global Capitalism by Leo Panitch, Sam Gindin

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accounting loophole / creative accounting, airline deregulation, anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Basel III, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, bilateral investment treaty, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, call centre, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, collective bargaining, continuous integration, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, dark matter, Deng Xiaoping, disintermediation, ending welfare as we know it, eurozone crisis, facts on the ground, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, financial intermediation, floating exchange rates, full employment, Gini coefficient, global value chain, guest worker program, Hyman Minsky, imperial preference, income inequality, inflation targeting, interchangeable parts, interest rate swap, Kenneth Rogoff, land reform, late capitalism, liquidity trap, London Interbank Offered Rate, Long Term Capital Management, manufacturing employment, market bubble, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, means of production, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, Monroe Doctrine, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, non-tariff barriers, Northern Rock, oil shock, precariat, price stability, quantitative easing, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, regulatory arbitrage, reserve currency, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, seigniorage, shareholder value, short selling, Silicon Valley, sovereign wealth fund, special drawing rights, special economic zone, structural adjustment programs, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, the payments system, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, trade liberalization, transcontinental railway, trickle-down economics, union organizing, very high income, Washington Consensus, Works Progress Administration, zero-coupon bond

By placing limits on the degree of exploitation employers could impose, in spite of the high rate of immigration of new workers, this spurred more capital-intensive production; it also provided levels of income that allowed some craftsmen to start their own factories, and forced factory owners to promote the development of labor-saving innovations in machine technology and factory organization. Two other factors reinforced this trend. One was the system of protective tariffs that, in spite of Northern merchant and Southern planter opposition, was in place from the 1820s onwards. Another was the initiation and coordination by the federal government, acting through the War Department’s federal armory, of new production methods using interchangeable parts, precision gauges, specialist machines operated by relatively unskilled labor, and management control information systems—the “American System of Manufacturing” so much admired in Europe by the middle of the nineteenth century.11 After the defeat of the plantocracy in the Civil War, the vast inland domain stretching to the Pacific provided unparalleled space for industrial capitalism’s expansion in what was already emerging as the largest domestic market in the world.

 

pages: 1,087 words: 325,295

Anathem by Neal Stephenson

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anthropic principle, cellular automata, Danny Hillis, double helix, interchangeable parts, nuclear winter, pattern recognition, phenotype, Stewart Brand, trade route

He did a new thing with a new set of people every day of his life. And that made him just as different from the people in the traffic jam as I was. So I looked with fascination at those people in their mobes, and tried to fathom what it would be like. Thousands of years ago, the work that people did had been broken down into jobs that were the same every day, in organizations where people were interchangeable parts. All of the story had been bled out of their lives. That was how it had to be; it was how you got a productive economy. But it would be easy to see a will at work behind this: not exactly an evil will, but a selfish will. The people who’d made the system thus were jealous, not of money and not of power but of story. If their employees came home at day’s end with interesting stories to tell, it meant that something had gone wrong: a blackout, a strike, a spree killing.

 

pages: 956 words: 267,746

Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion ofSafety by Eric Schlosser

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Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Berlin Wall, cuban missile crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Haight Ashbury, impulse control, interchangeable parts, Isaac Newton, life extension, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, nuclear winter, packet switching, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Stanislav Petrov, Stewart Brand, too big to fail, uranium enrichment

More important, the nuclear core was stored in the plane’s cockpit during takeoff and inserted through a trap door into the nose of the bomb, midflight. As long as the core was kept physically separate from the rest of the bomb, it was impossible for a plane crash to cause a nuclear explosion. The days of handmade nuclear weapons were over. At Sandia the Mark 4 was now being manufactured with standardized, interchangeable parts—and so was its replacement, the Mark 6, a lighter, sleeker weapon with a yield as much as ten times larger than that of the bomb that destroyed Hiroshima. Once a weapon was assembled at Tech Area II, it was shipped to Site Able, an AEC storage facility tunneled into the nearby Manzano Mountains, or to Site Baker in Killeen, Texas, or to Site Charlie in Clarksville, Tennessee. The storage sites were located near SAC bases, so that in an emergency bombs could be quickly retrieved and loaded onto planes.

