Why Information Grows
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Why Information Grows : The Evolution of Order, from Atoms to Economies

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In Why Information Grows, rising star Cesar Hidalgo offers a radical interpretation of global economicsWhat is economic growth? And why, historically, has it occurred in only a few places? Previous efforts to answer these questions have focused on institutions, geography, finances, and psychology. But MIT professor Cesar Hidalgo argues that in order to fully grasp the nature of economic growth we need to transcend the social sciences and turn to the science of information, networks and complexity. The growth of economies, he explains, is deeply connected with the growth of order - or information.At first glance, the universe seems hostile to order. Thermodynamics dictates that over time, order will disappear. But thermodynamics also has loopholes that promote the growth of information in pockets. Our cities are such pockets where information grows, but they are not all the same. For every Silicon Valley, Tokyo, and London, there are dozens of places with underdeveloped economies. Why does the US economy outstrip Brazil's, and Brazil's that of Chad? Why did the technology corridor along Boston's Route 128 languish while Silicon Valley blossomed? In each case, the key is how people, companies, and the networks they form process information - it is all about their knowledge, knowhow and imagination. As Hidalgo compellingly shows, economies are made of networks of people and society is a collective computer. The problem of economic development is in fact the problem of making these networks more powerful.A radical new interpretation of global economics, Why Information Grows overturns traditional assumptions about the development of economies and the origins of wealth and takes a crucial step toward making economics less the dismal science and more the insightful one.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 256 pages
  • 129 x 198 x 15mm | 191g
  • Penguin Books Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0141978023
  • 9780141978024
  • 94,141

Review quote

A bold attempt to synthesise a large body of cutting-edge work into a readable, slender volume... his thought-provoking book deserves to be widely read * Financial Times * Mr Hidalgo succeeds brilliantly in bringing his complex subject to life. His book is full of nuggets, from memorable phrases to interesting metaphors * Economist * [Hidalgo's] innovative thinking about what drives growth could help us to navigate the turbulence of the ever more interconnected global economy... He has iden-tified a fertile seam * Nature * The concept of information is necessary to make sense of anything that is not a boring featureless mass, including life, mind, society, and value. Why Information Grows lucidly explains the foundations of this essential concept, while creatively applying it in exciting new ways. It is filled with interesting ideas, and a pleasure to read -- Steven Pinker, author of The Language Instinct and How the Mind Works Why Information Grows shows us how humans infuse information into matter, making it more valuable than gold. Hidalgo's work brilliantly spotlights the true alchemy of the twenty-first century and its impact from economic complexity to national competitiveness -- Albert-Laszlo Barabasi, Distinguished Professor and Director of Northeastern University's Center for Complex Network Research, and author of Linked
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About Cesar Hidalgo

Cesar Hidalgo leads the Macro Connections group at the MIT Media Lab. A trained statistical physicist and an expert on Networks and Complex Systems, he also has extensive experience in the field of economic development and has pioneered research on how big data impacts economic decision-making.
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Review Text

A bold attempt to synthesise a large body of cutting-edge work into a readable, slender volume... his thought-provoking book deserves to be widely read Financial Times
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Rating details

594 ratings
3.93 out of 5 stars
5 32% (189)
4 38% (227)
3 23% (135)
2 6% (35)
1 1% (8)
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