Description : Based on the series produced for the BBC World Service Who thought up paper money? How did the contraceptive pill change the face of the legal profession? Why was the horse collar as important for human progress as the steam engine? How did the humble spreadsheet turn the world of finance upside-down? The world economy defies comprehension. A continuously-changing system of immense complexity, it offers over ten billion distinct products and services, doubles in size every fifteen years, and links almost every one of the planet's seven billion people. It delivers astonishing luxury to hundreds of millions. It also leaves hundreds of millions behind, puts tremendous strains on the ecosystem, and has an alarming habit of stalling. Nobody is in charge of it. Indeed, no individual understands more than a fraction of what's going on. How can we make sense of this bewildering system on which our lives depend? From the tally-stick to Bitcoin, the canal lock to the jumbo jet, each invention in Tim Harford's fascinating new book has its own curious, surprising and memorable story, a vignette against a grand backdrop. Step by step, readers will start to understand where we are, how we got here, and where we might be going next. Hidden connections will be laid bare: how the barcode undermined family corner shops; why the gramophone widened inequality; how barbed wire shaped America. We'll meet the characters who developed some of these inventions, profited from them, or were ruined by them. We'll trace the economic principles that help to explain their transformative effects. And we'll ask what lessons we can learn to make wise use of future inventions, in a world where the pace of innovation will only accelerate.
Description : In Fifty Things that Made the Modern Economy, the revolutionary, acclaimed book, radio series and podcast, bestselling economist Tim Harford introduced us to a selection of fifty radical inventions that changed the world. Along the way he entertained us with a myriad of great stories and revealed some of the most surprising landmarks in our history. Now, in this new book, Harford once again brings us an array of remarkable, memorable, curious and often unexpected 'things' - inventions that have significantly moved the needle on our journey to the complex world economy we live in today. From the brick, blockchain and the bicycle to fire, the factory and fundraising, and from Solar PV and the pencil to the postage stamp, this brilliant and enlightening collection resonates, fascinates and stimulates. It is a wonderful blend of insight and inspiration from one of Britain's finest non-fiction storytellers.
Description : This volume brings together a group of contributors from varied backgrounds to tell a history of intellectual property in 50 objects.
Description : This book introduces materials and how advances in materials result in advances in technology and our daily lives. Each chapter covers a particular material, how the material was discovered or invented, when it was first used, how this material has impacted the world, what makes the material important, how it is used today, and future applications. The list of materials covered in this book includes stone, wood, natural fibers, metals, clay, lead, iron, steel, silicon, glass, rubber, composites, polyethylene, rare earth magnet, and alloys.
Description : The only globally-crowdsourced book on the future of payments (“PayTech”), offering comprehensive understanding of a rapidly evolving industry at the centre of global commerce The movement of money between individuals, organisations and governments is crucial to the world economy. The payments industry has undergone immense transformation – new regulations, technologies and consumer demands have prompted significant changes to the tools, products and use cases in payments, as well as presented lucrative opportunities for entrepreneurs and FinTech professionals. As payment technologies become faster and more efficient, companies and investors are increasingly favouring PayTech innovation due to better customer experience, increased revenues and manageable risks. The PAYTECH Book brings together a diverse collection of industry experts to provide entrepreneurs, financial services professionals and investors with the answers they need to capitalise on the highly profitable PayTech market. Written by leaders in the global FinTech and payment sectors, this informative volume explains key industry developments and presents valuable first-hand insights from prominent industry practitioners. Contributors include advisors and consultants to the payments and financial services industry, entrepreneurs and business owners utilising cutting-edge PayTech capabilities, academic researchers exploring the social-political-economic impact of PayTech and many others. Detailed chapters cover essential topics such as cybersecurity, regulation and compliance, wholesale payments and how payment systems currently work and how PayTech can improve them. This book: Defines PayTech and identifies its key players Discusses how PayTech can transform developed markets and accelerate growth in emerging economies Describes how PayTech fits into the larger FinTech ecosystem Explores the future of PayTech and its potential as an agent of social change and financial inclusion Provides diverse perspectives on investment in PayTech and what consolidation and expansion will look like The PAYTECH Book: The Payment Technology Handbook for Investors, Entrepreneurs and FinTech Visionaries is an indispensable source of information for FinTech investors and entrepreneurs, managers from payments companies and financial services firms and executives responsible for payments in government, corporations, public sector organisations, retailers and users of payments.
Description : NAMED A BEST BOOK OF 2017 by BLOOMBERG BUSINESSWEEK, THE FINANCIAL TIMES, AND AMAZON A lively history seen through the fifty inventions that shaped it most profoundly, by the bestselling author of The Undercover Economist and Messy. Who thought up paper money? What was the secret element that made the Gutenberg printing press possible? And what is the connection between The Da Vinci Code and the collapse of Lehman Brothers? Fifty Inventions That Shaped the Modern Economy paints an epic picture of change in an intimate way by telling the stories of the tools, people, and ideas that had far-reaching consequences for all of us. From the plough to artificial intelligence, from Gillette’s disposable razor to IKEA’s Billy bookcase, bestselling author and Financial Times columnist Tim Harford recounts each invention’s own curious, surprising, and memorable story. Invention by invention, Harford reflects on how we got here and where we might go next. He lays bare often unexpected connections: how the bar code undermined family corner stores, and why the gramophone widened inequality. In the process, he introduces characters who developed some of these inventions, profited from them, and were ruined by them, as he traces the principles that helped explain their transformative effects. The result is a wise and witty book of history, economics, and biography.
Description : Fifty Thinkers Who Shaped the Modern World profiles fifty landmark philosophers, scientists, political, social theorists and spiritual leaders whose ideas have defined the age we live in. Stephen Trombley's Fifty Thinkers Who Shaped the Modern World traces the development of modern thought through a sequence of accessible profiles of the most influential thinkers in every domain of intellectual endeavour since 1789. No major representative of post-Enlightenment thought escapes Trombley's attention: the German idealists Kant, Fichte, Schelling and Hegel; the utilitarians Bentham and Mill; the transcendentalists Emerson and Thoreau; Kierkegaard and the existentialists; founders of new fields of inquiry such as Weber, Durkheim and C.S. Peirce; the analytic philosophers Russell, Moore, Whitehead and Wittgenstein; political leaders from Mohandas K. Gandhi to Adolf Hitler; and - last but not least - the four shapers-in-chief of our modern world: the philosopher, historian and political theorist Karl Marx; the naturalist Charles Darwin, proposer of the theory of evolution; Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis; and the theoretical physicist Albert Einstein, begetter of the special and general theories of relativity and founder of post-Newtonian physics. Fifty Thinkers Who Shaped the Modern World offers a crisp analysis of their key ideas, and in some cases a re-evaluation of their importance as we proceed into the 21st century.