 

pages: 1,197 words: 304,245

The Invention of Science: A New History of the Scientific Revolution by David Wootton

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agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, British Empire, clockwork universe, Commentariolus, conceptual framework, Dava Sobel, double entry bookkeeping, double helix, en.wikipedia.org, Ernest Rutherford, Fellow of the Royal Society, fudge factor, germ theory of disease, Google X / Alphabet X, Hans Lippershey, interchangeable parts, invention of gunpowder, invention of the steam engine, invention of the telescope, Isaac Newton, Jacques de Vaucanson, James Watt: steam engine, John Harrison: Longitude, knowledge economy, lone genius, Mercator projection, On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres, placebo effect, QWERTY keyboard, Republic of Letters, spice trade, spinning jenny, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions

Brown, Jean Domenique Cassini and His World Map of 1696 (1941), 39, 47, 58–60; Brotton, A History of the World in Twelve Maps (2012), 306. 17. Pumfrey, ‘O tempora, O magnes!’ (1989); see also Waters, ‘Nautical Astronomy and the Problem of Longitude’ (1983). 18. Sobel, Longitude (1995). 19. Allen, The British Industrial Revolution (2009), 173. 20. Allen, The British Industrial Revolution (2009), 204–6. On the introduction of interchangeable parts, see Alder, ‘Making Things the Same’ (1998). 21. This line of argument is foreshadowed in Koyré, ‘Du monde de l’ à-peu-près à l’univers de la précision’ (1971), first published in 1948. 22. Landes, ‘Why Europe and the West?’ (2006). 23. Latin text of letter to Herwart von Hohenburg quoted in Koyré, The Astronomical Revolution (1973), 378; translation from Snobelen, ‘The Myth of the Clockwork Universe’ (2012), 177 n. 24.

 

pages: 1,104 words: 302,176

The Rise and Fall of American Growth: The U.S. Standard of Living Since the Civil War (The Princeton Economic History of the Western World) by Robert J. Gordon

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3D printing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, airline deregulation, airport security, Apple II, barriers to entry, big-box store, blue-collar work, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, clean water, collective bargaining, computer age, deindustrialization, Detroit bankruptcy, discovery of penicillin, Donner party, Downton Abbey, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, feminist movement, financial innovation, full employment, George Akerlof, germ theory of disease, glass ceiling, high net worth, housing crisis, immigration reform, impulse control, income inequality, income per capita, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, inflight wifi, interchangeable parts, invention of agriculture, invention of air conditioning, invention of the telegraph, invention of the telephone, inventory management, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, jitney, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, labor-force participation, Loma Prieta earthquake, Louis Daguerre, Louis Pasteur, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, market fragmentation, Mason jar, McMansion, Menlo Park, minimum wage unemployment, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, Norbert Wiener, obamacare, occupational segregation, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, payday loans, Peter Thiel, pink-collar, Productivity paradox, Ralph Nader, Ralph Waldo Emerson, refrigerator car, rent control, Robert X Cringely, Ronald Coase, school choice, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, Skype, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, The Market for Lemons, Thomas Malthus, total factor productivity, transaction costs, transcontinental railway, traveling salesman, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile, urban decay, urban planning, urban sprawl, washing machines reduced drudgery, Washington Consensus, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, working poor, working-age population, Works Progress Administration, yield management

Nearly all the American machines did things that the world earnestly wished machines to do—stamp out nails, cut stone, mold candles—but with a neatness, dispatch, and tireless reliability that left other nations blinking…. Cyrus McCormick displayed a reaper that could do the work of 40 men…. Most exciting of all was Samuel Colt’s repeat-action revolver, which was not only marvelously lethal but made from interchangeable parts, a method of manufacture so distinctive that it became known as the American system.2 The upper classes of Britain and Europe viewed America with trepidation. One did not need multiplication tables to infer that with rapid population growth resulting from its high birth rate and unfettered immigration, the United States would soon have a population greater than that of any European nation.